Musings
Second Chances
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What you need to know to read this fic: It has been about a month since Elizabeth and Lucky almost got married just like on the show. Carly and Sonny divorced amicably and share custody of the kids. Carly never drove off a cliff but does own the Cellar. Alexis and Sonny started seeing each other about a month before the “almost-wedding” and Alexis still works as Sonny’s attorney. Alexis’s sister Kristina is still alive and living with Ned at the boat house. Gia and Nikolas are engaged. Emily is in California. Sarah is in Port Charles but has been there a very short time and has never seen Jason.

 

The song in this chapter is "I Do" by Toya.

CHAPTER 1

 

“We should all go out,” Elizabeth said looking around the table at Kelly’s where she was sitting with Nikolas, Lucky, Gia, and Sarah.

 

“Out where?” Gia asked always up for a night on the town.

 

“Well, Jakes is starting that new “Club Night” tonight,” Elizabeth suggested.

 

“I’m in,” Gia said.

 

“I guess that means I am too,” Nikolas said.

 

“Sure, why not,” Lucky said.

 

Sarah smiled and nodded. Perfect, Sarah thought. Lucky and I can finally stop sneaking around. Lizzie will see us dancing and know we’re together.

 

“If we’re going out, I need to go so I have time to get ready,” Gia said.

 

“Let’s just all meet at Jakes,” Elizabeth said. “Around nine.”

 

Gia and Nikolas nodded in agreement before heading to Spoon Island. Elizabeth returned to her shift, mentally going through her wardrobe.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~  

 

At 9:30 Elizabeth strowed into Jakes wearing black hip huggers, black boots, and an electric blue tank top. The bar had a good number of patrons and the music was pumping. Elizabeth made her way over to the table where her friends sat.

 

Elizabeth, you look great,” Gia said a little surprised.

 

“Thanks. So do you, but then you always do,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Why are you so late?” Sarah asked Elizabeth.

 

“It’s only 9:30,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Yeah but this,” Sarah said indicating the drinks the waitress had just arrived with, “is our second round.”

 

Elizabeth just shrugged and said, “I’m in the mood to dance. Who’s coming with me?”

 

Grabbing her drink, Gia said, “Let’s go.”

 

The two women made their way to the mostly deserted dance floor and started to dance. Nikolas and Lucky watched them with slight amusement while Sarah fumed that they were getting attention. Sarah had the whole night planned and she was supposed to get all the attention when everyone realized she and Lucky were together.

 

Three songs later Elizabeth and Gia were still grooving on the dance floor when the dj switched to a slow song.

 

No way, Elizabeth thought. I am not having any depressing lost-love songs ruin my night.

 

Elizabeth walked off the dance floor and over to the dj.

 

“If you’ll turn this crap off and play a great dance song, I’ll get up on a table to dance,” Elizabeth said to him.

 

The dj looked around the bar considering before saying, “Alright if you dance on that one.” He pointed at a table several feet in front of him, directly across the room from the entrance.

 

Elizabeth nodded and walked over to the table. As the intro to the song came on, she got on the table using a chair as a step. She started dancing completely ignoring the fact that everyone was staring at her.

 

I Do, I wonder if you feel the same way I do
I can see it in your eyes, I entice you
So come on shorty if you think you can roll
With an iced out playa ballin’ out of control

 

As the chorus started for the first time, something made Elizabeth look up and across the room. When she did, she was shaken to her very core. There in the doorway stood Jason Morgan. Their eyes locked and Elizabeth could see the concern in his until she smiled.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~  

 

Jason stopped dead in his tracks as he entered Jakes. Even if she had not been wearing bright blue and dancing on a table, she would have been the first thing he saw. He was just that tuned to her, had been long before he left Port Charles and time and distance had not diminished that. Jason was concerned. He wondered how drunk she was and how much of a fight she would give him when he tried to get her out of there.

 

He knew the moment Elizabeth felt his presence. She looked up and their eyes locked. He felt her shock before she smiled. A real smile that lit up her whole face and was just for him.

 

Me and my crew started groovin Made our way to the floor
It's time to activate my plan and give this hottie a show
I shook my hips, took a dip, roll my tounge 'cross my lips

As Elizabeth continued dancing, her moves doing exactly as the song said, Jason’s breath almost stopped and Elizabeth never took her eyes off of him. Neither noticed the other patrons had ceased talking and moving to watch them. Nikolas’s eyes narrowed in dislike as he watched Jason watch Liz. Lucky was practically vibrating with jealousy as he always was when those two were in the same room. Sarah wasn’t sure who she was most pissed at—Lucky for paying attention to Lizzie, Lizzie for stealing all the attention, or the extremely hot guy who was watching her sister so intensely that Sarah expected Lizzie to burst into flames at any minute. Gia just looked back and forth between Jason and Liz, noting the intensity.

 

Well you go Elizabeth, Gia thought.

 

Elizabeth continued to dance and watch Jason. She crooked her finger at him in a “come here” gesture. Jason walked into the bar but stopped about ten feet from her. To everyone in the bar except Elizabeth, he showed no emotion whatsoever but she could see the amusement on his face. Realizing that he wasn’t going to come any closer, Elizabeth hopped off the table.

 

Watch me stop, stop traffic as I walk through the room
Knowin’ all the papi's want me but all I want is you

Elizabeth made her way to Jason half dancing, half walking. When she reached him, she started using him as a dancing prop. Elizabeth saw his amusement deepen and mix with something else. Something she wasn’t willing to name but that made heat snake through her body.

 

When the song ended, Elizabeth wrapped her arms around Jason’s neck and hugged him fiercely. Jason returned the hug just as tightly but whispered in her ear, “How drunk are you?”

 

Elizabeth threw her head back and laughed at the question. Jason had never heard anything more beautiful than the sound of her full, open laughter. Without releasing him, Elizabeth tilted her head back so she could look into Jason’s eyes.

 

“I’m stone cold sober,” Elizabeth answered.

 

Jason studied her for a moment before making the slightest gesture toward the door with his head. The movement was lost on everyone except Elizabeth who nodded enthusiastically. She released him to start for the door and felt his hand on the small of her back to guide her through the crowd and she smiled.

 

As the two walked out the door and headed for Jason’s bike, they didn’t notice the crowd had followed them and stood watching. Neither of them considered how it looked when Jason took off his leather jacket and handed it to Elizabeth or when she slipped into the jacket and slid onto the bike behind him before the two took off.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~        

 

Jason drove for an hour before making his way to their cliff. They got off and sat on the ground looking out over the city.

 

“So when did you get back?” Elizabeth asked after a while.

 

“Jakes was my first stop,” Jason said.

 

“Jason! You should have said something. I would have let you get settled before dragging you off for a ride,” Elizabeth said.

 

“I asked you to go,” Jason pointed out.

 

“True but only because you knew I wanted to,” Elizabeth said.

 

Jason smiled, knowing he could keep quiet and she would believe he was that noble and selfless. Finally he shook his head and said, “That isn’t why.”

 

“Then why?” Elizabeth asked her eyes clouded with confusion.

 

“I wanted a chance to find out why you were dancing on a table in a bar,” Jason said.

 

Elizabeth sighed and was silent for a long time before she said, “I almost got married a month ago.”

 

Jason tensed and his fists involuntarily balled into fists but he asked, “Would you like to tell me what happened?”

 

“He didn’t love me,” she replied matter-of-factly. “But I couldn’t see that. It’s funny because before the kidnapping I would have known immediately but this past year or so, someone had to point it out to me. I don’t know, maybe I did see it and was just ignoring it. I was so determined to make it work.”

 

“Why?” Jason asked.

 

“Because if Lucky didn’t love me that day then he hadn’t since he came back,” Elizabeth said. “And that would have meant I made the wrong choice, that I had no one to blame but myself for how lonely I had become. Because it would have meant I made the biggest mistake of my life letting you leave without me and that I hurt you for no reason.”

 

The last part was said so softly a normal person wouldn’t have heard it. But Jason did and he reached over and took her hand in his. Elizabeth turned her head and looked up into his eyes.

 

“I know I hurt you and I’m sorry,” she said.

 

Jason saw the guilt, loneliness, and sincerity in her eyes before he leaned down and kissed her gently.

 

“You haunted me across three continents,” Jason said. “And then I saw you at Jakes, I thought I was hallucinating. But it was real and you still haven’t told me why you were on the table.”

 

“About a week ago, I accepted that it was my own fault my life was such a mess,” Elizabeth said. “I know longer saw myself when I looked in the mirror and then Bobbie said something to me the other day and it made sense. I decided it was time to take my life back and to start really living again.”

 

Jason nodded. This was the same thought process that had led her to Jakes all that time ago when he had saved her from a guy who didn’t like the word no. The two sat in comfortable silence holding hands until Jason saw Elizabeth yawn.

 

“Come on,” Jason said, standing and pulling her to her feet. “I’ll take you to your studio.”

 

Jason drove the bike to her building but when he stopped, Elizabeth made no move to get off.

 

“I’ll walk you up,” Jason said turning slightly to look at her.

 

“Huh uh,” Elizabeth said shaking her had.

 

“Why not?” Jason asked amused by the half asleep woman.

 

“Because if I go up there and go to sleep, I’ll wake up in the morning and this will all have been a dream,” Elizabeth told him.

 

Moving with the lightning speed his enemies feared, Jason got off the bike and scooped Elizabeth into his arms. He carried her up the stairs and braced her against the wall while he unlocked her door. Jason carried her to the couch and sat down, removing his leather jacket from her while kicking off his shoes. He lifted her enough to lie on the couch with her on top of him.

 

“What are you doing, Jase?” Elizabeth asked without opening her eyes.

 

“Trying to go to sleep,” Jason said.

 

Elizabeth’s eyes flew open and locked on his before she stammered, “You don’t have to…I didn’t…”

 

“It’s going to be hard to think this was a dream if I’m here when you wake up, isn’t it?” Jason asked.

 

Elizabeth nodded mutely.

 

“Okay, then go to sleep,” Jason said knowing he wasn’t going to be able to sleep with her lying on top of him.

 

Elizabeth closed her eyes and fell asleep listening to Jason’s heartbeat, feeling warm and safe.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

 

At the same time inside Jakes, the bar went from stunned silence to a buzz of excited chatter.

 

“So anyone know who that guy was?” Sarah asked not really caring.

 

Two college students turned toward the table when they heard her.

 

“You didn’t recognize him? That was Jason Morgan,” the girl said.

 

The name sounded vaguely familiar to Sarah but she couldn’t place it.

 

Seeing the confusion on her face, the guy said, “THE Jason Morgan. You know, Sonny Corinthos’s enforcer. He’s been out of town for a while. Are you new? I’m not sure exactly how long he’s been gone but apparently he’s back.”

 

“A year,” Lucky said.

 

“What?” the guy asked and attention focused on Lucky.

 

“He’s been gone for a year,” Lucky said.

 

“Well someone needs to tell that girl he left with to be careful. I mean I know he’s gorgeous but that doesn’t make up for his job,” the girl said.

 

“Why? What’s his job?” Sarah asked.

 

“He’s a mob hitman,” the girl whispered.

 

Sarah’s head whipped around to look at Lucky, Nikolas, and Gia. “You let Lizzie leave here with a hitman?” she asked incredulously.

 

“Jason would never hurt Liz,” Gia said receiving glares from the brothers. “Oh come on you two, you both know it’s true.”

 

Finally Nikolas grudgingly agreed saying, “He wouldn’t hurt her but he could get her killed.”

 

Gia rolled her eyes. This was the same song and dance Nikolas always did when it came to Jason’s relationship with Liz.

 

It didn’t take long for word to spread throughout the bar that the foursome new both Jason and Liz. The group decided to leave before the crowd made it impossible. Nikolas and Gia headed to Spoon Island and Lucky went back to Kellys.

 

Sarah went to Liz’s studio. She got there just as the couple pulled up. She waited outside the building for half an hour after they had gone in before walking back to Kelly’s boiling with rage. Sarah would not allow Lizzie to get away with this. Sarah was supposed to be the one who was happy and in love with the golden boy. Now this walking Greek god of a man had shown up and he wanted Lizzie! No, Sarah would make her pay for stealing Sarah’s attention.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~     

 

The next morning Elizabeth woke up to her bed moving and a thumping noise right under her head. Her eyes flew open and she gasped thinking she had gotten drunk and passed out on the floor at Jakes.

 

“Morning,” Jason’s sleep heavy voice rumbled from under her.

 

Elizabeth lifted her head and looked into a pair of ice blue eyes that she had been dreaming of for over a year.

 

“If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up,” she said. “Ever.”

 

Jason chuckled making Elizabeth shiver. “Are you saying you dreamed about me while I was gone, Webber?”

 

“It’s only fair,” Elizabeth said, “since you told me I haunted you.”

 

Jason laughed again. Growing serious he asked, “So would it be okay if I stay here with you?”

 

“Is something going on?” she asked.

 

“No, this isn’t like last time,” Jason said. “But staying with you would be better than staying at Jakes.”

 

Elizabeth smiled and said, “You know you’re always welcome to stay here.”

 

“With you?” Jason asked.

 

“I just said that,” Liz said in confusion.

 

“No, I said with you, you said here. Those could be different,” Jason said.

 

“Then you are always welcome to stay with me,” she said.

 

Jason smiled at her as she gingerly got off of him and he sat up. He took her hand and asked, “What are your plans today?”

 

“I didn’t have any,” she said. “I don’t have to work so I was probably going to paint.”

 

“I have to go see Sonny but other than that I could just hang out with you if you want,” Jason said.

 

“That would be nice,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Then I’ll see you soon,” Jason said kissing her gently before he left.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

Two days later Elizabeth had barely left her studio. She and Jason had spent their days talking while Elizabeth painted and sketched. Jason had left to have several meetings but other than that he had been with Elizabeth.

 

Now Elizabeth had to face reality and go to work. She entered Kellys to see Lucky, Nikolas, Gia, and Sarah sitting at a table. She sighed. She should have known they wouldn’t wait any longer.

 

“Long time no see, Liz,” Gia said trying to ease the tension.

 

“Yeah,” Elizabeth said putting on her apron and grabbing an order pad. The diner was filling up fast and if she was lucky she could avoid the inevitable confrontation until the end of her shift.

 

“Where have you been?” Nikolas asked neutrally.

 

“At my studio,” Elizabeth said taking several tables’s orders and heading for the kitchen.

 

“Alone?” Lucky asked stiffly.

 

Elizabeth let out an audible sigh and walked over to their table. “Ask whatever it is you really want to know.”

 

“Is Jason living at your studio again?” Lucky asked emphasizing again.

 

“Yes, Jason is living with me. Do you really want to have this conversation in a crowded diner?” Elizabeth replied.

 

Elizabeth,” Nikolas said in a tone that would be used to explain something to a not very bright three year old, “We’ve been through this before. Seeing Jason Morgan is dangerous. It could get you killed.”

 

That was the last straw for Elizabeth who looked at Nikolas with fury in her eyes. When she spoke, her voice dripped venom, “Because spending time with the Cassadines and Spencers has been nothing but roses and tea parties.”

 

Nikolas stiffened and Lucky blanched.

 

“Look, Nikolas,” she said her voice now nothing but tired, “we’ve been friends for a long time. Now you have two choices. You can keep up with this stupid hatred of Jason and not be my friend. Or you can support my choices now matter how distasteful to you and continue to be my friend. It’s up to you.”

 

“You would throw away all our years of friendship because of Jason?” Nikolas asked incredulously.

 

“This isn’t entirely about Jason and you know it,” Elizabeth shot back at him. “You’re supposed to be my friend. Friends don’t lie to each other. Friends don’t encourage a relationship that borders on abusive. Friends don’t stand by and watch you choose a man who doesn’t love you over one who does. I made the wrong choice once but I was given a second chance. I don’t intend to lose him again even if it means losing you.”

 

The whole diner was silent for several minutes before Gia said, “Nikolas is just concerned about your safety.”

 

“Nikolas is just an idiot,” Jason said from the doorway.

 

Elizabeth smiled at him before walking behind the counter to pour his coffee. Jason walked to the counter giving Nikolas and Lucky his trademark enforcer glare.

 

“I just stopped to see how you were doing,” Jason said quietly at the counter.

 

“Are you hungry?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“Do you need me to stay?” Jason countered.

 

“I’m handling it,” she said.

 

“So I heard,” he said. “I should get back to the warehouse but I’ll pick you up after your shift if you want.”

“I’ll desperately need to go nowhere by then,” she said with a smile.

 

Jason took the cup of coffee and, with one more glare at Nikolas and Lucky, left.

 

The table with two of the musketeers left Liz alone after that and she went about her shift. An hour before she was scheduled to leave, Courtney and AJ came in. Liz walked over to get their order.

 

“I heard my brother’s back in town,” AJ said looking up at Liz. Then he glanced at Courtney and mumbled, “It would be nice if he went to see Mother and Grandmother soon. They miss him.”

 

Liz looked at AJ silently for a moment before she said, “I’ll mention it to him.”

 

Knowing AJ’s brother worked for Sonny and that Liz was Sonny’s friend, Courtney asked, “Do you…have you seen my brother?”

 

“I only see him when he comes in here usually,” Liz said.

 

“Well if you see him, would you tell him I said hello and I hope he’s doing well,” Courtney said.

 

“Sure, I can pass that message along,” Liz said before going to put their order in.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~   

 

Three weeks had gone by since the confrontation at Kellys. Elizabeth and Jason spent the majority of their time together, especially since Jason had bought a bed for the studio.

 

Elizabeth smiled to herself at the memory as she sat in the hospital waiting room.

 

It had been the morning after Jason had come back to Port Charles. He’d gone to see Sonny and Elizabeth had been painting when there was a knock on the door. Liz opened it to two delivery men.

 

“Delivery for Elizabeth Webber,” the man said.

 

“From who?” Liz asked suspiciously.

 

The man glanced down at his clipboard and said, “I only have initials—JM. Where would you like us to set it up?”

 

Elizabeth looked out in the hall to see what Jason was having delivered. She was stunned to see a mattress and unassembled bed frame. Absently she opened the door to let the delivery men in.

 

“Um, anywhere away from the windows, I guess,” Liz said.

 

The second delivery man walked in with the headboard and said, “Not into watching the sunrise from bed?”

 

“Actually, I’m not into having a bullet hit me while I sleep,” Elizabeth retorted.

 

Jason chuckled from the doorway at her comment but only Elizabeth heard him. She looked at the bed and then at him questioningly.

 

Jason shrugged and said, “The only way I’m sleeping on that couch again is if I’ve been shot.”

 

Elizabeth shook the memory away as she heard her grandmother call her name.

 

“Hello, Grams,” Elizabeth said.

 

Elizabeth, I’ve been hearing some disturbing rumors that you are associating with criminals again,” Audrey said. Elizabeth let out a sigh but Audrey continued, “I will not continue to pay the rent for your studio if you are going to use it to harbor mobsters.”

 

Jason stepped off the elevator in time to hear the threat.

 

“That’s fine, Grams. You don’t need to pay for half my rent if you don’t want to,” Liz said.

 

“Be realistic, Elizabeth. You can’t afford the full rent on what you make as a waitress,” Audrey said.

 

“She doesn’t have to,” Jason said walking up behind Elizabeth. “I’ll pay half since I am living there as well.”

 

“Living there?” Audrey asked aghast.

 

“Yes, Grams. Jason’s living with me,” Liz said.

 

Audrey’s shoulders slumped as she turned around and walked away without second glance.

 

“You okay?” Jason asked softly.

 

Liz looked up into his eyes and he saw the tears there. Jason pulled her into his embrace and felt her cling to him with all her strength.

 

“I knew this was coming but somehow I’m never prepared when it happens,” Liz said.

 

“If this is too much, I can move to Jakes,” Jason offered.

 

“It won’t make a difference,” Liz said. “You’re in my life whether or not we live together so I’d rather have you as close as possible.”

The smile he gave her was so beautiful Liz leaned up and kissed him softly before saying, “I have to go or I’ll be late for work.”

 

“I’ll see you at home,” Jason said.

 

Liz nodded as the elevator doors closed.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~       

 

Later that day, Jason entered the salon of the Quartermaine house through the patio doors. Lila looked up and smiled at him.

 

“Jason, it’s so good to see you,” Lila said.

 

“It’s good to see you, too, Grandmother,” Jason said giving her a kiss before sitting on the couch.

 

“What’s wrong, dear?” Lila asked. At his look she said, “I can still read you, and even if I couldn’t, this is the second time you’ve been here in less than a month.”

“I’m sorry. I should visit more often,” he said.

 

“I didn’t say it to make you feel guilty,” Lila said. “I’d like to help.”

 

“I’m afraid I’m hurting Elizabeth,” Jason said quietly.

 

“Why do you think that?” she asked.

 

“Audrey cut her off and her friends barely speak to her because she’s with me,” he told her.

 

“If her friends desert her because of that then she’s better off without them,” Lila said. “You care a great deal for Elizabeth don’t you?”

 

“I think…I think I love her,” Jason confessed.

 

At that moment Tracey walked into the room. Spotting Jason she said, “Well, well, the prodigal son has returned.”

 

“Tracey, leave and do not allow any other member of this family in this room until Jason is gone,” Lila commanded.

 

“Yes, Mother,” Tracey said, backing out of the room and closing the door.

 

“I should take you to a meeting with some of my uncooperative associates,” Jason said.

 

“Oh dear,” Lila said with a chuckle. Turning serious she asked, “Now, does Elizabeth love you?”

 

“She hasn’t said so but I think she does,” Jason said.

 

“Then stop worrying about what she’s losing by being with you and remember that true love may carry a high price but is always worth it,” Lila said.

 

“Thank you, Grandmother,” Jason said heading for the door.

 

“Oh and Jason, tell her how you feel. She’ll need to hear you say it,” Lila said.

 

Jason nodded before disappearing from the patio.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~    

 

Meanwhile Liz was working a slow shift at Kellys when Courtney came in and sat at the counter.

 

“Hi, Elizabeth,” Courtney said hesitantly. They didn’t really know each other but Courtney was hoping they would become friends.

 

“Hey,” Liz said.

 

“You seem out of it,” Courtney said. “Want to talk about it?”

 

“I just had a run in with my grandmother,” Liz said.

 

“I take it you two don’t really get along,” Courtney said.

 

“Normally, we do but she doesn’t approve of my relationship with Jason,” Liz said.

 

“I’ve noticed a lot of people in this town feel that way,” Courtney said. “So if everyone agrees that Jason is bad news why are you with him?”

 

“Why didn’t you listen when everyone said AJ was only using you to get to Sonny?” Liz challenged.

 

“Point taken,” Courtney said.

 

“It just makes me so mad because they don’t know him,” Liz said. “Except Lucky who actually used to be his friend.”

 

“Well maybe Lucky’s jealous, Courtney suggested.

 

“No, it’s not that. At least not completely,” Liz said. At Courtney’s look, Liz said, “Lucky’s animosity goes back a long way.”

 

“I’m sure your friends will come around,” Courtney said. “In the meantime, I’d be happy to pick up the slack. Between my brother and my husband, very few people in this town have been willing to give me a chance.”

 

“I guess us misfits should stick together,” Liz said with a smile.

 

Courtney smiled back until she heard a motorcycle approach. Courtney turned to watch the rider get off the bike.

 

“Remind me that I’m married,” Courtney said without looking at Liz.

 

“You’re married,” Liz said with amusement.

 

“I love AJ but I’d have to be dead not to appreciate a man that sexy,” Courtney said watching the blonde god walk into Kellys.

 

“I know exactly what you mean,” Liz said as Jason walked to the counter. To Jason, she said, “You look like you need a ride to nowhere.”

 

Jason nodded and asked, “You up for it?”

 

“Always,” Liz said. “Oh Jason, this is Courtney Quartermaine. Courtney, Jason Morgan.”

 

Jason glanced at the woman who was his best friend’s sister and his own sister-in-law and nodded.

 

Courtney looked back and forth between the two before looking at Liz and saying, “I totally get it.”

 

Liz grinned and before she left said, “Thanks for listening. I’ll see you soon.”

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~       

 

Jason and Liz rode for hours before Jason took them down the road to nowhere. He pulled over near the statue and got off. Elizabeth followed him silently. They sat next to the statue in silence for a long time.

 

“I’d like to help if you can talk about it,” Liz said softly.

 

“I went to visit Lila today,” he told her.

 

“Did you have a run in with Edward or AJ?” Liz asked rubbing her hand up and down his arm comfortingly.

 

Jason shook his head and let out a deep breath. “She said I needed to tell you but she didn’t tell me how hard it would be.”

 

“Tell me what, Jason?” Liz asked a ball of fear forming in her stomach.

 

“That I love you,” Jason blurted out. “I know I should have done something romantic or said it better but I love you.”

 

“I didn’t realize how much I needed you to say that until I hear it,” Liz said. “I love you, have for a long time.”

 

Jason leaned down and kissed her. The kiss went from gentle to all-consuming in seconds. After a minute Jason lifted his head, breathing raggedly.

 

“We better get out of here,” Jason said standing.

 

“Why?” Liz asked still a little dazed from the kiss.

 

Jason pulled her to her feet and straight into his arms. With her body flush to his and his face only an inch from hers, he whispered, “Because otherwise I’m going to have you flat on your back naked in less than a minute.”

 

Liz looked startled at first before a grin spread across her face. “It would be a shame to waste the beautiful bed you bought by just sleeping on it,” Liz said.

 

Jason pulled her toward the bike and Liz laughed at the fire in his eyes before he took off. Neither of them had ever wanted to get out of nowhere so quickly before.

 

CHAPTER 3

 

Three days later Elizabeth was working the breakfast shift at Kellys when Nikolas and Gia came in. A few minutes later Lucky and Sarah came downstairs and joined them. It took all of thirty seconds for Liz to figure out her sister and Lucky were together. She waited for the pain and jealousy to wash over her but found she felt nothing but relief. Liz walked over to take their order, steeling herself for another round of “Jason will get you killed.”

 

“Hey, Liz,” Gia said brightly.

 

“How are you?” Liz asked neutrally.

 

“Fine,” Nikolas said. “Look, Liz, could we try to be friends again?”

 

“I don’t know. Can you try?” she asked.

 

“We’re willing,” Lucky said.

 

“Okay,” Liz said with a tentative smile.

 

“Great!” Gia said. “Nikolas and I were talking last night and we thought it might be fun for all of us to get together for an informal dinner party tonight.”

 

“Sounds good. Why don’t we have it at the studio?” Liz asked testing them.

 

A look of unease crossed the faces of Nikolas and Lucky before they both nodded.

 

“Good. Jason has to work so I was going to be alone and now I won’t be,” Liz said. “I’ll make dessert.”

 

“We’ll have Mrs. Lansbury put together a couple of entrees,” Nikolas said.

 

“I’ll bring salad,” Sarah said.

 

“I’ll bring drinks,” Lucky said.

 

“So I’ll see you all at the studio around 7,” Liz said. The group agreed and Liz moved to wait on the other customers.

 

That afternoon Jason walked into the studio to see three dozen brownies on the counter along with all the dishes Liz owned. Liz was vacuuming the couch and didn’t hear him until he was right behind her.

 

“Did I forget to tell you I have to work tonight?” Jason asked glancing around.

 

“No, you told me,” Liz said. “Nikolas, Lucky, Gia and Sarah are coming here for dinner.”

 

“Okay,” Jason said.

 

“They said they’re willing to try so I’m giving them the chance to prove it,” Liz said looking at Jason. “You know, Sarah and Lucky are together.”

 

Jason watched her for several moments before asking, “Are you okay with that?”

 

Elizabeth looked up at him again and gave him a heart-stoppingly beautiful and honest smile. “I actually felt relieved when I figured it out,” she said.

 

“I’m going to go before you decide I need vacuumed too,” Jason said.

 

Liz turned the vacuum off and caught him at the door.

 

“I love you,” she told him giving him a kiss. “Be careful.”

 

“I love you too,” Jason said kissing her until her toes curled. “That’s to give you something to look forward to after your friends leave.”

 

Jason walked out and shut the door. Liz let out a breath. Damn, but that man is good with his mouth, she thought as she went back to cleaning.

 

By 7:15 everyone was there dishing up food and drinks. By 8:15 they were digging into the brownies while laughing and talking like old times.

 

Suddenly Liz went completely still and silent. She reached over and grabbed her cell phone dialing the first speed dial. No answer. She called the second number. No answer. Going into her phone’s directory, she tried three more numbers. No answer at any of them.

 

“Liz, what’s going on? What’s the matter?” Gia asked.

 

“I…I don’t know. Something has happened to Jason,” Liz said shakily, trying all the numbers again.

 

“I’m sure it’s nothing,” Sarah said dismissively. Liz glared at her.

 

“Hey, calm down,” Lucky said. “He probably just got arrested. Alexis will get him released soon and he’ll call you.”

 

“Maybe,” Liz said sitting back down.

 

For the next hour Liz tried to relax and enjoy herself but she couldn’t get rid of the nagging sense that Jason was in trouble.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~ 

 

Meanwhile Jason had been shadowing the guy he and Sonny thought was responsible for the drugs flooding the territory. Francis was behind Jason, making sure the guy didn’t have anyone try to take Jason out from behind. Unfortunately Francis was too far away to intervene when whoever the guy was meeting realized he was being followed and shot Jason and Jason’s prey before disappearing into the shadows.

 

Francis quickly took stock of the location and knew there was a place close by that Jason would be taken care of. He picked Jason up and carried him to the safe haven.

 

Carly opened the door, ready to take a strip off whoever was leaning on her doorbell. She immediately yelled for her mother and led Francis to a bedroom on the first floor. Bobbie rushed in and took charge, giving Jason the care she had been trained to administer.

 

Jason thrashed around repeatedly calling out “Elizabeth” in a thready whisper.

 

“What did he say? What does he want?” Carly asked.

 

Elizabeth,” Francis and Bobbie replied in unison.

 

Carly’s eyes narrowed but she put her dislike of the girl aside. If Jason thought he needed her to get through this, then Carly would bring the muffin, even if she had to be nice to her to do so.

 

“Stay with Jason,” Carly told Francis. “Max, let’s go.”

 

“Where are we going, Mrs. C.?” Max asked as he started the car.

 

“Elizabeth Webber’s studio,” Carly said through clenched teeth, her voice resigned.

 

Max suppressed a smile. No one had told Carly that Jason was living with Elizabeth. If Jason didn’t feel the need to tell her, then the guards didn’t think it was there place to enlighten her, especially since it was bound to bring Carly’s wrath down on Elizabeth. Not that Elizabeth couldn’t hold her own with Carly but there was no need to ruin Elizabeth’s happiness any sooner than necessary.

 

At 9:30, Carly knocked on Liz’s door. Liz threw the door open expecting Sonny or a guard. Taking one look at Carly’s face, Liz grabbed her jacket and followed without a word.

 

The silence in the studio was broken by Gia who said, “Lucky, wasn’t that your cousin?”

 

“Yep, that was Carly,” Lucky said.

 

“I thought they couldn’t stand each other,” Gia said.

 

“They can’t,” Lucky said.

 

“Then what the hell just happened,” Sarah demanded.

 

“You just witnessed the Jason bond,” Nikolas said. “No matter how much two women hate each other, if they both love Jason and there is a crisis, the two will put their differences aside until the crisis is resolved.”

 

“How do you know?” Sarah asked.

 

“I’ve seen it before,” Nikolas said and no one missed the bitterness in his voice. “Emily would partner with Satan if it would help Jason.”

 

“Well we might as well clean up here since it seems the party is over,” Lucky said.

 

As the group cleaned up the remnants of dinner, Sarah began formulating a new tactic in her plan. She had originally hoped that telling her Grandmother of the relationship would be enough to break the happy couple up. Ever since that had failed, Sarah had been trying to come up with a new plan that would not implicate her but would end the relationship. After Lucky’s comments about his cousin hating Lizzie, Sarah was pretty sure she could manipulate the woman into doing the dirty work for her.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~     

 

Carly and Elizabeth rode to the brownstone in silence. When the car pulled up, Liz was out the door and in the house before Max could shut the car off. Carly was not far behind her. Francis opened the bedroom door and Liz rushed in to see Jason unconscious.

 

“I gave him pain medication that knocked him out and I stitched him up,” Bobbie said. “But even with the meds, he’s restless. He needs to calm down or he’ll pop the stitches and he can’t afford that.”

 

The three women watched as his head rolled from side to side and he thrashed about on the bed. Liz walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Taking his hand, she leaned down to whisper in his ear.

 

“I’m here now, Jase. You need to rest but I’ll be right here. I won’t leave you,” Liz said.

 

Everyone watched as whatever Elizabeth said to him calmed him down infinitely. Jason seemed to stop fighting and go into a peaceful sleep. Carly looked around the room. No one else seemed surprised that the muffin had that effect on Jason. Maybe, just maybe the girl had something going for her, Carly thought. Not that I’ll ever like her.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~        

 

For the next six hours Elizabeth sat next to Jason’s bed, holding his hand and keeping up a continuous stream of rambling so that Jason would know she was there. When she saw his eyelids flutter, she stopped talking. When Jason opened his eyes, they immediately found Liz’s.

 

“Hi,” she said softly.

 

“Hey,” he said starting to sit up until she put a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Bobbie said you need to stay as still as possible,” Liz told him. “She doesn’t want you popping your stitches.”

 

“Where am I and how long have I been here?” Jason asked.

 

“You’re at Bobbie’s brownstone and you’ve been here almost seven hours,” Liz said.

 

“And you’ve been here the whole time,” Jason stated. “You look exhausted.”

“Gee, thanks,” Liz said.

 

“Why don’t you lie down with me and get some sleep?” Jason suggested.

 

Liz shook her head and said, “I don’t want to hurt you or make you pop your stitches.”

 

“I could hear you talking to me while I was sleeping and I kept wondering why I couldn’t feel you next to me but I couldn’t wake up to find out,” Jason said, pulling back the covers. “Please.”

 

“That was the pain medication,” Liz said easing into the bed next to him.

 

Jason and Liz stayed at the brownstone for two days before Jason insisted on going back to the studio. As the guards helped Jason to the car, Carly stopped Liz.

 

“I don’t know why he wants you around but it’s obvious he does,” Carly said. “Take care of him and don’t hurt him again or I will personally make your life hell.”

 

“I’ll take care of him,” Liz promised knowing Carly was worried about Jason. “And I’m aware of how lucky I am to have gotten a second chance with him. I don’t intend to screw it up.”

 

Carly nodded as Liz went to join Jason in the car. While Carly would never like the muffin, she could see the love between the two and she wanted that for Jason. She had meant what she said though. If Liz hurt Jason, Carly would see to it that the girl paid, just as she would anyone who hurt Jason.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~ 

 

Elizabeth spent the next few days taking care of Jason while Marco, Johnny, and Francis took turns standing guard outside the studio door. Liz knew they were there for her and not Jason but she chose to ignore that fact.

 

On the evening of the second day back at the studio, Liz brought up the topic of new windows.

 

As she brought a spoonful of soup to his mouth, Liz said, “So I was thinking I should get bulletproof windows installed.”

 

Jason swallowed the soup and watched her for a minute before saying, “If you don’t feel safe with me here, I’ll leave. But there’s no reason for you to get bulletproof windows. There isn’t anywhere for someone to shoot from into here.”

“Except a boat in the water or a roof of a warehouse,” Liz said. “And I wasn’t thinking of getting it because I feel unsafe.”

 

“Then why?” Jason asked.

 

“To keep you safe,” Liz said.

 

“Me?” Jason questioned.

 

Liz nodded and said, “I knew when you got shot. I didn’t know that’s what had happened but I knew something had happened to you.” Liz paused and looked into his eyes before continuing. “Lucky tried to tell me you had just been arrested but I knew it was more. And I couldn’t get a hold of anyone to find out what had happened even though I knew something was wrong. Then Carly showed up at my door. One look at her face and I knew you’d been shot.”

 

Jason searched her eyes as she spoke. She didn’t try to hide anything from him and what he saw in her eyes floored him: pure love and total acceptance. Not just of him but of his life, his work and the danger of being with him. Jason had never thought he wanted or needed anyone’s acceptance before but found himself realizing he had craved it from Elizabeth.

 

“It’s just, when you come home, I don’t want you to have to worry about your safety or constantly be on guard against an attack,” Liz said.

 

“Hey,” Jason said taking her hand. “It’s not a place that makes me feel that way. To me, home has never been about location. Home is you.”

 

Elizabeth melted as those words and leaned into kiss him.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~         

 

On the third day Bobbie called.

 

“I know you have a lot going on with Jason right now,” Bobbie said. “I wouldn’t ask if there was anyone else but Penny is at a doctor’s appointment and will be an hour late. Please, Liz, it will only be until Penny gets here. An hour and a half max.”

 

Elizabeth looked at Jason hesitantly but he said, “Go, I’ll be fine alone for a couple of hours.”

 

“Okay, Bobbie,” Liz said. “I’ll be there soon.”

 

Liz hung up and grabbed her jacket and purse.

 

“Take Francis with you,” Jason said.

 

“I’d rather have him here in case you need something,” Liz said.

 

“I’ll call Max if I need anything,” Jason said. “He’s at the warehouse.”

 

“Okay,” Liz said giving him a kiss. “I love you.”

 

“I love you, too. Be careful,” Jason said.

 

Elizabeth took off out the door and Francis followed at a slight distance. While Liz had had guards before, she wasn’t used to them being around constantly and Francis didn’t want to crowd her.

 

Unfortunately Francis didn’t realize how fast Liz was walking and before he knew it, she was twenty yards ahead of him. Then she turned a corner and he lost sight of her.

 

Liz turned the corner to head off the docks and stopped when a tall, dark-haired man stepped out of the shadows in front of her.

 

“Miss Webber,” the man said. “I’ve been waiting to meet you.”

 

Elizabeth cocked her head to the side and studied him for a moment. He oozed power and control reminding her of Sonny and Jason. But unlike Sonny and Jason, the vibes this man put off did not promise violent danger to anyone who crossed him. Well, if he thinks Elizabeth Webber is going to be an easy mark, he needs to be introduced to Lizzie, Elizabeth thought.

 

Luis Alcazar was a man used to evoking fear and being obeyed. As Elizabeth Webber gave him a thorough once over, he felt himself being weighed and measured before she very blatantly dismissed him in her mind. Elizabeth saw his shock before he managed to slide his mask back into place. She smiled inwardly.

 

“Don’t you know it’s dangerous to walk alone near the docks?” Luis asked trying to intimidate her.

 

“The same could be said for talking to strange men,” Elizabeth retorted. “And I’m not alone. I’ve got my very own tall, burly shadow.”

 

“How rude of me,” Luis said extending his hand. “I’m Luis Alcazar. But I don’t see your shadow.”

 

Ignoring the offered hand, Elizabeth said, “That’s because he is one of the best. Shadows aren’t supposed to be seen, Mr. Alcazar.”

 

“I had heard Jason Morgan was the best but someone managed to take him out,” Luis said.

 

Elizabeth looked at him for a second and then burst out laughing. “That was a good one. But if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work.”

 

Luis simply stared after the brunette as she walked away, barely managing to hide as her bodyguard came around the corner. It’s not possible Morgan survived, Luis thought. Is it?

 

Elizabeth intended to tell Francis about the encounter as soon as they got to Kellys. Getting to the diner, Elizabeth found it crawling with customers and the newest waitress in a complete panic. Encounter with Alcazar forgotten, Elizabeth immediately took charge and brought order to the diner. Just as the rush ended, Penny came in.

 

Elizabeth said a quick hello and good-bye to Penny before heading out the door, eager as she was to get back to Jason. Francis once again trailed her at a short distance.

 

As she walked home, Elizabeth couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. The closer she got to the studio, the worse the feeling got until she was flat-out running up the stairs to get to Jason. She heard a voice in the studio as she approached so she paused, not wanting to interrupt if Max was meeting with Jason.

 

“I almost didn’t believe it when your girlfriend implied that you were still alive, but I decided to check for myself,” Luis said.

 

Elizabeth pushed the door open to see Luis with a gun in hand. Quickly and silently she grabbed the bat from next to the door and walked up behind him. Just as he was about to aim at Jason, Elizabeth swung, connecting the bat to the back of Luis’s head and knocking him out. Dropping the bat, Liz rushed to Jason, checking him for injuries. He remained unconscious and she realized his pain medication had kicked in.

 

Francis entered the open door, gun drawn, knowing there was trouble. Taking in the scene, he put the gun away and pulled out his cell phone. “Max, I need you to bring a car to the studio. There’s been an intruder. We need to get Jason and Miss Webber somewhere secure.”

 

Elizabeth smiled up at Francis gratefully and he said, “Max will be here in five minutes. Do you want to pack some things to take?”

 

Liz nodded and began throwing clothes for herself and Jason in a bag along with his medications. Five minutes later Max pulled up to the building and called Francis. The guard picked Jason up and headed for the door.

 

Seeing Elizabeth hesitate and look at Alcazar, Francis said, “Don’t worry. We’ll be back for him.” Liz nodded and followed him down to the car.

 

A minute later two men came out of hiding down the hall. They walked to Elizabeth’s studio and, after making sure they wouldn’t be caught, went in and retrieved their boss. Alcazar was a difficult man and none of his employees were very loyal. They weren’t about to risk a run-in with Corinthos’s people to help Alcazar but they were willing to save him if there was no risk to themselves. He did pay fairly well after all.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~    

 

Jason woke up half-way to Harborview Towers. Francis explained what had happened, finishing as they pulled up to the building. Johnny let Elizabeth and Jason into Sonny’s penthouse and Max and Francis left to deal with Alcazar. Elizabeth was making Jason lay on the couch when Sonny came out of the kitchen.

 

“What happened?” Sonny asked.

 

Elizabeth quickly explained what had taken place in the studio.

 

“I hope Francis or Max recognized him,” Sonny said.

 

“It was Luis Alcazar,” Elizabeth said and both men turned to stare at her.

 

“How do you know?” Jason asked.

 

“I ran into him on my way to Kelly’s,” she said. “He introduced himself.”

Sonny cursed in Spanish and Jason said, “We need somewhere safe to stay until I can deal with this, Sonny.”

 

Sonny stood silently looking out the windows for a while before turning around with a grin.

 

“What?” Jason asked as Elizabeth eyed Sonny warily.

 

“I think you guys should move in across the hall,” Sonny said.

 

“Move in with Alexis?” Elizabeth asked, confused.

 

Jason shook his head at his friend. “Still won’t move in with you, huh?”

 

“No, she keeps saying she needs to keep her independence,” Sonny said. “But now she’ll have to move in because you guys need somewhere safe to live.”

 

“And the fact that she is well aware that you have multiple safe houses we could use?” Elizabeth pointedly asked.

 

“If you don’t want to stay in the penthouse, we’ll go somewhere else,” Jason said to her.

 

“It’s not that,” Elizabeth said, looking at Sonny. “I don’t want you pushing Alexis into something she’s not ready for.”

 

Sonny hung his head in guilt. “I just don’t understand why she won’t give me a commitment.”

 

“I doubt you’ve given her one,” Elizabeth said.

 

“I asked her to move in with me,” Sonny said.

 

“That isn’t a commitment,” Elizabeth said. “That’s just easier access for you.”

 

“Then what should I do?” Sonny asked.

 

“Give her time,” Elizabeth said. “I love you, Sonny, but your track record with women doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. And remember that she’s a Cassadine—they have a very difficult time trusting people.”

 

At that moment Alexis opened the door and walked in. She glanced around the room and knew something was up. “What’s going on?”

 

“Luis Alcazar broke into Elizabeth’s studio to finish Jason off,” Sonny said.

 

Alexis looked at Jason to make sure he was okay and he smiled at her.

 

“Sonny thinks we should move into your penthouse,” Elizabeth said.

 

Alexis looked at Sonny and raised an eyebrow.

 

“Well, I was thinking since it would only be for a little while, you could stay here and we could do sort of a trial run,” Sonny said. “You know, just to prove that you wouldn’t kill me if we lived together.”

 

Alexis was silent for a moment before she said, “You must have me confused with one of my clients since they are the ones always being accused of violence.”

 

Sonny grinned and said, “Oh yeah, are the guilty of all these violent acts?”

 

“Of course not,” Alexis said with a straight face. “They are coffee importers.”

 

“Oh my God!” Elizabeth said and Alexis and Sonny turned to look at her. “This is actually how you guys flirt. That is just wrong!”

 

Jason started to laugh only to groan when the laughter caused pain to shoot through him. Elizabeth rushed to his side to check on him and Sonny stepped forward in concern. Alexis laid a hand on his arm and nodded toward the kitchen. Since Elizabeth was taking care of Jason, Sonny followed Alexis.

 

“I will agree to this because it is obvious Elizabeth and Jason need somewhere safe to stay until this problem is dealt with,” Alexis said once they were in the kitchen. “But make no mistake, Sonny, I know exactly what you are trying to do. I will stay in the guest room.”

 

“Now, Counselor,” Sonny said but Alexis cut him off.

 

“Don’t even try it. The only time you win an argument against me is when you use physical persuasion,” Alexis said.

 

Sonny stiffened as if she had slapped him and his eyes grew cold. “I have never forced…”

 

Alexis held up her hand and said, “That isn’t what I meant. Physical persuasion was a euphemism for seduction. And I never said I was unwilling.”

 

Sonny grinned at that. “So you’re saying I could seduce you into staying in my room.”

 

Alexis suppressed a smile and said, “I guess you’ll just have to try and see if it works.”

 

“Now that’s one hell of a challenge,” Sonny said, smiling as he walked back into the living room.

 

CHAPTER 4

 

Three weeks later Elizabeth was sketching Jason while he read a book on the couch. He had healed a great deal but Sonny and Elizabeth were adamant that he was not ready to go back to work yet.

 

“Jason!” Sonny yelled bursting into the penthouse. “Alexis is sick. I called the doctor but she’s freaking out.”

 

Elizabeth and Jason rushed across the hall behind a frantic Sonny to find Alexis sitting on the couch sobbing.

 

“She’s been sick the last couple of days, hasn’t been able to keep much down,” Sonny said. “And when I teased her about not liking my cooking, this happened.”

 

Alexis looked up then, directly into Jason’s eyes. Jason studied her for a few moments before he grinned. Elizabeth noticed his smile and hit him on the arm.

 

“Alexis being sick isn’t amusing,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Alexis isn’t sick,” Jason said. “Not really anyway.”

 

At that Alexis started sobbing again.

 

“What do you mean, Jason?” Sonny demanded.

 

“Alexis isn’t sick,” Jason said. “She’s pregnant.”

 

“Oh!” Elizabeth exclaimed.

 

“Come on,” Jason said. “We should leave these two alone.”

 

Alexis’s head shot up at that and Elizabeth saw the terror on her face. So did Sonny.

 

“Actually I think I should stay with Alexis in case she needs anything,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Sonny will take care of her,” Jason said.

 

“But…” Elizabeth said.

 

Elizabeth,” Sonny said quietly cutting her off. “Alexis will call or come over if she needs you.”

 

Elizabeth looked around Sonny to Alexis who nodded weakly. Elizabeth followed Jason across the hall and Sonny sat on the coffee table in front of Alexis. He watched as she steeled herself for his anger. He doubted she knew it was visible but he could see her putting every piece of armor in place.

 

“The doctor will be here soon so he can confirm that you’re pregnant,” Sonny said calmly.

 

“I already have confirmation,” Alexis said. “I saw Dr. Meadows last week.”

 

“But you weren’t even sick last week,” Sonny said in confusion.

 

“Yes, I was,” Alexis said. “It was only happening when I’d first get to my office.”

 

“So it’s worse now. You really are sick. Something could be really wrong,” Sonny said beginning to panic.

 

“No, I think it’s stress. This started right after I found out and I knew I’d have to tell you,” Alexis said.

 

“And you were scared about telling me?” Sonny asked. When Alexis nodded, Sonny said, “Why? Come on, Alexis. Words are your favorite thing so talk to me. Tell me why you were afraid to tell me and why you were so terrified of me that Elizabeth didn’t want to leave.”

 

Alexis remained silent so Sonny continued. “You know how I feel about children and you know about my mother so I really don’t understand how you could think I would…”

 

“That isn’t what I’m afraid of,” Alexis said cutting him off. “I’ve never been physically afraid of you despite your dubious reputation. But there is a string of women in your past who made one mistake and were tossed out like garbage. If you thought that I was trying to, I don’t know, trap you or something…”

 

“Trap me?” Sonny said with a laugh. “I’ve asked you to move in with me a dozen times and each time I thought you were going to run for the hills.” When Alexis still looked extremely upset, he asked, “What else, Alexis?”

 

Alexis remained silent for several long moments before she said quietly, “I’m not like Carly.”

 

“What?” Sonny asked, confused.

 

“I’m not like Carly,” Alexis repeated with quiet conviction. “I know how you treated Carly when she was pregnant and I will not be treated that way. I will eat what I want, when I want and I will work as much as I want. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eat what you cook because you are much better at it than I am. But I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself and anyone else that happens to show up. I will not be treated like a child.”

 

“What exactly are you saying?” Sonny asked, not wanting to misunderstand.

 

“If you insist on treating me that way, I will walk and I won’t look back,” Alexis said. “You’ll be in our child’s life but you will not be in mine.”

 

This time it was Sonny who remained silent for a long time. When he finally spoke he was subdued. “Do you know I can’t imagine what my life would be like if you were to walk out of it. If I had nothing else, when I could count on nothing else, I could count on you, on your friendship.” Sonny paused for several seconds before continuing. “I can’t promise that I won’t ever ask you to eat more or rest more or work less but I can promise to try not to try and run your life.”

 

“That’s all I ask,” Alexis said with a smile.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

 

Elizabeth stepped out of the elevator after a long shift at Kellys two days later. All she wanted to do was crawl into bed with Jason but she realized there were no guards in the hall. Quickly switching direction, she walked into Sonny’s penthouse after a cursory knock.

 

The instant Elizabeth was in the door she realized she shouldn’t be. A man was tied up in a chair, Sonny stood to the side with his arms crossed, and Jason stood in front of the chair wearing a pair of gloves. Marco and Johnny stood behind the chair. The man in the chair raised his head and looked at Elizabeth.

 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Elizabeth said studying the man.

 

Elizabeth, you need to leave,” Sonny said.

 

“I know,” she said. “But you need to know that if you think that is Luis Alcazar, you’re wrong.”

 

“Max said it was,” Sonny replied.

 

“And I can see why Max would make that mistake,” Elizabeth said. “They’re definitely related, probably brothers.”

 

The man in the chair closed his eyes and tried not to hope but maybe these men would listen to her and realize he was not Luis.

 

Elizabeth, how can you be sure?” Jason asked.

 

Elizabeth looked at him and said, “I’m an artist and art is in the details. This man’s nose is longer, his eyes are farther apart, his ears are bigger, and his chin is rounder. Also, he appears to be shorter than Louis.”

 

“Thank you for telling us but you really need to leave now,” Sonny said.

 

“Of course,” she said walking over to Jason. She kissed him on the cheek and said, “Don’t be too long. I’m ready for bed.”

 

The man in the chair slumped as the door closed behind Elizabeth. He had really thought her presence would save him but she either didn’t know or didn’t care that he was about to be killed.

 

“Do you think she’s right?” Sonny asked Jason after a minute.

 

“Well he’s maintained that his name is Lorenzo the whole time,” Jason said.

 

“Sonny,” Alexis called from upstairs. “Are you coming to bed soon?”

 

“In a few minutes,” Sonny said. Then he turned to Johnny and said, “Take him to a safe house and call Benny. Find out if Luis has a brother.”

 

Johnny nodded and hid a smile while he and Marco took Lorenzo out of the penthouse. Once in the elevator the two bodyguards grinned at each other, amused that both their bosses would be getting lucky.

 

Jason walked across the hall and went upstairs to find Elizabeth. He was terrified she would hate him. He never wanted her to see him that way. Jason walked into the bedroom they had been sharing to find Elizabeth in bed in one of his t-shirts, mostly asleep.

 

When he eased into bed, Elizabeth immediately snuggled up against him. “I’m sorry. I tried to wait up for you but I was too tired.”

 

“It’s okay,” Jason said kissing the top of her head.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

 

A few days later Jason and Elizabeth were on Jason’s bike when Jason stopped in front of her studio.

 

“How would you like to move back in?” Jason asked indicating the studio.

 

“Have you neutralized Alcazar?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“No,” Jason said. “But I have a surprise for you.”

 

He got off the bike and led Elizabeth up the stairs to her studio. Elizabeth blinked a couple of times as she looked at the door. In place of the old wooden door with a single key lock, there was a reinforced steel door with two deadbolts and a door knob key lock. Each one used a separate key.

 

“This door is practically burglar proof,” Jason said handing her a set of keys.

 

It took Elizabeth a couple of tries before she got the door open. “I think I’m going to have to practice with these locks,” she said with a laugh.

 

The laugh died as Jason answered his ringing cell phone.

 

“I have to go,” Jason said giving her a kiss. “Will you be okay?”

 

“Yep, I’m just going to practice with these locks,” she said. “Be careful. I love you.”

 

“I love you, too,” Jason said, nodding at Francis as he headed down the hall.

 

Ten minutes later Elizabeth was still in the hall practicing with the keys when she heard a noise. She looked toward Francis just as he crumpled to the floor. Before she had time to react, someone put a damp cloth over her nose and mouth. Not one to go without a fight, Elizabeth slammed her head back, breaking her kidnapper’s nose. It was the last thing she was able to do before the chloroform knocked her out.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~         

 

Meanwhile Carly was sitting at Kellys waiting on Bobbie to meet her for lunch. Sarah walked in and saw her chance to break Lizzie and Jason up. Sarah had finally gotten the history between the two women out of Lucky and planned to take full advantage of Carly’s dislike for her sister.

 

Sarah approached Carly’s table and said, “Aren’t you Lucky’s cousin?”

 

Carly looked at the younger blonde and felt an immediate dislike for her. “Yeah, what’s it to you?”

 

“Well, I was wondering if you’d seen my sister Elizabeth recently,” Sarah said oozing fake concern. “I haven’t seen her since she moved into Harborview Towers with Jason.”

 

Carly had spent enough time pulling cons to know when someone was trying to play her. The fact that it was Elizabeth’s sister didn’t surprise her since Bobbie had told Carly that the siblings had never gotten along. She did wonder what angle this goody-goody was trying to work though. Carly didn’t particularly care what Sarah did to the Muffin but she had a feeling Jason would be involved and Carly would kill her before she let the waif hurt Jason.

 

“I don’t spend a lot of time at the Towers anymore,” Carly said. “But if your sister is there, then she’s perfectly safe.”

 

“That’s what she thought about her studio until someone broke in,” Sarah said. “I just want to be sure she’s okay.”

 

“Then you should ask Lucky. He keeps a pretty close eye on her,” Carly said.

 

Carly didn’t miss the flash of anger and jealousy that crossed Sarah’s face. So that’s it, Carly thought. This one wants Lucky but he hasn’t given up on Muffin. Well, I’ll just have to have a little chat with Muffin to make sure she doesn’t break Jason’s heart again.

 

“Look,” Carly said, “I’m sure Elizabeth is fine. Now I was supposed to meet my mother and she’s not here yet so I’m going to find her.”

 

With that Carly left the diner and headed for Harborview Towers. Sarah sat back and smiled, thinking she had just sent Carly to break up the happy couple.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~

 

Just as Carly pulled up to Harborview Towers, Jason hung up his call from Francis and looked at Sonny.

 

“She’s gone,” Jason said barely above a whisper. Sonny could see his friend’s agony and said a silent thanks that Alexis was upstairs sleeping. “We have to get her back.”

 

“We will. I swear, we will,” Sonny said.

 

At that Max opened the door and Carly walked in. One look at their faces and she knew something was wrong.

 

“What happened? Jason, are you okay?” Carly asked.

 

Elizabeth has been kidnapped,” Sonny said.

 

“Oh God,” Carly said. “I’m so sorry, Jase. Is there anything I can do?”

 

“I thought you didn’t like Elizabeth,” Sonny said as he watched Carly wrap her arms around Jason, giving him the only comfort she could.

 

“I don’t but I don’t want anything to happen to her either,” Carly said. “I love Jason too much to wish her harm.”

 

“Thank you, Carly,” Jason said. “There’s nothing you can do though. I need to find her.” Moving toward the door he said to Sonny, “I’m calling Stan.”

 

“I’ll call Benny,” Sonny said before Jason disappeared.

 

“Will you let me know if Jason needs anything?” Carly requested after a minute.

 

“Sure,” Sonny said opening the door for her before calling Benny.

 

~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~          ~         

 

“Luis, the back of her head is bloody. You swore she wouldn’t be harmed,” Elizabeth heard a woman say.

 

“What do you want, Brenda? Do you want me to kill him?” Luis said.

 

“Don’t bother,” Elizabeth said opening her eyes.

 

“You’re awake,” Brenda said happily. “How do you feel?”

“Pissed off,” Elizabeth replied. “You’re Brenda Barrett and you’re supposed to be dead.”

 

“Do I know you?” Brenda asked.

 

“I waitress at Kellys and am Emily’s best friend,” Elizabeth said.

 

“I remember you now,” Brenda said. “And you live with Jason?”

 

Elizabeth nodded and looked around the room.

 

“You don’t want the man who hurt you killed?” Luis asked curiously.

 

“I didn’t say that,” Elizabeth told him. “The men who took me will die, just not by your hand.”

”What makes you so sure of that?” Luis asked.

 

Elizabeth looked at Brenda and said, “I’m surprised you didn’t clue him in on life in this territory.”

 

“I’m not following,” Brenda said.

 

“You didn’t tell him what happens to people who mess with Sonny and Jason’s family,” Elizabeth said.

 

“You aren’t related to Corinthos and Morgan follows orders,” Luis said.

 

“You really are clueless,” Elizabeth said. “You should have done your homework. Let me tell you a little story about a man named Joseph Sorrell. He was in the business and decided he wanted Sonny’s territory so he moved against Sonny. Sonny didn’t take it personally though. He knew it was only business so he didn’t kill him; he just sent him to prison. Then Sorrell decided to get revenge. He planted a bomb in my studio. Sorrell isn’t in prison anymore. He’s dead. That’s what happens to all of Sonny and Jason’s enemies eventually, especially if they are stupid enough to touch their families.”

 

“So you aren’t at all afraid of Corinthos and Morgan’s enemies?” Luis asked.

 

Elizabeth smiled and said, “I have my own enemy. One who is far more dangerous and evil than any of Sonny’s. I went up against that and survived so Sonny’s enemies have no chance.”

 

“You aren’t going to be harmed,” Brenda said, glaring at Luis for starting this conversation. “We just need you to trade for Luis’s brother.”

 

“So why didn’t you grab Sonny’s sister?” Elizabeth asked. “A sister for a brother. That’s a fair trade.”

 

“Sonny has a sister?” Brenda asked in shock.

 

“Yeah, he just found out not long ago,” Liz said. “Courtney married AJ.”

 

“AJ married Sonny’s sister and he’s still alive?” Brenda asked incredulously.

 

“That would be thanks to Alexis,” Elizabeth said.

 

“So Alexis is still Sonny’s lawyer,” Brenda said.

 

“Yep, she keeps him in line pretty well,” Liz said.

 

“Well enough so that my brother is still alive?” Luis asked.

 

“Yes, Lorenzo is still alive but it had nothing to do with Alexis,” Elizabeth said.

 

“How do you know?” Luis asked.

 

“Because you kidnapped the person who told them he wasn’t you,” Elizabeth retorted.

 

“Luis, go make the call so Elizabeth can go home as soon as possible,” Brenda commanded. “Meanwhile she can fill me in on all of Port Charles.”

 

Luis nodded and left the room as Brenda turned to Elizabeth.

 

“Um, okay you want to know about the residents of Port Chuckles since you’ve been gone,” Elizabeth said. “Well I guess I’ll start with the Quartermaines. Edward and Lila are the same as always. So are Monica and Alan except Alan found out he had another daughter. Tracey came back to town and brought Ned’s little brother, Dillon. Ned is living in the boat house with Kristina Davis, Alexis’s sister. They seem happy to me. I already told you AJ married Sonny’s sister Courtney and they actually seem to be happy and in love. Emily is in California going to Stanford. Skye—Alan’s newfound daughter—is engaged to Jax. Jax is the same as always. That takes care of the Quartermaines and Jax. Um, the Spencers are all well. Luke and Laura are back together and Lulu is growing like a weed. Lucky got help and overcame the brainwashing. He’s dating my sister Sarah. Nikolas has taken control of the Cassadine empire and is engaged to Gia, the woman who is the current Face of Deception. She is Taggart’s sister so of course, Nikolas, the prince, isn’t good enough for him. Mac is still police commissioner and his girls are well. Both of them work at Kellys on weekends. Carly is fine—lives with Bobbie in the brownstone and shares custody of Michael with Sonny. Sonny is very well. He is happy and healthy. With Alexis’s help, he is staying out of trouble. Jason was actually out of town for a year but he’s been back for a few months and besides having your boyfriend try to kill him, he’s been fine.”

 

“So Sonny, Jax, and the Qs are all good? They’re all happy?” Brenda said.

 

“Yes, they are all very happy,” Elizabeth said. “Which you could have found out for yourself if you had left the yacht and come into town to see everyone.”

 

“For someone dating Jason, you are incredibly mouthy,” Brenda commented.

 

“That’s what he likes best,” Elizabeth retorted. “Why did you come back and why didn’t you tell your boyfriend not to run drugs here?”

 

“I did tell him,” Brenda said. “He just didn’t listen. And I wanted to check on everyone. I just didn’t want them to know I was alive.”

 

“Why?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“I love Luis,” Brenda said, “but Sonny and Jax, they have this magnetic draw for me. I didn’t want them to know that I was alive because if they thought I was dead, I could live my life with Luis without worrying about them coming after me.”

 

“I don’t know about Jax but all Sonny would want is to know that you are happy,” Elizabeth said. “He’d be happy that you are alive but he isn’t pining away for you or anything. Why didn’t he listen to you about the drugs?”

 

“Because she wouldn’t give me details and the intel I had was extremely flawed,” Luis said from the door. “Ms. Webber, a trade has been arranged.”

 

CHAPTER 5

 

“Ms. Webber, a trade has been arranged,” Luis said.

 

“When and where?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“Tomorrow night at Pier 52,” Luis said.

 

Elizabeth laughed and Brenda went pale.

 

“What?” Luis demanded.

 

“Well there are two possibilities,” Elizabeth said. “The first is that they put it off until tomorrow because they know where I am and are going to rescue me before the trade and kill you and all your men while they are at it. The second is that they will have an ambush in place at Pier 52 and will kill you, your men, and your brother after I am safely out of the way.”

 

Luis looked at Brenda and said, “Do you agree? You don’t seem at all surprised by what she has said about your ex-lover.”

 

“That’s exactly what Sonny will do,” Brenda said.

 

“Then what do you suggest?” Luis said.

 

“We take her back to Sonny, right now,” Brenda said.

 

“So you’re going to deliver your boyfriend to his death?” Elizabeth said.

 

“Sonny won’t kill him if I ask him not to,” Brenda said.

 

“True but what about Jason?” Elizabeth asked.

 

“Like I said, Sonny won’t order the hit if I ask him not to,” Brenda repeated.

 

“Sonny won’t order it but he also won’t order Jason not to kill the man who kidnapped me and twice tried to kill him,” Elizabeth said. “And Jason couldn’t care less what you want.”

 

“You could ask him not to kill me,” Luis said looking at Elizabeth.

 

Elizabeth looked at him for a moment and said, “I could but I won’t.”

 

“Why not?” Brenda asked incredulous. “You weren’t harmed.”

 

“I would never ask Jason not to kill someone who has tried to kill him,” Elizabeth said. “For that matter I would never presume to suggest how he should do his job.”

 

“So you’d just let him execute a man who did no real harm?” Brenda demanded.

 

“No real harm?” Elizabeth repeated her eyes narrowing. “Jason had a bullet hole because of this man. He’s probably completely frantic right now because he doesn’t know where I am or if I’m okay. There was a massive influx of drugs on the streets and in the hands of children. That is a great deal of harm especially when Luis should have known better.”

 

“How should I have known better?” Luis asked.

 

“Brenda told you not to move drugs here,” Elizabeth said. “All you had to do was take a vacation.”

 

“She wouldn’t tell me why,” Luis said.

 

“And you’ll pay for being a stubborn jackass who wouldn’t listen to his girlfriend,” Elizabeth said.

 

The three sat there in silence for a while, each contemplating their thoughts and next moves.

 

“Alright, let’s go,” Luis said.

 

“What? No, Luis, if Elizabeth is right, Jason will kill you on sight,” Brenda said.

 

“Maybe, but I’m betting that Corinthos’s cooler head will prevail and it will mean something that I gave a show of good faith,” Luis said. “Especially if I promise not to do any business in their territory ever again.”

 

“I’m coming with you,” Brenda said. “If Jason is going to kill you, Sonny is going to have to look me in the face and tell me that.”

 

“Okay, let’s go,” Luis said. “Ms. Webber, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”

 

Elizabeth rolled her eyes but followed them out.

 

A few minutes later, the trio walked into a deserted Harborview Towers. They took the elevator to the penthouse and could here Sonny yelling from outside. Elizabeth walked up and without knocking, entered Sonny’s penthouse. Sonny went silent and stared as Elizabeth and Luis walked into the room. Max turned and smiled at Liz.

 

“What the hell is going on?” Sonny demanded finding his voice. “Elizabeth, are you okay?”

 

“I’m okay, Sonny,” Elizabeth said with a smile.

 

“Hello, Sonny,” Brenda said walking in from the hallway.

 

Once again Sonny was stunned silent but Alexis came out of the kitchen and shrieked. She dropped the bowl of ice cream she was holding and rushed over, grabbing both Liz and Brenda in a hug.

 

Elizabeth, you’re okay! And Brenda, you’re alive!” Alexis said and started crying.

 

“Alexis,” Sonny said softly. “You need to calm down. Come on, sweetheart, sit down.”

 

Brenda’s eyes widened as she comprehended what Sonny had just said. “Sweetheart? Liz, you managed to leave out a few details when you were telling me about the changes in Port Charles.”

 

“Oops, guess I forgot to mention that Alexis and Sonny are living together,” Liz said.

 

“And having a baby,” Sonny said.

 

“Oh, Sonny, congratulations,” Brenda said walking forward and giving him a hug.

 

“Thanks. Now you want to tell me where you’ve been when we thought you were dead and how you ended up back here with a dead man walking?” Sonny said. “Wait, I need to call Jason first.”

 

“I’ll do it,” Elizabeth said. “I need to hear his voice.”

 

Liz walked over and picked up the phone on the desk while Brenda explained what had happened to her, from the car in the ocean to the false diagnosis to the good news.

 

“Jason?” Liz said into the phone.

 

Elizabeth, where are you? Are you okay?” Jason asked frantically.

 

“I’m fine. I’m at Sonny’s,” she told him.

 

“I’m on my way. Don’t move,” Jason said and hung up.

 

“How did he sound?” Sonny asked.

 

“Like he was about to go crazy,” Liz said.

 

“I think he passed that stage after you were missing for an hour,” Sonny said. “I’ve never seen Jason that out of control.”

 

“I know,” Elizabeth said. “I hope you aren’t too attached to this carpet.”

 

Max grinned, instantly understanding her reference. It took Sonny a few seconds but then he too looked amused.

 

“Sonny, I have to ask you not to kill Luis,” Brenda said.

 

Max snorted and Brenda glared at him.

 

“He kidnapped Elizabeth, Brenda. You expect me to turn a blind eye to that? And even if I could, Jason couldn’t,” Sonny said.

 

“You could order him not to touch Luis,” Brenda insisted.

 

“You want me to order Jason not to protect himself and his girlfriend?” Sonny asked.

 

“No. I’m asking you to order him not to retaliate,” Brenda said.

 

“That’s the same thing,” Luis said, speaking for the first time.

 

“Then you understand that Jason is not going to let you walk away,” Sonny said.

 

“I understand that if Jason is to be taken seriously in this business, I need to disappear,” Luis said.

 

Before Sonny could reply, Jason burst into the room looking around the room frantically. Spotting Elizabeth, he rushed over and grabbed her in a bone-crushing hug.

 

Elizabeth embraced him back and said, “I’m okay, Jason. I’m okay.”

 

“Are you sure? You weren’t hurt? They didn’t hurt you?” Jason asked, not letting her go.

 

“No, I’m fine. No one hurt me,” Elizabeth said.

 

Jason finally eased his hold on her and looked up. When he spotted Brenda, he blinked rapidly.

 

“Why aren’t you dead?” Jason asked bluntly.

 

“Gee, it’s good to see you too, Jase,” Brenda replied sarcastically.

 

“You went off a cliff. People grieved for you,” Jason said.

 

“You grieved for me?” Brenda asked incredulously.

 

“No, I said people grieved for you. I didn’t say I was one of them,” Jason said.

 

“Is he always like this?” Luis asked.

 

“Yes,” Alexis and Brenda said at the same time as Jason turned to Luis.

 

“I kidnapped your girlfriend,” Luis said not flinching from Jason’s glare. “It was a mistake and I brought her back unharmed to try to make up for that mistake.”

 

“Kidnapping me wasn’t your only mistake,” Elizabeth reminded him.

 

“True, but it is the one that is going to get me killed,” Luis said.

 

“No, shooting Jason is the one that will get you killed,” Elizabeth retorted.

 

“No one is going to be killed here,” Alexis said.

 

“Of course not,” Sonny said trying to keep the amusement out of his voice.

 

As Jason just continued to give Luis his trademark icy glare, Brenda approached the enforcer and said, “Jason, I love him and I don’t want you to kill him.”

 

Jason’s eyes never left Luis but he replied, “I don’t care how you feel, Brenda, and I don’t care what you want. He tried to kill me twice and he took Elizabeth against her will.”

 

“But he didn’t kill you and we brought her back in twenty-four hours, unharmed,” Brenda said.

 

“And you actually think that makes it okay?” Jason said incredulously.

 

“You are conveniently forgetting that you have his brother locked up somewhere,” Brenda pointed out.

 

“I am not going to argue about this with you,” Jason said.

 

“If you kill him, you’ll have to kill me too,” Brenda said.

 

Jason finally shifted his gaze to her but didn’t say anything.

 

“Why do I get the feeling you are okay with that?” Luis asked and Jason shifted his eyes back to the other man.

 

“Jason,” Elizabeth said shifting his attention to her. “If you aren’t going to kill him right now, can we please go home?”

 

Jason nodded and looked at Sonny saying, “Make sure he doesn’t leave town.”

 

Elizabeth and Jason walked out of the penthouse and stopped in the hallway.

 

“Which…where did you want to go? The studio or this penthouse?” Jason asked.

 

“Studio,” Liz said.

 

Jason nodded and led the way to his motorcycle.

 

CHAPTER 6

 

Jason and Elizabeth lay silently on the couch wrapped around each other. This is how they had been for the last two hours. There had been no need for talking; they simply needed to remind themselves that they were safe, alive and together.

 

Finally Jason broke the silence. “I was sure I had lost you. You were only gone twenty-four hours but I couldn’t imagine functioning without you. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to go on if I didn’t find you. I knew it was my fault that you had been taken and I kept picturing you hurt and scared or dead and I really didn’t know how I would deal with that. I still can’t believe you’re here and that you don’t hate me, knowing I’m the reason this happened.”

 

“Jason, I don’t blame you,” Elizabeth said. “Besides, I knew you’d find me and get me out of there.”

 

“You weren’t scared?” Jason asked.

 

“At first but my faith in you, in your ability to save me, even from myself, is absolute,” she replied.

 

“Are you going to ask me not to kill him?” Jason finally asked after several minutes of silence.

 

“I’ll tell you what I told him—I wouldn’t tell you how to do your job anymore than you would tell me how to paint something,” Elizabeth said without moving.

 

“And if he disappears, you wouldn’t be upset or hate me for it?” Jason asked.

 

Elizabeth pushed herself up with her hands so she could look into his eyes. He always claimed he could tell when she was being honest by her eyes so she wanted him to see the truth of her next statement. “He tried to kill you. He put a bullet in you. If I thought I could get away with it, I would kill him myself and dance on his grave.”

 

Jason was floored by the statement and the honesty and passion he saw in her eyes as she said it. His mouth swooped down on hers and if Elizabeth had been able to form a coherent thought, it would have been that she was glad she was already lying down because that kiss made her knees turn into jelly. The kiss continued and Elizabeth’s hands started roaming Jason’s hard shoulders only to be interrupted by a loud knock on the door.

 

Elizabeth blew out a breath in frustration and levered herself off the couch before stalking to the door. Jason was faster though and put a hand on her shoulder to stop her just before she opened it. He gently pushed her to the side and, gun in hand, looked through the peep hole. He let out a groan before opening it.

 

“What do you want?” he growled as Brenda shoved past him into the studio.

 

“This is where you live?” Brenda asked incredulously. “Geez, Jase, you could at least spring for something a little bit nicer. It’s not like you can’t afford it.”

 

“We happen to like it here, Brenda,” Elizabeth said. “Now what do you want?”

 

“I came to say good-bye,” Brenda said. “Luis and I are leaving in an hour. We won’t be back.”

 

“If he sets foot in this town ever again, I don’t need to tell you what will happen, do I?” Jason said.

 

“No, that’s why we’re going,” Brenda said. “Sonny said you’d probably let it be if we took off and never came back. I promised to keep in touch with him so he knows I’m okay but I won’t be back unless Luis is welcome too.”

 

“Well I wish I could say it was nice to see you but considering the circumstances, the best I can do is to say that I’m glad you’re not dead,” Elizabeth said.

 

“I guess that’s good enough,” Brenda said. “Oh, and I’ve been dying to ask you, who is the enemy you talked about on the yacht?”

 

“Helena Cassadine,” Elizabeth said and Brenda blanched, both at the name and the venom in Elizabeth’s voice.

 

“Wow, you weren’t kidding when you said your enemy made Luis look like a teddy bear,” Brenda said. “Well I need to get out of here and get to the yacht. Jase, I have one favor to ask of you.”

 

Jason lifted an eyebrow but didn’t say anything so Brenda said, “Go visit Lila this week. You don’t have to tell her about me or anything. Just go see her and spend a little time with her.”

 

“I’ll make sure he goes,” Elizabeth said receiving a glare from Jason.

 

“Thanks,” Brenda said before walking out and closing the door behind her.

 

“Now where were we?” Jason asked as he pulled Elizabeth against him.

 

“Huh uh, Morgan,” Elizabeth said dancing out of his embrace. “Now, I’m hungry—for food. I’m going to run to Kellys and get something to eat. I’ll bring it back here though so we can have a quiet dinner alone.”

 

Once again Jason was faster than Elizabeth and had his jacket on opening the door before she located her purse. She arched a brow questioningly at him.

 

“I’ll go and get it. You want your usual?” Jason said.

 

“This is good. This way I can take a shower while you’re gone and the usual is fine,” Elizabeth said.

 

Entering Kellys Jason walked straight up to the counter without looking around.

 

“Penny, can I get a number 6, a number 3, a hot chocolate, and a black coffee to go,” Jason said.

 

He stood waiting at the counter not paying any attention to Lucky and Sarah who were sitting at a table in the corner. A minute later Xander walked in and Penny handed him the order he had called in. After paying Xander turned to walk out and noticed Jason.

 

“Jason, I assume you found Liz since you’re standing here and not freaking out. That’s great,” Xander said. “I’ll let my guys know they can stop the search.”

 

Jason nodded at the younger man.

 

Penny brought their order out and Jason paid for the food. As he headed for the door, Lucky stepped in front of it, effectively cutting off the exit. Sarah stood just behind and to the right of Lucky.

 

“What the hell did Smith mean by that?” Lucky demanded. “Why were you searching for Liz and why didn’t we know about it?”

 

Jason remained silent which infuriated Lucky

 

“And why was she gone, huh, Jason? One of your enemies need a bargaining chip?” Lucky snarled.

 

“Back off, Lucky,” Jason said his voice deadly quiet.

 

“Why should I, Morgan? What are you going to do—kill me?” Lucky asked. “Go ahead and try. I’m not afraid of you.”

 

Jason didn’t reply but his eyes turned to ice. Sarah saw the change and suddenly realized it was a bad idea to pit Lucky against a man who made his living by killing people.

 

“Lucky, maybe you should calm down,” Sarah said. “Lizzie is obviously fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just ran away for a day to get everyone’s attention and sympathy.”

 

Jason turned his icy gaze to Sarah who involuntarily stepped back. Lucky noticed and stepped closer to Jason, getting into his face.

 

“Now you threaten my girlfriend? What would Liz think about you threatening her sister? Maybe we should find out. Maybe I should tell her and then she’ll see you aren’t the knight in shining armor she thinks you are,” Lucky said.

 

Jason regarded the man that had once had Elizabeth’s heart and soul before saying, “That’s just it, Spencer. She knows exactly who and what I am and she loves me. Your problem isn’t that she can’t see what I am—it’s that she sees what you are and what I am and she chose to be with me.”

 

Lucky hauled back and threw a right hook at Jason with all his strength. Jason’s head snapped back but other than that he didn’t move. Sarah grabbed Lucky’s arm terrified that Jason would now have an excuse to kill him.

 

“You can tell Elizabeth anything you want. She believes what she wants to,” Jason said and headed for the door. He paused once he had the door open and turned back toward Lucky. “That one was free. You won’t get another.” With that he walked out the door and headed back to the studio.

 

Carly however wasn’t about to let Lucky or Sarah get away with what they had just tried to pull. She had witnessed it all from the top of the stairs to the Cellar. She had wanted to talk to Jason but knew he only wanted to spend time with Liz right now and she was trying to respect that. However, Carly wasn’t about to ignore what the little twits had said and done.

 

Carly stormed into the diner and walked straight to Lucky and Sarah. Before either of them could move, she punched Lucky in the stomach causing him to double over. As he was bent down, she slammed her knee into his face, effectively breaking his nose.

 

“If you ever go after Jason again, I will make what Jason does to you look like a present from Santa,” Carly said as Sarah tried to stop the flow of blood from Lucky’s nose. “Do I make myself clear?”

 

Sarah looked over at the woman she had mistakenly thought she could use against Lizzie and Jason and saw the murderess fury in her eyes. Sarah swallowed hard and nodded.

 

“Good,” Carly said. “Next time you pick a mark to use against your sister, little girl, make sure it’s not someone who has been playing the game since you were in diapers. And make damn sure Jason doesn’t get caught in your cross fire or I will hold you personally responsible.”

 

With that Carly stormed out of the diner and headed straight for the studio. Upon arriving she heard glass breaking and pounded on the door, ready to give the Muffin a good ass kicking if she was blaming Jason for the fight in Kellys. Carly stopped in shock with one foot inside the door next to a quiet but amused Jason as Liz tore the studio apart, screaming about moronic pricks and perfect whore sisters. Carly got over her shock quickly and became impressed with the variety of choice words Elizabeth knew and was using about her sister and ex-fiancÚ.

 

“Did you need something Carly?” Jason asked turning away from his girlfriend as she continued to break everything she could get her hands on.

 

“I didn’t know she had it in her,” Carly said. “But you don’t seem surprised.”

 

“She’s done this before,” Jason said. “She’ll calm down soon and start cleaning it up.”

 

“I just came to make sure you were okay and to make sure she wasn’t blaming you for it,” Carly said.

 

“I wasn’t even going to tell her but the bruise forming on my jaw sort of gave it away,” Jason said. “Anyway, I had to physically hold her down to keep her from going after them and doing to them what she is currently doing to our dishes.”

 

“Our?” Carly asked.

 

“Carly, I’ve been living here since I got back to town. I thought you knew. I mean, you came to get her here when I was shot,” Jason said.

 

“Yeah but I didn’t know you were living here,” Carly said.

 

“I am,” Jason said.

 

“Is that what you really want, Jase? Does she really make you happy?” Carly asked.

 

“She’s it for me, Carly,” he said.

 

“Okay,” Carly said. “You are my best friend and you’ve caught me more times than I can count. You gave me the only man I will ever truly love so I guess I can be happy you finally found yours. Even if she is a Muffin.”

 

“Thanks, Carly,” Jason said giving her a hug.

 

“Oh and before you hear it from someone else,” Carly said. “I hit Lucky. Twice. Broke his nose actually.”

 

That stopped Liz’s rampage.

 

“Really?” she said looking at Carly.

 

“Um, yeah,” Carly said.

 

Liz threw her head back and started laughing, hard and loud. Carly looked at her like she was crazy but glanced at Jason and saw his smirk as he watched his girlfriend.

 

“Does that mean you’re done now?” Jason asked Liz.

 

“Yup,” Liz said.

 

“Um, I better go,” Carly said. “Don’t be a stranger, Jase. Michael misses you.”

 

“I’ll stop and see him this week,” Jason promised.

 

Carly turned to go but stopped when Elizabeth spoke.

 

“Carly, next time you beat the crap out of Lucky, can you make sure I’m there to see it?” Elizabeth asked.

 

Carly smirked and nodded before saying, “Only if you make sure I’m there when you finally take your sister down a few pegs.”

 

“Deal,” Elizabeth said and the two women grinned before Carly walked down the hall.

 

“You okay?” Jason asked Elizabeth after a moment.

 

“You’re the one with a huge bruise on his face, not me,” Elizabeth pointed out.

 

Jason just looked at her and waited.

 

“I’m fine now,” she said. “I promise.”

 

“Good. Now should I be scared that you and Carly seem to be getting along?” Jason teased.

 

“I don’t know. Think of the damage we could do if we teamed up,” Elizabeth retorted.

 

“The mind boggles,” Jason said. “I guess that means I should take you away to keep you out of trouble.”

 

“Very funny, Morgan,” Elizabeth said.

 

“Who’s joking?” Jason said holding out a postcard from behind his back.

 

Florence,” Elizabeth breathed as she saw the postcard.

 

“Will you go to Italy with me? Will you let me show you the light in Italy?” Jason asked.

 

“Only if we can see the wind while we’re there, too,” Elizabeth said.

 

“That’s a deal,” Jason said and sealed it with a kiss.

 

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