Unexpectedly by lovemyqtkids
Summary: This starts out in the fall of 2012. I fudged a little of the timeline to fit my story. The main thing you need to know is Jason doesn't get shot so he doesn't die or disappear.
Categories: Liason > Alternate History > Drama Characters: Elizabeth Webber, Jason Morgan
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 23 Completed: No Word count: 46955 Read: 45747 Published: Oct 14, 2013 Updated: Jun 25, 2018

1. Chapter 1 by lovemyqtkids

2. Chapter 2 by lovemyqtkids

3. Chapter 3 by lovemyqtkids

4. Chapter 4 by lovemyqtkids

5. Chapter 5 by lovemyqtkids

6. Chapter 6 by lovemyqtkids

7. Chapter 7 by lovemyqtkids

8. Chapter 8 by lovemyqtkids

9. Chapter 9 by lovemyqtkids

10. Chapter 10 by lovemyqtkids

11. Chapter 11 by lovemyqtkids

12. Chapter 12 by lovemyqtkids

13. Chapter 13 by lovemyqtkids

14. Chapter 14 by lovemyqtkids

15. Chapter 15 by lovemyqtkids

16. Chapter 16 by lovemyqtkids

17. Chapter 17 by lovemyqtkids

18. Chapter 18 by lovemyqtkids

19. Chapter 19 by lovemyqtkids

20. Chapter 20 by lovemyqtkids

21. Chapter 21 by lovemyqtkids

22. Chapter 22 by lovemyqtkids

23. Chapter 23 by lovemyqtkids

Chapter 1 by lovemyqtkids
October 22, 2012  

Carly wasn’t all that surprised to see Elizabeth at the bar in The Floating Rib. What did surprise her was the open bottle of tequila in front of Elizabeth. She looked around for her date but he wasn’t around so she sat a few stools down from Elizabeth. She watched Elizabeth realize she was there.

“Hey, Coleman! Get Carly a glass. She needs to celebrate with us.”

Carly frowned. Elizabeth didn’t look like she was happy, let alone celebrating. She looked sad. No, not just sad. Haunted.

Coleman pulled out a shot glass and poured a shot of tequila before placing it in front of Carly.

“What are we celebrating?”

“Today I found out Jason is the father of Sam’s baby. Isn’t that just wonderful?”

Carly almost said yes, but the look on Elizabeth’s face stopped her. She watched Elizabeth down the shot like water.

“It’s not wonderful?”

“Of course it is, Carly. It’s wonderful that Jason finally has a son he’s not embarrassed or ashamed of.”

“Now wait a minute! Jason loved Jake.”

Elizabeth filled her glass again.

“I know.” Her voice cracked. “He just wasn’t enough.”

Carly didn’t know what to say to that as she watched Elizabeth down that shot as well. Elizabeth poured another one. “Maybe it was just me who wasn’t enough.” Carly wasn’t touching that with a ten foot pole. She wasn’t against kicking someone when they were down, but this felt different. Elizabeth looked at her. “I tried to be like you at the end. Always showing up. Never backing down. But once again I was the only one fighting.”

Down went the shot. Carly looked at her warily.

“Maybe you should slow down a bit.”

“It’s nice of you to be concerned, Carly, but I’m not driving.” She picked up the bottle and filled her glass again. Her aim wasn’t completely true so some ended up on the bar top. Elizabeth stared at the mess momentarily. “Darn it. Besides, who would miss me?” She pointed the bottle at Carly. “And you can’t say my kids. That’s a given.”

“Jason would.”

“Maybe. But mostly he’d feel guilty. Because it’s always Jason’s fault, you know. It was Jason’s fault Michael got shot because he took Michael from the Quartermaines...twenty years ago. It was his fault Sam watched Jake’s kidnapping because he.” She made air quotes for her next word. “gave me a child instead of her.” Carly’s eyes widened and then narrowed. She would have to ask Jason about that. “He takes the blame for everything and uses it to walk away.” She threw back the shot. “Just like everyone else in my life.” She chuckled mirthlessly. “How pathetic do I sound?” She traced the rim of the glass with her finger. “You probably think pathetic is my middle name.” Carly gave her a pointed look. Elizabeth was well past caring and laughed. Her words slurred. “So what if I’m pathetic? Let’s drink to that.”

Carly let Elizabeth fill their glasses, but then made eye contact with Coleman. She looked at the bottle and tilted her head to the side to get him to take the bottle. She picked up her glass to toast when Elizabeth did. She downed her shot. Being nice to Elizabeth was not easy but she gave it a shot.

“I’m not sure Coleman can handle any more of your fun tonight. Why don’t we get you home?”

Elizabeth sighed. 

“You’re probably right. This is supposed to be a fun place and I’m just bringing it down.”

She slid off the stool and almost on to the floor, but Carly caught her. Cody came over and picked Elizabeth up and headed for the door. Carly stopped to leave a message with Coleman but saw Jason on the stairs.

“I’ll be back after we take her home.”

......................

Carly made sure Elizabeth got into her house and even waited for her to lock the front door before heading back to the bar. She went straight to Coleman.

“Where is he?” Coleman pointed to the back booth. Carly wasted no time before dropping in the seat across from Jason. “Is it true?”

“Carly.”

“No, Jason. Did Sam watch someone kidnap Jake?”

He sighed.

“Yes.”

She fell back against the wooden booth.

“The first time?”

“Yes.”

She leaned forward.

“I have so many questions but the big one right now is are you out of your mind? How could you be with her after she let someone kidnap your child? You married her. And you forgave her.”

“She saved him from the Russians.”

“And that just makes everything okay? What is wrong with you and Sonny? He married Claudia. You married Sam.”

“It’s not the same.”

“Maybe not, but it’s not right. No father should be that accepting of a woman who did that to his child.”

She slid out of the booth and left.

.......................

October 23, 2012

The pain in her head woke Elizabeth up. That and the sun shining in through the window. She was now sorry she hadn’t closed the curtains before going to work the day before. But she was really sorry for all the tequila she’d drunk the night before. It had seemed like a good idea at the time, but now she just wanted to throw up at feeling so bad. She gingerly slid out of bed as to keep from moving her head a lot. When she got to the bathroom she saw her outfit from the night before in a pile on the floor in front of the shower stall as well as her towel. She didn’t remember showering, but was grateful it was one less thing she’d have to do before picking up her kids from her Grams. She pulled out a bottle of headache meds and tried to figure out why she talked to Carly, but her thoughts were elusive due to the pounding in her head. Hopefully she wouldn’t be sorry. She’d figure it out later. She grabbed her toothbrush. She wanted to get ready to go get her boys.

...................

Later that afternoon Elizabeth was coming back to the nurses’ hub on the Pediatrics floor when she saw Carly and Josslyn at the counter. There was always some heartache when she saw the little girl but she was glad there was good that came from Jake’s death.

“Hey, Elizabeth. How are you feeling after last night?”

“A tad embarrassed. I don’t remember a lot of what I said last night.”

Carly chuckled.

“That’s the fun of drinking.”

Elizabeth smiled.

“I wasn’t calling it fun this morning.”

“I bet.”

“Anyway, thanks for helping me get home last night.”

“It was no problem. I’ve been there before.”

“Maybe so, but I appreciate it.” Carly hesitated before leaving. “Is there something else, Carly?”

“I think Jason was wrong for going back to Sam after what she did to Jake.”

Elizabeth reeled back in shock.

“I told you that?”

“You and tequila were friends long before I showed up last night.”

“I can see that. Thanks for your support. I know it’s for Jake and not me, but thanks. It was hard to understand after the kidnapping and the gunmen.” Elizabeth’s pager went off so she didn’t see Carly’s eyes widen at the word gunmen. “Sorry, Carly. I have to go. Thanks again.”

Elizabeth was out of the hub and down the hall before Carly could respond. She didn’t know Carly was planning yet another talk with Jason.

......................

Carly knocked on Jason’s door loudly. The door opened and she found Sam on the other side. She breezed past her. 

“Where’s Jason? I need to speak to him.”

“Such a surprise there, Carly. I suppose you expect me to thank you for knocking at least.”

“I don’t care what you expect. I need to see Jason.”

“I’m right here.” Both women looked up as Jason came down the stairs. “What’s wrong?”

“I need to speak to you alone.” She gave a pointed look to Sam.

“You can’t come barging into my house, Carly, and demand things.”

“Look, Sam--”

“Stop!” They quieted. “Sam, you were leaving to go to work anyway. I’ll see you later.” Sam huffed and stomped her foot before grabbing her jacket out of the closet and leaving. “What do you need, Carly?”

“Apparently, I should have asked more questions last night but I was mad so I left.”

“Carly.”

“Don’t you Carly me, Jason. What does Sam have to do with some gunmen?”

“What?”

“I was talking to Elizabeth earlier and she mentioned it so I tried to think back. Is she talking about the time she was stopped in the park with the boys?”

“Don’t bother Elizabeth.”

Carly looked affronted.

“I didn’t bother her. Geez, Josslyn had a checkup and we saw Elizabeth at the nurses’ hub. We talked a little about last night. She thanked me and left. Now answer the question.” She put her hands on her hips. “You know, I haven’t decided if Elizabeth is too forgiving or if she’s just stupid for talking to you after marrying Sam.”

“Yes, Sam hired those men who stopped Elizabeth in the park. She wanted us to believe it was too dangerous to be together.”

“Too dangerous to be with Elizabeth anyway.”

“That’s not fair.”

“Fair? You tell Elizabeth it’s too dangerous to be with her or your son, but you marry the woman who terrorized him?”

“She didn’t terrorize him.”

“She terrorized his mother. That should be enough.”

“Carly--”

She cut him off with a quiet voice.

“She thinks he wasn’t enough. No one should ever feel that way. I should know. And now I’m leaving because I’m mad at you for making me defend Elizabeth Webber.”

.......................

Elizabeth was surprised to look up from the file she was updating in the computer and see Jason standing in front of her. 

“Do you have a minute?”

Elizabeth checked her watch. 

“I don’t get my break for another hour.”

“Will you meet me up on the roof?”

Elizabeth eyed him warily.

“I guess.”

“Thanks.”

When it was time for her break Elizabeth headed up to the roof without changing. She opened the door and found Jason waiting. She stepped out onto the roof and took a moment to regroup.

“I’m here.”

Jason turned from the skyline.

“Thank you for coming.”

Her voice was quiet.

“What do you need, Jason?”

“I don’t need anything. I just wanted to see how you are doing.”

Elizabeth’s face registered her shock.

“What?”

“I worry about you.”

“Why?”

“You’re my friend.”

“And you’re married to her. You and I both know we can’t be friends.”

“We can.”

“Does she know you’re with me?”

He looked away briefly before looking her in the eyes.

“No.”

“I appreciate your concern, but I’ll be fine. I admit I had trouble finding out you had a baby with Sam. One day I’ll be happy for you, but today is not it. Good-bye, Jason.”

She turned and left before letting him respond.

.................

Winter 2012

The next few months passed normally for Elizabeth. She went to work. She raised her boys. She spent time with her Grams and Steven. She even had normal conversations with Carly at times. 

She had decided to stay out of Jason's way as best she could but it had become unnecessary.  Carly had told her he and Sonny were having issues with a supplier and Jason had left town. He had yet to return. 

It would have been nice if Sam had the same courtesy but she seemed to go out of her way to cross Elizabeth's path while she had Danny with her. Elizabeth refused to let Sam know it bothered her.  Carly had been surprisingly supportive. She came across Sam gloating to Elizabeth once and dared her to talk like that when Jason was around and told her some day Jason would see through her, baby or no baby. 

Only one thing had managed to completely throw her off-kilter but after a few days of absolute shock and confusion she accepted her fate and life returned to normal. However, it did get her to thinking and she realized she wanted to make some changes and now was the time to do it.

Chapter 2 by lovemyqtkids
March 1, 2013

Jason was finally home. He was cutting through the park to check in with Sonny when he heard Elizabeth’s laughter. He missed her. It was as simple as that. As he came around the corner he saw her and Patrick pushing Aiden and Emma on the swings. She was in scrubs so she was probably headed to work soon. He knew he should keep moving but he just needed to be near her for a few minutes. He watched as the kids ran to the slide while Elizabeth and Patrick kept watch.

“What about that new nurse in Orthopedics?”

“The one that won’t stop talking?”

Elizabeth chuckled.

“She doesn’t talk that much.”

“She was in the cafeteria the other day when I was eating and her friends didn’t get a word in.”

“Fine, fine. But there’s got to be one person that you can think of to ask to the Nurses’ Ball.”

“What about you? Who are you going with?”

“I don’t need the hassle.”

Patrick scoffed at her.

“Oh, so I need a date, but you’re too good for that?” He laughed. “No way. If you’re going alone I’m going alone.”

She smiled.

“Deal.” She paused. “I want to run something by you. I’m not asking for approval, but I just want someone to talk to.”

He looked at her.

“Sounds serious.”

“I want to leave Port Charles.”

Jason couldn’t move.

“Wow. That is serious.”

“I think the boys and I need a fresh start.”

“Too many memories?”

“Yeah. It doesn’t help that everyone has opinions on how I should live my life.”

“This town does have its share of nosy neighbors.” They waved at Emma who was trying to get their attention. “Will I miss you? Yes, but you need to do what is best for you. And you can count on me to help in any way.”

Her eyes were a little teary.

“Thanks, Patrick. That means a lot.”

Jason didn’t want to hear anymore. He walked away, trying to process the fact Elizabeth was leaving. She had been a part of his life, either in his life or on the edge, for so long that he couldn’t comprehend not seeing her or hearing about her at all. He looked forward to the days he just happened to run into her, like today. He had been concerned after that night at the bar. Today she looked beautiful, healthy. He stopped mid-thought. And became angry.

..............

Jason went back to the park, but it was empty so he headed to the hospital. He found Elizabeth coming out of daycare.

“I need to speak to you.”

She could see something was wrong.

“I’ve got a few minutes before my shift.” She went into a conference room across the hall. He shut the door and turned to face her. “What’s wrong, Jason?”

“You’re pregnant.”

Her eyes widened in shock.

“No one knows. How did you--?”

“I know your body, Elizabeth. It didn’t register at first, but when it did I came right here.”

Elizabeth’s face showed her confusion.

“I appreciate your concern, but--”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You’re married to another woman, Jason. We’ve been friends, but I wasn’t going to bother you.”

“Bother me?” His voice turned icy. “Bother me? I needed to know!”

She put her hands on her hips.

“Excuse me?”

“That’s my child, Elizabeth! I tried to understand why you didn’t tell me about Jake, but after all we’ve been through how could you do it again?”

Her face drained of color. He was immediately concerned and helped her sit down. He sat next to her. She bent over in her chair and started crying. He was very alarmed, especially when he heard her. 

"When I found out I was pregnant I remembered the shower I had taken that night. It was months later so I couldn’t check the trash. I thought someone had--had--" 

She couldn't say the words. 

"I'm so sorry, Elizabeth. I had no idea you didn't remember. We used protection. Apparently it didn’t work.” He looked around the room and saw a box of tissues by the window. He went to get it. “It’s going to be okay.”

They heard Patrick’s voice before he opened the door.

“Elizabeth, Daycare said--” He was by her side in an instant. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m okay, but I need you to tell Epiphany I’m sorry but I can’t work today. I have a family emergency.”

“Is it the boys?” He saw Jason. “What are you doing here?”

“The boys are good. He’s here because I need to talk to him.”

Patrick looked warily at Jason before back at Elizabeth.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

She gave him a pointed look. Patrick didn’t look convinced, but didn’t argue.

“Alright, I’ll talk to Epiphany. Call me.”

“I will.” He left, leaving the room in awkward silence. Jason returned to his chair with the box. Elizabeth wiped her face. “You saw me the night I was at Jake’s?”

“I heard part of your conversation with Carly so I went to your house. I wanted to set the record straight on some of the things you said. Things didn’t go exactly as planned.”

She looked down at her stomach.

“Obviously.”

She leaned back in her chair. His phone rang before he could respond to that.  She sighed quietly as he answered.

“Morgan.”

“We’re having problems with the shipment. I need you to come in.”

He looked at Elizabeth who was looking away and he could tell she expected him to leave.

“I can’t, Sonny. I have something important going on.”

“Can’t it wait? This is big.”

“No, it can’t.”

He heard Sonny shift some papers and sigh.

“Fine. I’ll call Shawn, but we’ll talk about it later.”

Jason hung up and put his phone in his pocket.

“Please don’t leave town.”

She blinked back tears.

“I didn’t know this baby was yours. I didn’t. I didn’t even know I’d been with someone until I went in for a couple of routine tests and found out I was pregnant. I don’t think I’d ever been more shocked in my life. I freaked out. That night at Jake’s was the only time I’d been drinking, let alone away from my boys. Remembering that I had showered made me fear the worst. I had an alarm system put in because I was afraid.”

“I’m so sorry. After you shut me down the next day I planned to talk to you again, but I had to leave town. It took a lot longer than I expected.”

“Once I got my equilibrium back my first plan was to just go about my business and not talk about it. Raise this baby and my boys. And then I realized I could move and not have to deal with everyone judging me.” She paused and spoke quietly. “I could still do that.”

“You could, but I don’t want you to.”

“Your wife hates me and the feeling is mutual. I don’t want to have to deal with her in my face all the time.”

“I’ll do my best to keep her away not to mention you’ll have a guard.”

“Right. Will it be someone I know?”

“You remember Cody Paul?”

“Tall and quiet? The one I met when your office burned down?”

“That’s him.”

“Okay. I won’t fight you on this.”

“Thank you.”

“Are you sure about this? This is all kinds of complicated and it won’t be easy.”

“When has our relationship ever been easy?” He took her hands in his. “We’ll figure it out as we go.”

.....................

He sat in the hospital chapel. Elizabeth hadn’t given him a deadline for telling Sam but did tell him she wouldn’t be able to hide her pregnancy much longer. He had known asking Elizabeth to stay in town would complicate things, but he couldn’t just let her walk away. He could never make up for how he failed Jake, but he could start new with this baby. The first step was to tell Sam. She had Danny today so he would talk to her after he briefed Sonny on his trip. He figured he’d stop in at Kelly’s and pick up a sandwich on the way.

He held the door open for a family who was leaving the diner. While waiting he saw Molly and her boyfriend, he assumed, sitting at a table with Danny. He changed his plans. He sent a couple of texts and headed home.

....................

The last thing Jason expected to see when he opened his door was John McBain sitting comfortably on the couch. He put his keys on the desk with a sigh. He opened the door all the way and spoke to Milo.

“Make sure McBain doesn’t get lost on his way out.” He looked at Sam. “We need to talk.” He headed upstairs. He took a quick shower before heading back down. Sam was still on the couch, this time alone. She stood up. He didn’t have to read her body language to know she was angry.

“You didn’t have to be rude, Jason.”

“He’s a cop and he’s sitting in my house like he’s welcome here.”

“He is. He’s my friend.”

“Do you have any idea what it looks like to have a cop spending time here? My guys may know what’s going on but the Five Families don’t. It doesn’t look good for you to be around him.”

“You’re just saying that because you hate him.”

“You are missing the point. He is on one side of the law. We are on the other.”

“And you’re missing my point. He is my friend and he needs to be with his son. Every parent should be with their child.”

He arched one of his brows. She had unknowingly given him an opening.

“Every parent?”

She paused and gave him a confused look.

“Well, every good parent.”

“Do you think I’m a good parent?”

She was quick to reassure him.

“Of course, Jason. You’re the best father to Danny.”

“He’s not my only child.”

Her eyes flashed an emotion, but it was gone too quick for him to define.

“I know, but Jake is gone now.”

“I’m not talking about Jake.”

He saw her stiffen.

“What?”

“I slept with someone before I left town and she’s pregnant.” He paused. “It’s Elizabeth.”

She growled in anger. Her voice was full of scorn.

“Let me get this straight. You not only slept with your whore of an ex, but you got her pregnant....again.”

“Don’t call her that.”

“Why not, Jason? She slept with a married man.”

“So did you.” She gasped and slapped him. He took a breath. “I’m just saying you shouldn’t judge her. This is on me.”

“Oh, I doubt it. When I get my hands on her--.”

“Leave her alone.”

She started crying.

“How could you do this to me, Jason? To Danny? You know what? I don’t want to hear it. I can’t even stand to look at you right now. I’m going upstairs to pack. Danny and I will be staying at my mother’s.”

Chapter 3 by lovemyqtkids
Elizabeth rushed off the elevator into the MetroCourt restaurant. She hoped Epiphany wasn’t too mad she was late for the meeting on the Nurses Ball. Between a patient’s bad reaction to medication and her morning sickness returning it had been a rough afternoon. She had also gotten a text from Jason right before she got in her car. It simply said, “She knows.” She knew it was only a matter of time - time she had already run out of when Sam stepped in front of her as she started to cross the restaurant.

“Looky who it is.”

“I don’t have time for this, Sam.”

She pushed passed Sam and Alexis’ table and kept going.

“You had enough time to sleep with my husband!”

Sam’s voice carried across the room. Elizabeth turned back.

“Oh, grow up.”

Sam’s mouth dropped open.

“Excuse me? You’re the one who slept with my husband and you want me to grow up?”

“Yes. It was not my intention to sleep with your husband. It happened. It’s over. Bad things happen to good....oh wait. That doesn’t apply to you.”

“What’s the problem, Sam?”

Elizabeth groaned inwardly. She and Carly were getting along somewhat, but she knew that could change in an instant.

“My problem, Carly? My problem is this whore slept with my husband. And now I have to deal with another one of her brats!”

Carly looked at her.

“You slept with him?”

“Apparently.”

“She trapped your best friend with another baby and that’s all you have to say, Carly? He’s been keeping this a secret for four months!”

Carly’s eyes widened again.

“Four months?”

Elizabeth’s tone answered Carly’s unspoken question.

“Yes, Carly.” She looked at Sam. “Take it up with your husband. I have a meeting to go to.”

She turned and left them standing there. Carly looked at Alexis who was still sitting at the table behind Sam.

...............

Elizabeth arrived at the crowded table where Epiphany, Felix, Sabrina, Bobbie and several other nurses were waiting.

“I’m sorry I’m late, Epiphany.”

“Drake Junior called to let me know but that....” She motioned to the other side of the room where Sam had confronted Elizabeth. “was something new.”

“I’m sorry you were all dragged into my personal life.”

Felix looked around the table. When no one spoke he jumped in.

“No denial, Elizabeth?” His eyes showed his excitement. “Did you sleep with the Hottie Hitman?”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes at him, but it was who Bobbie jumped in.

“It’s alleged enforcer, honey. If you’re going to stay in Port Charles for long you’ll need to learn the lingo.”

He smirked.

“Interesting.” He looked back at Elizabeth. “So, did you?”

Epiphany’s voice was not happy.

“Are you suddenly a gossip columnist, Nurse DuBois?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Then let’s get back to business.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Felix looked over at Elizabeth, made the sign for ‘call me’ while smiling. She just rolled her eyes and pulled out her notes.

...................

Elizabeth rubbed her temples and tried to stifle a yawn.

“Sounds like we got everything covered on the agenda. Good night.”

Everyone said goodnight to Epiphany. Elizabeth picked up her purse and hung it on her shoulder. As she turned to head to the elevator she saw Carly catch her eye. Carly pointed to her phone. Elizabeth nodded and pulled her own phone out of her pocket. The text from Carly said, “Tomorrow.” She nodded at Carly again before following her fellow nurses onto the elevator.

...................

March 2, 2013

The knocking on her door early the next morning could only be one person. She opened the door.

“Seven a.m, Carly?”

“This is big news, Elizabeth. I can’t let you lay in bed all day when I know nothing.”

“I have two kids. There’s no laying in bed all day.”

“Oh, don’t get upset. You know what I mean.”

Elizabeth sighed.

“Why are you here?”

“Why didn’t you tell me about you and Jason?” She pointed to Elizabeth’s middle. “Or the baby?”

“Have you eaten breakfast?”

“No, so you should feed me.”

“Carly, we’re not friends.”

“So?”

Elizabeth laughed.

“Come on.”

Carly followed her into the kitchen.

“We’re not not friends.”

Elizabeth chuckled and rolled her eyes.

“Whatever. You want pancakes?”

Carly nodded and started looking through cabinets. Elizabeth mixed the ingredients and heated the griddle. Carly finally found the syrup and put it in the microwave.

“Why didn’t you tell me? I obviously don’t hate you anymore. And although I can see why you might not want to tell me he is my best friend and you’re not not my friend. So why didn’t you? Not to mention you’re having a baby? Big news, Elizabeth, at any time, but not saying anything for four months? That’s just--”

“I didn’t know, Carly!”

That shut Carly up.

“You didn’t know what?”

“Imagine my complete and utter shock at going in for a check-up and finding out I was pregnant. I hadn’t slept with anybody.”

Carly snorted.

“You’re no Madonna.”

“Ha!” Elizabeth sobered. “I thought the worst. I got up the next morning and found evidence of a shower. I thought someone had taken advantage of me.”

Carly looked uncomfortable.

“Sounds like someone did.”

Elizabeth’s eyes widened.

“Carly!”

“What? You were so drunk you could barely stand. There’s no way you were in a position to make a smart decision.” She looked away and spoke softly. “What happened to him?” She slid into a chair. “I don’t even recognize this Jason.”

Elizabeth turned off the griddle after she finished the last pancake. She fixed a plate and set it in front of Carly.

“I don’t know, but it didn’t help when I asked Jason to let Lucky raise Jake.”

“I knew it!”

“Yes, Carly. You’re so smart and I’m a moron. That has been established. I have been regretting it for years.”

“As you should.” She started eating. “Back to now. Jason didn’t talk to you about that night?”

“He came by work the next day but I was still hurt, angry and hungover that I blew him off. Then he left town. He showed up outside of daycare yesterday and he was angry.”

“Angry?”

“He said he knew I was pregnant and I should have told him.”

“How did he know you were pregnant?”

“He said he knows my body.”

Carly flopped back in her chair.

“Wow. That’s kind of sexy.”

“You’re not helping.”

“I never promised to, but here’s my advice. Talk to him. You need to clear all this up before your baby gets here.”

.........................

Elizabeth opened her front door.

“Thanks for coming.”

Jason stepped inside.

“You said we needed to talk.”

She had taken Carly’s advice and asked Jason to come by after the boys were in bed. Now that he was here she wasn’t quite sure where to start. He followed her to the couch and they both sat down.

“I guess it all boils down to one question. You are married, Jason, to her. Yet you came to my house and slept with me when I was beyond drunk.” She looked him in the eye. “Why would you do that?”

His phone rang. He pulled it out to check the caller I.D. He looked apologetically at her.

“I’m sorry.”

He stood up and walked to the window. She looked away and sighed quietly. When she heard Sam’s name her eyes slid shut. He hung and she heard him come back. 

“Danny had a seizure and Sam is freaked out. She’s taking him to General Hospital. I’m sorry.”

“Go be with....them. I hope he’s okay, Jason.”

“Thanks.”

He left quickly and silence filled the room reminding her once again this was her life now.

.......

Jason made it to the hospital in record time. Milo was standing guard outside Cubicle 2. Jason shoved the curtain aside and entered. Patrick was examining Danny. He looked over at Jason. 

“He looks good but we’re going to draw some blood and run some tests to see if we can figure out what caused the seizure. I’ll be back with a nurse so we can begin. Try not to worry. He acts like it never even happened.”

Patrick left the cubicle and closed the curtain behind him. Jason stepped up to the bed. Danny was chewing on one of his toys. Jason rubbed a hand up and down the little boy’s back.

“You okay, buddy?”

Sam started crying.

“I was so scared, Jason. I scooped him up and brought him here.”

“You did the right thing.” He spoke to Danny. “It’s going to be okay now.”

It wasn’t long before Danny fell asleep. Jason’s phone buzzed just after and he checked the screen.

“I need to make some calls. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Was that your whore, Jason? Doesn’t she understand we’re your family and we need you?”

“It wasn’t Elizabeth.” His voice lowered and hardened. “Do not call her that again. I’ll be back soon.” He left the cubicle and found an empty conference room. He closed the door and called Sonny who had some information about a meeting for the following day. He then called Elizabeth.

“Jason? Is Danny okay?”

“So far. The doctors are running some tests but Patrick said he looks good; that it’s almost like it never happened.”

“I’m glad he’s better.”

“Me, too. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay.”

Chapter 4 by lovemyqtkids
March 3, 2013

The next morning while the boys ate breakfast Elizabeth texted Jason. “Hope Danny’s still okay. OB appt Tuesday, 230. Can finish talk when ready.” The next step would be up to him.

She got a call from Carly on the way to work. When she arrived at the hospital she texted Carly saying she would call her during first break. Her day was going well and before she knew it she was sitting in the locker room.

“It’s about time you called.”

“What do you want, Carly?”

“You called me.”

Elizabeth huffed.

“You told me to.”

“Fine. How’d it go with Jason?”

“It didn’t. I asked him why he slept with me and his phone rang.”

“Tell me he didn’t answer it.”

“It’s Jason. Of course he did. But it’s a good thing he did.”

“Why?”

“Danny had a seizure so Sam called Jason. He met her at GH.” There was silence. “Carly?”

“I’m thinking.”

“You want to share?”

“Later. My next appointment is here. Gotta go.”

...............

Elizabeth’s afternoon was the opposite of her morning. It started with Aiden not wanting to be put back into daycare after lunch and went downhill from there. She knew it was bad when the highlight of her day was a short text from Jason. “Thanks. Will call later.” Still, she was surprised to see him step off the elevator right before her last break.

“Break soon?”

Her brow furrowed before she looked over at Cody in understanding.

“Yeah.”

“Meet me on the roof?”

She nodded and he left. When her break came she headed upstairs. Jason was waiting for her when she stepped outside. Cody stayed just inside before shutting the door, leaving them alone on the roof.

“Why didn’t you call me?”

“Why would I call you?”

“You got hurt, Elizabeth.”

She glanced down at her wrist with the brace on it.

“It was just a little scuffle with a patient. Cody stepped in immediately. The baby wasn’t in any danger.”

“That’s good, but I don’t want you in danger.”

“Don’t you dare start in on that danger crap. That only applies to me so I don’t want to hear it.” He was surprised at her sudden anger. She walked to the far end of the roof and laid her hands on the short wall. He followed her over. He turned and leaned against the wall. She looked him in the eye. “That was rude. It’s in the past. Guess I’m not over it as much as I thought.”

His voice was gentle.

“Talk to me.”

Her voice was sad.

“Why?’

He was taken aback.

“You’re important to me.” She turned her face and looked out over the city. “You don’t believe me.”

She sighed.

“I believed that. Then I saw you at the carnival with Sam and everything changed. All the reasons we couldn’t be together suddenly felt like excuses. I mean, I should have known, right? You said you wouldn’t put Jake before Sam and you wouldn’t leave town with me because you couldn’t leave Carly. Why did I not realize I was the only one you enforced that ‘It’s too dangerous’ rule with?” She hesitated. “I know why.” She looked him in the eye. “I loved you and I accepted you. It just wasn’t enough. Or couldn’t be enough.” She took a deep breath. “It doesn’t matter, not anymore.” She looked at her watch. “I’m sorry. I have to get back.” She headed to the door and looked back when she reached it. “You don’t have to worry about making me feel important. Just make this baby feel important.”

.......................

I still need to answer your question. When can we talk?’

Elizabeth had just walked in the door with the boys when she received that text from Jason. She put it at the back of her mind while she talked to the boys about their day at school and daycare and while they ate dinner. Once the boys were in bed she texted him back.

Tomorrow night after the boys go to bed is best.

His reply was quick.

‘I’ll be there.’

..........................

March 4, 2013

Between a half day of work for her, a half day of school for Cameron and numerous phone calls about the upcoming Nurses Ball she was too busy to worry about Jason coming over later that day. She was just getting the living room back to normal when there was a knock at the door. She opened it and motioned for Jason to enter. She saw his confusion at the wad of linens in her arms.

“The remnants of a fort. Come on in.”

He followed her down the few steps into the living room. She put her pile on a nearby chair and sat on the couch. He sat down at the other end. He took his phone out and turned it off before placing it on the coffee table. She just gaped at him.

“If there’s an emergency Cody will let me know.” She was still in shock. “This is important.”

She nodded slightly.

“Okay.”

“There was a lot of emotions and feelings that night. I can’t really pinpoint one thing and say that’s why I slept with you.”

“Why did you even follow me home?”

“That’s easy. I don’t like it when you’re hurt. That night you weren’t just hurt. You were hurt because of me. You’re the strongest person I know and I didn’t realize how much I hurt you. So I went to your house. You didn’t think I had any right to try and help you because we weren’t friends anymore. I insisted we were friends and we argued. You started crying and told me to leave but I was stubborn. I told you I couldn’t leave until we were friends again.” He paused. “You told me I was stupid to believe we could be friends when you were in love with me and I was married to her.” He looked in her eyes. “You were in so much pain and so beautiful. It reminded me of another night and I kissed you.” He hung his head. “I knew you’d be sorry and mad the next day, but I didn’t want to stop. You felt so good. I had no idea you wouldn’t remember at all. I’m sorry.”

“I’m pretty sure I was a willing participant.”

“Doesn’t excuse my actions.”

She sighed.

“No, it doesn’t. But we have this baby to think about now. We can’t be sorry for that.”

“No, we can’t. Our baby is a good thing.”

One side of her mouth came up in a small smile.

“It is.”

“I can’t make the past right. We can only go from here. I’m going to do right by you and this baby. I promise.”

.........................

March 5, 2013

Ever since finding out about Jake Monica tended to ignore Elizabeth whenever she saw her at work. Today, however, she had seen Elizabeth three times already and for some reason she couldn’t get Elizabeth out of her mind. She looked up from the first floor nurses desk to see Elizabeth coming down the stairs with Patrick and one of Jason’s employees behind them when it finally clicked. She slammed her file onto the counter. Her voice carried across the room.

“How dare you, Elizabeth!”

Elizabeth stopped dead on the stairs. Patrick got her started again and escorted her to the hub. He questioned Monica.

“What are you talking about?”

She looked right at Elizabeth. 

“You pretend to be the wholesome girl next door but you are nothing but a whore.”

There was gasping throughout the open room.

“Excuse me?”

“There are only two reasons you would need a guard when Jason’s a married man. You’re either his mistress or you’re pregnant.” She scoffed. “We know you’re not his mistress because Jason would wouldn’t do that to Sam. He might scratch an itch, but he wouldn’t have an affair with you.” She looked at Elizabeth with disgust in her eyes. “Is it really Jason’s baby or just another one of your ba--”

Monica’s head snapped to the side. Elizabeth was shaking after slapping her.

“Don’t you dare talk about my children like that. I felt terrible for not telling you about Jake, but we were trying to protect him.”

“You did a terrible job.”

Monica was swung around by a hand at her elbow.

“That’s enough.”

It had been a long time but Monica recognized the look in Jason’s eyes. She was nervous but raised her chain defiantly anyway.

“We all know how she is.” 

His eyes narrowed and his voice turned cold.

“You don’t know anything. She’s Jake’s mother. You should have respected that or at least come to me before spouting garbage all over the hospital. Maybe it’s a good thing we kept Jake from you.”

She gasped and paled.

“You don’t mean that.”

His expression gave his answer.

“She is my children’s mother. I will not allow you, or anyone else, talk to her or about her like that. You do it again and you won’t be seeing Danny anymore.” He turned his back on her and found Elizabeth. “You ready to go upstairs?”

She nodded and they headed to the elevator while Cody followed.

......................... 

The elevator door closed leaving the three of them alone inside. Jason looked at Elizabeth.

“Is she usually like that?”

She returned his gaze.

“Not anymore. Today she realized Cody was with me and she reacted.”

“What do you mean not anymore?”

She looked uncomfortable but replied.

“She was pretty nasty after she found out about Jake. After awhile she just ignored me instead. She’s been fairly polite lately but I think that’s over.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Jason, you’re not responsible for her actions. You only get to apologize if you’re stupid, not anyone else. No more taking on the weight of the world. Got it?”

“I know, but--”

“Have you been stupid?”

“No.”

“Then don’t apologize.” She cocked her head to one side. “Don’t apologize.”

He nodded. The doors opened and Cody stepped out first looking around. Jason motioned Elizabeth forward and they headed down the hall to Obstetrics. Elizabeth signed in at the desk and sat down next to Jason.

“It shouldn’t be long.”

“Thanks for inviting me.”

“Oh, Jason.” Her voice was soft and apologetic. “Of course. I told you it’s going to be different this time.” She looked down at her hands fisted in her lap. “We can’t fix the past, but we can learn from it. Maybe we can make Jake proud.”

The door to the back hallway opened up.

“Elizabeth, the nurse tells me you have a problem--” Dr. Lee looked up from her chart to see Elizabeth with Jason and someone who was obviously a guard standing nearby. “Oh.”

Elizabeth stood up.

“Hey, Kelly. Has the hospital changed policy regarding fathers at appointments?”

“It’s not a problem, Elizabeth. Come on back. Let’s talk.” Jason stood up and followed the two women into a room at the end of the hallway. Kelly shut the door after they all entered. She motioned for Elizabeth and Jason to sit. “Don’t mind the nurse. She just didn’t know what to do with a.....” She paused with a smile. “A coffee importer in the clinic.”

“Elizabeth has to have a guard or me with her when she’s here.”

Kelly thought for a moment. She looked at Elizabeth.

“Okay, we usually take you back and do vitals and a protein analysis and then send you back to the waiting area until it’s time, but we can just bring you back and do it all at once.” She looked at Jason. “Her guard can wait right outside the exam room.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. Elizabeth’s my friend. Besides, if all her guards are as hunky as that one out there it’s a bonus for me.” She grinned. “You ready to see this baby?”

Elizabeth noticed Jason’s face.

“Can you give us a minute?”

“I’ll be right outside.”

“Are you okay? With all that was going on I completely forgot to tell you it is an ultrasound appointment. Think you might want to know if we’re having a boy or a girl?”

“Can Kelly really tell?”

“I’m 19 weeks so as long as the baby cooperates she should be able to be pretty accurate. We can always get another ultrasound later if she’s not sure. Or we can wait until he or she makes a grand entrance.”

“I think I’d like to know.”

She smiled.

“Then let’s find out if we’re shopping for pink or blue.”

Chapter 5 by lovemyqtkids
March 5, 2013

The wand was gliding back and forth over the gelled surface of Elizabeth’s belly. Kelly was pointing out arms and legs, the heart and lungs, spine and profile. Jason couldn’t really make out much but smiled when Elizabeth whispered in his ear that she couldn’t really see it all, either. It wasn’t long after that Kelly paused.

“Okay, Mom and Dad. Are we wanting to know gender or are we going to be surprised?”

“We want to know.”

“Exciting. Let’s see what we can find.” The wand slid this way and that, up and down. Kelly clicked buttons on the keyboard as she worked. She went back to one spot and scanned as best she could from every angle. Elizabeth reached for Jason’s hand. He squeezed gently. “Well, mom. You’re about to get some support to balance out all that testosterone. She’s a perfectly healthy little girl.” Jason and Elizabeth sat in stunned silence. “I’ll give you a few minutes while I go print up some of these pictures.”

The door closed behind her. Jason looked at Elizabeth. He wiped her tears that started to fall. 

“Are you disappointed?”

“No, no. I didn’t know what to hope for. I was afraid of feeling I was replacing Jake but I realize now it wouldn’t matter, boy or girl. We know we’re not replacing him.”

“We’re not.” He leaned back in his chair. “A girl. What are we going to do with a girl?”

She returned his smile.

“Beats me.”

.....................

Elizabeth closed the locker room door behind her as she stepped into the hallway. Cody followed her as she started towards the elevators. They had just made it to the nurse’s hub when she heard her name. She turned and saw her brother. 

“I need to speak to you.”

Elizabeth followed him down the opposite hall to a conference room. Before she could enter Cody put his hand on her arm to stop her. He looked around the room and then let her enter. He went back in the hall and closed the door.

“What’s up?”

“What’s up? Seriously? You’re acting like everything is normal.”

Her brow furrowed in confusion.

“What are you talking about? Everything is normal.”

He scoffed.

“Normal? You let the local mob knock you up. Again.” She clenched her fists, then took a step back. Then she stepped back again. “What are you doing?”

“I’m trying to keep from punching you in the face.”

“Alright, look. I shouldn’t have said it like that, but I’m worried about you.”

“Worried? More like judging. Seems to me like you don’t have a leg to stand on.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’ve been here before, Steven. Only it was me worried about you dating Carly. Do you remember what you told me?”

“That’s different.”

“How?” He hesitated. “Maybe you shouldn’t answer because most likely you’re just going to tick me off no matter what you say.”

“Think about your kids, Elizabeth.”

“All I’ve ever done is think of my kids. I may not have always made the best decisions, but I’ve always done it to do the best by my kids.”

“Obviously not the best of choices to get involved with Jason Morgan again. You really picked a winner there. In the mob and married.”

He paused for breath. She took that moment to punch him in the mouth.

“You can take your condescending, judgmental idiot of a self and walk out that door. Pretend you don’t know me or my kids. I’m tired of being looked down upon because I don’t make decisions you approve of. It took me a long time to admit you don’t come around much unless you disapprove. Then you’re always showing concern and offering your help. No thanks, not anymore. I’m done with you.”

She opened the door and headed down the hallway. He rushed after her and grabbed her arm. He was suddenly up against the wall because Cody was holding him there.

“This is what your life is now, Elizabeth. Controlled by a bunch of thugs.”

“As opposed to being controlled by family?” She looked at her guard. “Thanks, Cody, but he’s not worth it.” 

Cody abruptly let go of Steven and followed Elizabeth to the elevator. Her phone rang as they stepped off on the first floor.

“Hello.”

“What is it?”

Her voice held back laughter.

“Well, hello to you, too, Carly.”

“Come on. Don’t keep me in suspense. Boy or girl?”

“Nope. Go ask your best friend.”

“What?”

“Come on. You know it’ll mean more coming from him.”

“Maybe, but I want to know now.”

She laughed outright.

“Bye, Carly.”

.....................

Carly started to make a call as she came down the stairs to the pier, but canceled it when she saw Jason sitting on one of the benches.

“There you are.” He looked up and Carly crossed the wooden planks and sat down next to him. “So, what is it?”

“What is what?”

“You’re such a guy. I know Elizabeth had her ultrasound today. I called her earlier but she told me to ask you if it’s a boy or girl. Don’t keep me in suspense, Jason.”

He passed her a grainy pic of the baby.

“There.”

She looked at the pic and huffed in frustration.

“Oh, please. No one can ever tell what is in those pics. Tell me!”

He smiled.

“It’s a girl.”

Her mouth dropped open.

“No way.” He covered a smile. “What are you going to do with a girl?”

“That’s what I said.”

She laughed.

“I’m happy for you, Jase. If you need any help I’m always here.”

“Thanks, but Elizabeth and I will figure it out.”

She looked at him thoughtfully.

“You two are really going to do it this time.”

“I’m married to Sam.”

“I meant be parents, but interesting how your mind went straight to that.”

“Carly.”

“What? I’m just saying you know by now that it’s not always best for the baby to have married parents, that’s all.” 

“I thought you hated Elizabeth.”

“I used to, but she’s not so bad. Look, I’m not saying dump Sam and be with Elizabeth. I’m just saying be honest about how you feel. I want you to be happy.” She picked her purse up from the bench. “I’ve got to run or I’ll be late for a meeting at the hotel.” He helped her as they both stood. “Congrats on your girl. Love you.”

She hugged him and left quickly, Max following behind.

.....................

It took Elizabeth a few minutes to get downstairs and answer the door. She found Patrick on the other side.

“Come on in.” She stuck her head outside. “Thanks, Cody.” She shut the door once Patrick was inside and followed him down the steps and into the living room. He turned to face her.

“I’m a little surprised I didn’t get frisked before I was allowed to knock.”

“He only does that on the third visit.”

“That’s not funny.”

“Says you.”

“How can you be so calm about this? You’re having a baby with a--” 

She stood up and intercepted his pacing.

“You’d better watch how you end that statement. You may not like my choices or approve of them, but I am an adult and I am allowed to do what I want. And if you want to stay my friend you’ll support me and not come over here ranting and raving about my child’s father. I already kicked one person out of my life today. Are you going to make it two?”

She crossed her arms and waited. He crossed his arms and watched her. He dropped his arms to his side.

“I’m sorry. I do not know what you and Robin see in him, but I’ll try not to badmouth him again on one condition.”

“What’s that?”

“I need you to be honest with me.”

She drew the word out.

“Okay.”

“And not hurt me.” She gave him a look. “The guard outside, the staying in town, it’s because you want to, right? He’s not making you?”

“Patrick Drake!”

“What? Two weeks ago you told me you wanted to leave town, start over and now the world knows you’re pregnant and Jason Morgan is the father. I care about you, not him, and I want to make sure he’s not making you stay here.”

“Come over here.” They sat back down on the couch. “I can see how that must look, but I’m okay. Really. Yes, my plans have changed in the last two weeks but it’s not a bad thing. Jason was gone the whole time I was trying to figure out what to do and I had no idea when he would be back. He came back sooner than I expected and we talked. Are things all worked out? No, but it’s a start.”

“You mean that.”

“I do. I’m not going to make you feel bad for not being able to separate him from his job. But I expect you to accept the fact I can. I’ve always known what his job is and I became his friend anyway. I’m not sorry for that.”

“If he’s such a great guy why didn’t he come forward with Jake?”

She sighed and leaned back into the couch.

“I started that debacle. And then we were just never on the same page. One of us  would be willing to risk it all and the other would be afraid. We went back and forth for years. And then Jake was kidnapped again and it scared Jason so much he walked away for good. Not that I wasn’t scared, but that’s neither here nor there now. All we can do now is do better this time. Be my friend or don’t, but I can’t spend my life with people criticizing my life constantly. I’ll know your answer if you speak to me the next time we’re at work.”

“Not necessary. You can’t scare me off that easily, Webber. If I could put up with Morgan because of Robin I can surely do it for you.”

“Thanks, Patrick.”

“You’re welcome.” He looked at his watch and stood up. “Alright, I’ve got to go home. It’s getting late and I’m sure Emma is still up with Sabrina.”

She followed him to the door.

“Thanks for being a good friend.”

“It’s what I do.”

She smiled.

“So you say.”

“Hey.”

She laughed.

“I’m kidding.” She hugged him and opened the door. “Thanks for caring.”

“You’re welcome. Good night.”

He was down the steps and heading across the yard to his house in no time. Elizabeth checked her watch.

“It’s 9:26. Think that’s close enough to 9:30 for my check-in, Cody?”

He smiled.

“Yes, Miss Webber.”

“Okay. Good night.”

Chapter 6 by lovemyqtkids
March 11, 2013

As soon as the elevator doors opened Elizabeth walked briskly across the Metro Court restaurant and threw her purse down on the bar next to Carly who was waiting for her.

“Do some people really have so much free time that they have to mess with my life? I really am going to have to go over and kick his--”

“What’s gotten you fired up?”

“Funny you should use that word. I just found out there was an emergency board meeting with two department heads and I was fired. Fired! Freaking, nosy, controlling little--”

She stopped mid-sentence and took a breath.

“Let me guess. Monica and Steven.”

“Has to be. I doubt anyone else cares that much.” She started pacing. “What kind of person do you have to be to get your sister or your grandchild’s mother fired during her pregnancy? Who’s going to hire me when I have to go on maternity leave in 4 months? What a nightmare.”

“I bet I could find you something here at the hotel, even something art related.”

“Thanks, Carly, but I’m not expecting you to give me a job. I didn’t tell you about this so you’d take care of it. I told you because you’re my friend and that’s what--oh my word.” She sat down. “We’re friends. We’re actually friends.” 

Carly laughed.

“It was a shock to me, too. Now, let’s get some lunch already because I’m not letting you starve my niece.”

The hostess led them to a table and they’d just finished ordering when they saw Steven and Olivia enter the dining room. Elizabeth groaned when the pair headed towards them.

“Carly. Elizabeth.” Steven looked from woman to woman. “Can I speak to you a moment, Elizabeth?”

“No.”

He looked taken aback. 

“Excuse me?”

“I said no. I don’t want to speak to you.”

“Come on, Elizabeth. He’s your brother.”

Elizabeth stood up and addressed Olivia.

“Do not try and mother me, Olivia. Blood or no blood I don’t have to talk to him. Especially when I just found out he helped get me fired.”

“How did you find out about that?”

“Doesn’t matter. Now go away.”

“Elizabeth, let me explain.”

Elizabeth looked over at Carly who got the message. Carly waved Max over.

“Please escort Dr. Webber and his friend outside the building.”

Steven looked quickly at Carly and back to Elizabeth.

“I’m not leaving.”

“Yes, you are, and you don’t have to worry. I won’t be coming to you for any help with my life. Not for getting a job, or needing an uncle babysitter, or for family dinners, not for anything. I absolve you of any responsibility to me.”

“I don’t want that.”

She studied his face.

“You want me to come to you for help. And you would help me, right? As long as I stayed away from Jason, I’m guessing.” Her hands clenched into fists at her side. “You are a piece of work.”

“It’s not like that, Elizabeth.”

“Sure it’s not. If only I still had the trust money.”

“Well, I took care of--”

He suddenly quit talking. Elizabeth’s eyes narrowed.

“You set me up, didn’t you? I trusted you and you made sure I lost it all. And for what? So I could never go to Jason again? Or to make sure I came to you?”

“I care--”

She punched him in the face.

“You don’t care. You control. You don’t love. You manipulate. You think you’re better than him because you follow the law? You are not half the man he is.” She looked at Max. “Please get him out of here.”

“With pleasure.”

Max made sure Steven and Olivia got on the elevator before him. Elizabeth looked back at Carly after the doors shut and sat down.

“Sorry about that.”

Carly waved her apology away. The food showed up and was placed on the table before the waiter disappeared again.

“I do have one question.”

Elizabeth’s voice was quiet.

“Jason gave the boys five million dollars when he walked away from us.”

Carly’s mouth dropped open rather unladylike. Her voice was kind.

“And now it’s gone.”

Elizabeth sighed.

“It’s gone.”

Carly smiled.

“So, what do you think of the name Carly?”

Elizabeth was confused.

“What?”

“The baby’s name. Carly Morgan. That has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?”

Carly started laughing. Elizabeth couldn’t help but smile. She was also thankful for the change in topics.

“Never gonna happen.”

......................

Jason answered the phone without looking hoping it was Elizabeth returning his call. However, he was disappointed.

“Jason. Can you come over?”

He sighed inwardly.

“Now isn’t a good time, Sam.”

He heard her huff through the phone.

“Why not, Jason? Don’t you want to talk about our marriage?” She paused. “Oh, I get it. You’re with that tramp, aren’t you? Come on, Jason. Why don’t you come and at least put Danny to bed? He misses you. Besides, we’re your family.”

He clenched his jaw shut so he wouldn’t say something he’d regret later. He realized what he would have to do and it wouldn’t be appropriate over the phone.

“I’ll meet you tomorrow. Where and when?”

Her voice became cheery.

“I know. Let’s have a nice lunch at the Metro Court.”

“Fine. I’ll see you at noon.”

He hung up and tried Elizabeth’s cell phone for the fourth time. Once again there was no answer. He walked up the porch steps and looked at Cody who was standing next to Elizabeth’s front door.

“Nothing to indicate something’s wrong?”

“No. She brought the boys home earlier. I could hear them laugh and play in the living room and then she took them upstairs about an hour ago.”

“Thanks. Keep an eye out just in case. I’m going inside to check.”

Cody nodded as Jason let himself inside. He listened for any sound as he shut the door but there wasn’t anything unusual. He checked all the rooms just to make sure before heading up the stairs. He looked in both boys‘ rooms and found them both sound asleep. He was halfway across Elizabeth’s room when he realized she was just in the bathroom. Then he didn’t know what to do. Should he let her know he was there since he was already almost to the bathroom door or should he sneak back out since he knew she was okay. He’d just turned around to head back to the hallway when the bathroom door opened. 

“Jason?”

He turned around and found Elizabeth standing in the doorway wearing her fluffy pink robe. Memories of their time at the safe house assailed him, but he pulled himself to the present. He explained as she came to him from the doorway.

“I’m sorry to intrude. I’ve been calling you and started to get worried when you never answered. I was just getting ready to sneak back out when I realized you were safe.”

“I didn’t mean to worry you. Usually I keep my phone close by, but I’ve been distracted today.”

“That’s understandable.”

“You heard?”

“I did.”

“Oh!” Her hand flew to the side of her extended belly. Before he could comprehend her action she reached out, grabbed his hand and put it on the same spot she had just touched. An elbow or a foot pushed outward. He held his breath as the limb rolled back and forth under the skin. He looked up at her face at her light laugh. “That feeling never gets old.”

His voice was awed.

“No, it doesn’t.” He saw her eyes dim. “Hey, it’s okay. No looking back. We’re starting from here, remember?” He leaned towards her. She held her breath as he kissed her forehead. “Why don’t you get dressed and I’ll meet you downstairs? I would like to talk to you for a bit.”

Her voice was quiet.

“Okay. I’ll be down in a minute.”

He held her gaze for a moment longer before leaving her room.

.......................

Jason was looking at the pictures on the mantle when she came down stairs. She had changed her robe for a t-shirt and cotton pants.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No, I’m fine. I just came to see how you were doing.”

She motioned for him to sit and she joined him on the other end of the couch.

“I’ve been better. Losing your job is never a good thing and I’m worried no one will hire me while I’m pregnant.”

“I know you don’t like needing help but I’d like to help if I can.” She looked at him quizzically. He shifted uneasily. “I heard you and Steven today when Sonny and I arrived for lunch. I know the money is gone.”

She put her head in her hands. Her voice was full of anguish.

“I’m so sorry, Jason. I didn’t mean to lose it. I’ll never be able to repay you.”

He reached across the couch and put his hand on her knee.

“I never expected repayment, Elizabeth. I just wanted to help provide for the boys.”

She sighed.

“I know.”

“You don’t have to explain.”

She looked away briefly before settling her gaze back on him.

“Yes, I do. I was ashamed.” She could see the shock in his eyes. “Not at first. But then you were with Sam and I questioned everything we were. You said if you couldn’t be with me you’d rather be alone and then you were with her all the time. It was bad enough you could be in public with another woman but to have it be her really messed with me. The money became dirty and shameful to me so when Steven gave me the opportunity to invest it I did. My plan was to get enough money to have a cushion if I needed it but then give your money back to you. As you heard today it didn’t work out that way.”

“I’m the one who should be ashamed, Elizabeth.” Her eyes grew wide. “Walking away from you and the boys was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I spent months just going through the motions. Sam and Spinelli started working from home more and it was easy to pretend it was like old times. Looking back I think I was trying to make up for failing Jake, and you, so badly. I never thought about how it would look and feel to you. I’m sorry.”

“You have to make yourself happy.”

“Not at the expense of hurting my son. He’ll never know what I did to him, but you will. Besides, I wasn’t really happy. I just tried to be happy because everyone else kept telling me I should be. I’m not proud of that.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything. I just want you to know you’re not the only one who is going to do better this time.”

“I believe you.”

“There’s one more thing I wanted to talk to you about.” He wiped his hands nervously on his thighs. “I’d like to spend time with the boys. I know you would need to be with them in the beginning so they aren’t afraid or nervous, but I want to get to know them. I don’t want them to think their sister is more important to me.” He could see he had caught her off guard. “But I don’t want to overstep.”

“It’s not that. You just surprised me.” She hesitated. “You don’t have to do that. Nobody expects you to.”

“I want to. I know I haven’t shown it to you lately but you’re important to me and your kids are, too. All of them, not just mine.”

She could feel his sincerity and nodded.

“Okay. Did you have something in mind?”

“No. It’s been so long I have no idea what the boys like to do.”

“Why don’t we just start with dinner? How about the day after tomorrow?”

“Sounds good.” He stood up. “I’d better go. See you later.”

She watched him leave, wondering what she’d just gotten herself into.

Chapter 7 by lovemyqtkids
March 12, 2013

She came out of the locker room and almost ran into her grandmother. She took a deep breath and hoped this would be a quick conversation. She put the box she had in her arms on the ground. The only sounds were from down the hall at the nurses hub.

“Aren’t you going to speak to me, Elizabeth?”

“Not if you expect me to be civil.”

Audrey recoiled.

“Elizabeth.”

“Save it. You and Steven are the only family I have so I can assume you helped him and Monica get me fired. You want polite conversation go find someone else.”

“I’m sorry we had to do something drastic but we’re trying to save you from the likes of Jason Morgan.”

“There are some things you can change like breaking a date or canceling a wedding. Having a baby isn’t one of them.”

“It could be.” 

Elizabeth gasped. 

“How dare you. How dare you stand there and have the audacity to say that to me. I will never forgive you.”

Audrey tried to look contrite. 

“I’m sorry, Elizabeth. We just want you to be happy. We just don’t think you can be while hanging around that man.”

“And that’s the crux of it. You say you want me to be happy but there are always conditions. There always have been. You were happy to watch Cameron for me as long as I tried to work things out with Lucky. It didn’t matter to you he was whoring himself out to a teenager; it just mattered I stayed with him. I’m done trying to win your love and approval. I know now I’m not enough and I won’t let my children feel this way ever. Thank you for raising me when my parents abandoned me. I will always remember that, but I can’t do this to myself anymore. Good-bye, Gram.”

“Don’t be so dramatic, Elizabeth. Take a few weeks to see how it goes and then we can talk again.”

Elizabeth just picked her box up and headed to the elevators. She never looked back.

......................

Jason opened the door to Kelly’s and entered. He sat at a table in the corner while he waited for Sam. She had called earlier changing their lunch from the Metro Court to Kelly’s. He didn’t really care where they had this conversation. He just knew it was time.

He looked to the door when it opened and watched Carly breeze through towards the counter. She sat down and was talking to Bobbie when she turned around to scan the diner. He saw her see him and waited as she came over. 

“Hey, Jase. What are you doing here?”

“Having lunch with Sam.”

She made a face.

“Thanks for the warning.”

“Carly.”

“Whatever. She’s not important.” She sat down. “I talked to Elizabeth this morning. You really threw her for a loop when you asked to spend time with the boys.”

“Is she having second thoughts?”

She put her hand on his arm.

“Relax. She’s just getting used to the idea.”

“Who’s getting used to what?”

“None of your business, Sam. I’ll see you later, Jason.”

Carly headed to the counter where her mother was. Sam sat down.

“What is her problem?”

“Nothing.”

“Fine. Let’s just have lunch. And talk.”

The waitress came over and took their order. Their food had just been delivered when the door opened and they saw Elizabeth enter.

.................................

Elizabeth looked back after Cody held the door open for her.

“You know, having you do that takes all the fun out of being mad. I wanted to slam the door.” He gave a slight smile, nodded and took his place near the door where he could see anyone coming or going. “Hot or cold?”

“Hot.” 

“Okay.” She called out to Carly as she headed to the front. “Sorry I’m late. I ran into my grandmother. It didn’t go well.”

“Sorry. I ordered you chili.”

“Great.” The waitress came over. “I’d like an herbal tea, please, and a coffee for my friend by the door.”

Elizabeth pulled off her scarf and put it on the chair next to her as she sat next to Carly at the counter. 

................................

Sam was watching the women at the counter intently.

“Did you know they were going to be here?”

Sam looked at Jason.

“What?”

“Is that why you changed your mind about eating at the Metro Court? Did you know they were going to be here?”

She crossed her arms across her chest.

“If you must know, yes. I want to remind Elizabeth that you and I are married.”

“We need to talk about that. Besides, we aren’t even living together.”

“That’s because I’m mad at you, not because I don’t love you. She doesn’t understand boundaries. This is the second time we’ve been through this.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, come on. It’s not the first time she’s gotten pregnant and tried to come between us.”

“That’s not how it happened. Not before or now.”

She pouted.

“Well, that’s how it feels.”

“Leave her alone.”

“Leave her alone? I’m the one who was wronged. I just can’t believe you, Jason. You’re supposed to be on my side. I’m your wife, not her.” 

He sighed.

“We need to talk.”

She looked at him suspiciously.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t think we should be married anymore.”

“We’re just having problems, Jason.”

“We’re not just having problems. We’re having the same problems we had years ago. We haven’t fixed anything. We just glossed over things and I realize it’s not going to work. I’m still Danny’s father, but we shouldn’t be together. I’m sorry.”

“How could you do this to me and Danny? This is all your whore’s fault. If she hadn’t gotten pregnant again we would be just fine.”

“She’s not a whore and it’s not her fault. You’re missing the point, Sam.”

She started crying.

“The point is she’s the problem.” 

She stormed out followed by her guard, Milo. He looked to the counter where Carly was now sitting alone. He had seen Elizabeth leave while Sam was talking and still wondered how they had ended up friends. He left more than enough money on the table and headed to the counter and sat by Carly.

“How was lunch?”

“Good. Elizabeth was craving chili so we changed our plans.”

“You and Elizabeth?”

“Is that a problem?”

His voice was gentle.

“Hey. No need to get defensive. I’m glad you’re friends. It’s just surprising.”

She shrugged.

“I’ve seen her differently since that first night. It evolved from there. We’ll see.”

He smiled.

“We’ll see.”

......................

Carly and Elizabeth had parted ways after lunch so Elizabeth was on her way to a specialty shop just past where the Metro Court was. She looked up to the top of the stairs.

“That looks daunting, doesn’t it, Cody?”

“I’m game if you are.”

She smiled and started up. She slowed down a couple of times but was able to make it to the top fairly easily. She looked back at Cody.

“We win.”

“You win nothing, Elizabeth.”

She turned back around and found Sam with her arms crossed and her face surly.

“What do you want, Sam?”

“I’m just here to tell you not to get any bright ideas. I am Jason’s wife and Danny and I are his family. You’re just--”

A gunshot ripped through the air. There were screams and Cody wrapped his arms around Elizabeth and pulled her to the ground as more gunshots rang out. 

As Cody and Elizabeth fell there was a sudden impact and they rolled over the edge and down the stairs.

.............

Jason was opening the door for Carly when they heard gunshots. Jason and Max exchanged looks as they pulled our their own guns.

“It’s better we stay together. Carly, you do what I tell you.”

They could see people lying on the ground at the bottom of the stairs. Jason was continually checking the areas around them as they walked closer when Carly grabbed the back of his shirt.

“Jason, that’s Elizabeth’s purse.”

The trio moved even quicker and reached who they now saw were Elizabeth and Cody lying on the ground.

“Carly, call 911. Max, check Cody.”

Jason knelt down next to Elizabeth. She was laying on her side, mostly curled into herself. He was afraid to touch her, afraid of what he might find. When she whimpered it was just barely a whisper. He took a breath of relief. She was alive. His hand shook as he carefully smoothed her hair back from her forehead.

“Jason, Cody’s been shot in the shoulder and it looks like they both tumbled down the stairs. I’ll go up and check.”

“No, I’d better do it.” He leaned towards her ear and spoke quietly. “I’ll be back.”

He didn’t want to leave Elizabeth but they needed to figure out who had attacked them and why. He was the best at the details so he left Carly with Elizabeth and started up the stairs. When he was almost at the top he realized it was worse than they first feared. He scanned the area as he made it to Milo. He checked Milo’s pulse and was thankful he found a faint one despite the two bullet holes to his chest. He called down that he needed medical attention up there as well before putting pressure on Milo’s wounds.

EMTs swarmed up the stairs a few minutes later and took over. They loaded Milo on a gurney and took him back down the stairs as quickly as they could. Jason followed them down. He tried to talk to Max and Carly but was stopped.

“Not so fast, Morgan. We have questions.”

He turned to Anna Devane, the police commissioner.

“We don’t know anything. We were almost inside the Metro Court when we heard gunfire. When we got here we found Elizabeth and Cody lying on the ground. We called 911.” He looked at Max. “I found Milo up top and asked for medical help for him. End of story.”

“Any idea who did this?”

“No.”

“Come on, Jason.”

“Knock it off, Anna. Let him go to the hospital. Not only are two of his employees hurt so is his child’s mother.”

Anna was surprised at Carly’s last bit of news.

“Fine. You know the drill. Don’t leave town. We’ll be in touch.” Jason, Carly and Max were well on their way back to the hotel to get a car when they heard Anna once more. “Let the police handle this!”

.....................................

Max was pacing the waiting room when Sonny arrived. He crossed the room and sat on the couch opposite Carly and Jason.

“Any word?”

Jason seemed oblivious to Sonny’s presence so Carly answered.

“Cody and Milo are in surgery. Elizabeth is still back there.” She pointed to a curtain. 

“Any word on Sam? Isn’t Milo her guard?”

She glanced at Jason but he was still distracted.

“She called when she got home. Said she ran as soon as the shooting started. Jason told her to stay there until he knows more.”

“Good.” Sonny put his hand on Jason’s shoulder. Jason finally looked at Sonny. He could see how worried his friend was. “Anything I can do?”

Jason’s voice was rough and uncertain.

“Pray, hope, beg....whatever. We can’t lose another child, Sonny. We can’t.”

Chapter 8 by lovemyqtkids
Patrick came out from behind the curtain about fifteen minutes later. He pulled his gloves off as he approached the group.

“Jason.”

Jason was on his feet instantly.

“Are they okay?”

“Elizabeth has a concussion, some abrasions, some bruising. The baby has a heartbeat and Dr. Lee is finishing an ultrasound to check for any problems we might not be able to see. If she stays calm and takes it easy they should both be okay. We’ll be moving her to a room as soon as Dr. Lee is done.”

Jason blew out his breath.

“May I see her?”

“10 minutes.”

Jason followed Patrick who opened the curtain for him. Jason stepped through as Patrick dropped the curtain closed. Elizabeth was laying on her right side, her right hand tucked up by her pillow. Her left hand was laying on her stomach. She had a bandage on the left side of her forehead and some small scrapes on her chin and the backs of her hands.

“I’m scared.”

He reached her side quickly and pulled the stool right next to the bed and sat on it. 

“I’m scared, too.” He put his hand on her hand over their child. “But she’s okay right now. You’re both okay.” He looked into her eyes. “We’re going to believe everything’s okay until they tell us otherwise. Can you do that?”

“Will you stay?”

“I’m not leaving.” He shifted his hand to take her hand in his. “Cody’s in surgery so I need to ask you what happened. Think you’re up to it?”

“Cody and I were walking to a new boutique. When we got to the top of the stairs we ran into Sam and Milo. She was warning me to stay away from you when there was a gunshot. There were more shots as we fell or after we fell. It all happened so fast. And then we were going over the side. It felt...” She stopped and her brow wrinkled in confusion.

“Felt like what?”

She looked him in the eye.

“It felt like someone pushed us. But that can’t be what happened. Right?”

“I don’t know, but I promise you I will find out.” She shifted and he saw her wince. “Why don’t you try and rest? I’ll be right here.”

........................

Jason met Sonny in the hallway.

“Did they get Elizabeth settled?”

“Yeah. She’s taking it easy. Patrick stopped by and told me that Cody is out of surgery as well. The bullet wound was shallow so his recovery shouldn’t be too long depending on the rest of his injuries. How’s Milo?”

Sonny shook his head.

“It doesn’t look good. The first 24 hours are the most critical. If he can make it that long he has a chance.”

“Hopefully Cody can give us more information. We need to find out why this happened. Things have been quiet and then suddenly the women in my life are targeted? It doesn’t make sense.”

Sonny put his hand on Jason’s shoulder.

“We’ll find out who did this.”

“Speaking of that, Elizabeth says it feels like they were pushed. It’ll help to get Cody’s perspective when he is out of recovery. If somebody pushed her they won’t be able to hide.” His look was serious. “I need you to check out Sam.” Sonny’s surprise was evident. “I don’t like it any more than you, but less than 30 minutes after I tell her it’s over Elizabeth is hurt. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I need you to find out.”

…………………….

March 13, 2013

Jason turned from the window when he heard young voices outside the door the next morning. The door opened and Audrey came in followed by Cameron and Aiden. She visibly startled when she saw Jason. The boys seemed to notice him but he was forgotten when they saw their mom. 

“Mommy!”

Elizabeth was already carefully pushing herself into a sitting position. 

“Hey, boys. Come give me a kiss.”

Jason pushed the armchair over to the bed and the boys used it to climb onto the bed. He could see the pain in Elizabeth’s face when the boys bumped a sore spot, but she kept a smile on her face as they got comfortable.

“I’ll be right outside.”

She was still smiling when she looked at him.

“Okay. Thanks.”

Cam watched Jason leave the room and then scooted closer to his mother.

“Who was that?”

Elizabeth’s heart hurt at the question but she kept her voice light.

“That’s my friend, Jason. Remember how I told you he’s Baby M’s dad?”

“Aren’t you afraid?”

Her eyes widened at his question and the fear in his voice. Her voice was gentle.

“Afraid of what, Sweetie?”

“Afraid he’ll hurt you or our sister. Or us.”

She cupped his face lightly with her hands.

“Cam, he would never hurt us.”

“But Gram says he’s dangerous.” 

It took everything in her not to react and scare her son.

“Gram is wrong. We’ll talk about it later, okay?” She saw him nod. “How about Gram takes you down to the cafeteria and gets you some pudding?”

Both boys’ eyes lit up. She looked at her grandmother who seemed unsure, but she didn’t argue.

“Alright, boys. Kiss your mother and we’ll be back soon.”

Audrey soon had the boys herded out the door. Jason was no sooner in the door when he heard Elizabeth on the phone.

“Do you have a minute? I need you to come to my room....No, I’m fine. So to speak.....Thanks.”

“Something wrong?”

“I have to get out of here.”

“What?”

Her voice was determined.

“I have to get out of here.”

He pushed the chair away from the bed and pulled the stool over to sit on it.

“Talk to me.”

“My boys need me, Jason. I can’t let her keep them. She’ll poison them against you and I refuse to let that happen. And I can’t let Steven watch them. Patrick and Epiphany both work full-time. I have to go home.”

He looked over at the EKG machine which was now beeping faster. He looked back at her. His voice was soothing.

“Come on now. Breathe and relax. What happened?”

She sighed.

“Cam asked me if I am afraid of you because Gram told him you were dangerous. Don’t even. You are not dangerous. You are not your job. Nothing in life is guaranteed. Yes, there are risks in your life, but having guards not only minimizes them but I think it makes unexpected dangers safer as well. Don’t argue with me. I won’t let anyone badmouth you, even if it’s you.”

He smiled.

“Bossy.”

Her response was delayed when there was a knock at the door. Patrick closed it after coming in.

“What’s up?”

“I need to go home.”

“What? You have a concussion and you need to be checked on often, not to mention you need to be very careful because of your pregnancy.”

“I know that Patrick, but I can’t leave my kids where they are.”

“Alright, take a breath. What’s going on?”

“I don’t have anyone I can trust to take care of my boys. My brother actively worked to get me fired. My grandmother thinks I should get rid of this baby. I have you and Epiphany for emergencies but you both work full time and --”

The EKG machine was once again beeping at a fast pace. 

“Elizabeth.”

“What?”

Patrick came around to the side of the bed.

“Breathe in and out slowly.” He demonstrated for her. “Come on. Stress isn’t good for the baby.” They breathed in and out in tandem for a couple minutes as her breathing returned to normal and the beeps slowed back down to a regular rhythm. 

“I’ll keep my kids in this room before I let them stay with Gram or Steven.”

“What if I stay with her? And when I can’t be there we’ll get a private nurse to help out.”

Patrick looked at Jason.

“How exactly is that going to work? You’re married, Jason.”

“Not for long.”

Elizabeth’s eyes widened at that statement. The door opened suddenly and they were interrupted by Cameron and Aiden. They ran to Elizabeth’s bed and climbed up once again. Audrey followed them in but stood by the door with her arms crossed over her chest. Patrick looked from Audrey to Elizabeth.

“Okay. I’ll sign you out, but I’m coming by every day to check on you myself.”

Audrey put her arms down as she walked to the end of the bed.

“What is this, Elizabeth? You can’t go home.”

“You’re coming home, Mommy?”

“I am.” She smiled. “But first, I need you to go in the bathroom over in the corner and wash your faces. I need to make sure I take the right kids home.” 

The boys giggled as they slid off the bed. Patrick stood by the bathroom door to keep an eye on them while also keeping an eye on Elizabeth.

“Yes, I can. I’m going to take care of my boys.”

“Don’t be foolish. I’ll watch them.”

“And have you continue to badmouth Jason? No. You had your chance and you blew it. You know how I feel and it still didn’t stop you.”

“Is he going to be going with you?”

No one could mistake the derision in her voice.

“It’s none of your business.” She called to the boys who were in the bathroom. “You’d better not be playing in the water.”

They came out with sheepish grins.

“Sorry, Mommy.”

“It’s okay. Patrick’s going to go get my paperwork ready and then we’re going home.” The boys cheered. “Why don’t you give Gram a kiss. She has to go.”

“But, Elizabeth.”

“You have to go.”

The boys were talking over each other to say good-bye to her so she kneeled down as both boys hugged and kissed her. She paused once as she looked back and then she left.

“Is Baby M alright, mama?”

“Baby Em? You’re naming her after Emily? You couldn’t come up with something a little more original?”

Everyone looked at a smirking Carly who was standing in the doorway.

“You mean like a fruit or a direction? No thanks. And it’s not Baby Emily, Carly. That’s too close to Emma’s name. It’s Baby M, as in Morgan.”

“Oh. Well, good then.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“So glad we got your approval. I was really worried. Come on in. Patrick is going to go get my discharge papers.”

“Oh, fine. Kick me out.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“I want to go home.”

He left. Carly ventured further into the room. 

“Going home already?”

Elizabeth heard the concern in her voice.

“My babysitter choices are less than ideal so I’m going home with some in-home help.”

Carly looked at Jason.

“I wonder who that could be.”

“Don’t start, Carly. I’ve got enough people giving me grief.”

Carly came up near the front of the bed.

“Chill. I’m just being snarky. He should help you.”

Jason’s phone rang. He stepped to the window and answered.

“Boys, this is Carly. She’s Mommy’s friend.”

“Please. It’s Aunt Carly. We both know you’re not going anywhere.”

Elizabeth smiled.

“Boys, this is Aunt Carly. She and Jason have been friends forever.”

Jason hung up.

“I have to take care of something. I’ll be out in the hall.”

Elizabeth nodded and Jason left the room. Cameron looked up at Carly.

“Can I ask you a question?”

Carly glanced at Elizabeth who shrugged in response.

“Sure.”

He snuck a glance at his mother before squaring his shoulders.

“Is he nice?”

Carly was momentarily confused but was quick to realize who he was talking about. She sat in the chair next to him.

“He’s the best friend I’ve ever had. Was he mean to you?”

He shook his head.

“No, but Gram said he was dangerous.”

“Oh. What did your mom say?”

“She said he’s not.”

“Well, I tend to make rash decisions myself, but you seem to be a pretty smart kid. I bet if you just watch and see he’ll prove your grandmother wrong.”

“That sounds like something my mom would say.”

“Heaven help us. Muffin and I agree on something?”

Elizabeth laughed.

“Watch out for the apocalypse.”

“Very funny.”

There was a knock at the door and Patrick came in.

“I brought you some scrubs since you’re determined. Why don’t I take the boys down to see Emma while you change?”

“You’re a lifesaver. Thanks.”

The boys were happy to follow Patrick out of the room. Carly leaned back in her chair. She chuckled.

"Would you like me to help you or would you be more comfortable with someone who's seen you naked?"

Chapter 9 by lovemyqtkids
Sonny was waiting for Jason outside of Elizabeth's room. 

"How's she feeling today?"

"She's in pain but is hiding it since her boys are here.”

“Milo is still in ICU. I’m on my way to talk to Cody. We got nothing from the scene so I’m really hoping he saw or heard something. Did you want to come?”

“I do, but Elizabeth is getting released and I’m taking her home.”

“Is that a good idea with her concussion?”

“It’s better for her peace of mind. Her family is not an option. I’ll be staying with her while she recovers.”

Patrick came down the hall. He nodded politely and went into Elizabeth’s room.

“You know what's best. I’ll call you after I talk to Cody.”

"Thanks, Sonny."

Before he could leave they both turned as they heard the staccato tapping of someone's shoes from around the corner. They exchanged a look as Sam stepped into view. Her voice was breathless.

"Oh, Jason. I finally found you."

“Sam, I already updated you on Jason.”

“I know that, Sonny, but he’s my husband and I wanted to see him.”

“Sam, you shouldn’t be here. You should have stayed where you were safe.” 

“I want to be safe with you.”

“Where’s Danny?”

“He’s fine. He’s with my mother. Why don’t you want me here, Jason? I know you want to be here for your employees.” The door opened and Patrick came out followed by Cameron and Aiden. Sam growled and glared at Jason. “Are you kidding me?” 

Patrick glanced at them but only spoke to the boys. He spoke in a conspirational whisper.

“Let’s race. On your mark….get set…go!”

The boys raced Patrick and they were soon out of sight. 

"Here I am thinking you're worried about your men and you're here babysitting that--"

He interrupted.

"Think twice before you continue."

Her shoulders drooped.

"How could you do this to me? My life is in danger and instead of being at home with me and our son you're here. Sitting by her side. She hasn't even had the brat yet.” Her face changed. “Or is that why you’re here? Did she lose it? Can our lives go back to normal?”

“Did you do this? Are you the reason she’s in the hospital?”

“What? Why would you think that?”

Sonny eased Jason back. Sonny spoke in a reasonable tone.

“Well, Sam. Elizabeth was shot at and pushed down the stairs just yesterday and here you are happily assuming she lost her baby.”

She snorted.

“Oh, please. She brings drama like this on herself. She’s probably been stringing some other guy along until Jason came home and he got mad.”

"That's enough. We’re in a hospital. Show some respect.”

"I don't care, Sonny. I'm not going to be pushed aside any longer. Not for her! Not after everything I did to get here.” She looked at Jason. “Let’s go. We’ll go get Danny and go home together.”

“I can’t.”

“You can’t? Or you won’t? She’s not worth it!”

“This has nothing to do with her. I don’t want to talk about this here.”

“Too bad, Jason. I’m tired of making allowances for you. I’m your-“

“Excuse me.”

They all looked at Patrick. Jason looked around him.

“Where are the boys?”

Sam snorted in anger.

“They’re at the hub with Epiphany. I need to speak to you for a moment.”

“This is ridiculous.”

The three men ignored her and stepped a few feet away.

“Max Giambetti wants you to know his brother didn't make it.”

Jason fell back against the wall as he realized he had one less link to figuring out what happened. He looked over and half-listened as Sam muttered to herself.

“I’ve come so far. Jason and I have come so far. I can’t believe this is happening. She is a life-sucking leech and Jason just lets her. She bats her little eyes or sways her little hips and he believes anything she tells him. And now I have to put up with her being pregnant again. It’s not like he needs her baby. I gave him mine. I-“

“What did you say?”

She looked stricken. And guilty.

“Say? What are you talking about?”

His voice was low and serious.

“You said and I quote ‘It's not like he needs her baby. I gave him mine. Not our baby, but mine. What do you mean? Is Danny not my son?”

“You’re being ridiculous, Jason. I was just talking to myself. I don’t even remember half of what I said.”

He looked her straight in the eye.

“Quit lying to me.” He punctuated each word with a pause. “Is….he….my…son? Is he yours?”

She turned nasty.

“No, he’s not yours! I wasn’t that lucky! I spent years as your girlfriend and then your fiancee and then finally your wife and still no baby! Then I finally get pregnant and it’s because of Franco! And instead of sticking to the plan he locks you up and makes you watch just enough to wonder! I should have known you were still his obsession! Do you know how long it took to get that stupid hospital lab technician to trust me so I could get in and change the results to you? And then they fell into the wrong person’s hands and I had to wait for someone to find them and tell us! I did it for us, Jason! You deserved to be a father! It was me! I made up for you not getting to be Jake’s father! Me! Not weak, pathetic Elizabeth! And now it’s all ruined!”

She stormed off.

“I was not expecting that.”

Sonny looked at Patrick wryly.

“That’s an understatement. Jason, man, I’m so sorry. But you should do another test just in case. You know how she is.”

Patrick looked at Jason.

“I’ll oversee the test myself if you want, but I’d better go before Epiphany hunts me down. Let me know what you decide.”

“You want me to stay?”

“No. Go find out what you can from Cody.”

Sonny hesitated.

“I’ll be back.”

It wasn’t long before Jason was standing alone in the hallway.

……………………..

Carly and Elizabeth sat in silence after the declarations they heard from the hallway. Carly pointed at the door.

“I’m going to go check on him.”

“Yeah, go.”

Carly found Jason leaning against the opposite wall.

“Hey.”

“I really am brain damaged.”

She put her hands on her hips.

“Excuse me?”

“I thought she’d changed." He sighed. "No, I just wanted to believe she'd changed. I thought she could make me happy since she had before. I just wanted to forget."

Her voice was quiet as she wrapped her arms around his right arm and leaned against the wall with him.

"Forget what?"

"Forget the pain of walking away from Elizabeth."

"We've all been there, Jason. Some of us more than others. Trust me. It's what you do with it now that matters."

He looked at her.

"You really are friends with Elizabeth." At her confused look he clarified. "It just sounds like something she would say. You're a good friend, Carly."

She gave him a cheeky grin.

"I know."

...........................

Jason and Carly were just getting Elizabeth settled into the wheelchair Epiphany had dropped off when Monica stopped by Elizabeth's room. She saw the boys standing behind the wheelchair.

"May I speak to you outside, Jason?" 

Carly rolled her eyes as Jason followed Monica into the hallway. Jason faced Monica and waited. 

"What do you need?"

"It's not what I need, Jason. It's what Sam needs. She came to me a hysterical mess. [You’ve got to give her priority over Elizabeth. She's your wife, not Elizabeth.”]

He took her by the arm and stepped into an empty room across the hall.

"You need to stop. You don't even know what's going on or who you’re defending.”

“I’m defending your wife. She deserves your priority, not Elizabeth. I don’t know why you insist on giving her the time of day.”

“What is that matter with you? Elizabeth was like a daughter to you and Emily’s best friend and yet you are terrible to her because of Jake. You should have understood why we kept Jake a secret. Do you not remember blaming me for Emily’s death?”

She paled.

“That’s different.”

“No, it’s not. Ask me how to support me instead of doing what you want. Quit defending Sam to me.”

He was back across the hall before she could respond. He looked at the small entourage, Carly behind the boys, waiting to push the wheelchair.

"Looks like you've got some great helpers. Ready to go?"

"Yes, let's go home."

Chapter 10 by lovemyqtkids
“Are you going to fight me if I carry you inside?”

Elizabeth looked at Jason from her side of the car. She gave him a tired smile.

“Not today. Take the boys in first, please. They know what to do.”

Jason had noticed Cameron had seemed a little tense around him at the hospital, but didn’t shy away when he offered to help Jason with Aiden’s seat belt. 

“It’s tricky. You really have to push the button for the two pieces to pop out.”

“Thanks, Cam.”

The little boy nodded before taking Aiden’s hand after they got out of the car. The trio walked to the front door. Once Jason had the door unlocked the boys ran inside while Jason went back to the car. He carefully picked Elizabeth up and let the guard shut the door. The guard who had followed them locked the car and positioned himself outside the front door.

Jason sat Elizabeth on the couch and helped her take her coat off. She told him where to put their coats and the boys’ boots. She leaned against the back of the couch and let out a sigh as the boys ran upstairs.

“Thank you, Jason.”

“For what?”

"For supporting me and helping me get out of there, for bringing us home." She took a breath. “But you don’t have to stay. Patrick’s going to be by every day and Cameron is a great helper. Or we can get the nurse you mentioned. We’ll be okay.”

“What?”

“You have your own life. You don’t have to stay here. I have to move slowly, but I can get around alright.” 

“Do you not want me here?”

“It doesn’t matter if I want you here. I know you have a lot going on.”

He sat next to her on the couch.

“Talk to me.”

“I don’t want to be an obligation.”

“You’ve never been an obligation, Elizabeth.” He saw her eyes dim. “You don’t believe me?”

“I want to believe you, that what we had was real and meant something important and you didn’t want to put Jake or me in danger. Realizing none of that mattered when it came to Sam and a baby with her changed everything, colored all that we had into something else. And it wasn’t pretty.”

“I admit I was with Sam again because it had worked once, but when Jake died I realized what a mistake I had made in not knowing him. I was already with her and it was easier to go through the motions. It shouldn’t have been with her. Being with you? Not a mistake. Jake was not an obligation. You were not an obligation. You are not an obligation.

“Jason.”

“You’re not. We’re doing this different this time, remember? We’re working on being friends and parents again. I’m not here because I have to be, but because I want to be. I want to help you, make this easier for you.”

“You’ll tell me if you need space or if you need to work?”

“I will.”

She scrutinized his face.

“Okay.”

They just watched each other momentarily. 

“So, what did you want to do for dinner?”

“Already got it covered. Carly’s bringing something over from the Metro Court. She knew I wouldn’t be up to cooking so she’s getting our favorites.

“Sounds good."

………………..

The house was quiet. Jason sat in the dark on the couch thinking about all that happened in the last few days. He'd gone from husband and father to neither of those. Well, not until Elizabeth had their daughter. Another baby with Elizabeth. He was still in awe about that. 

It was wrong to sleep with Elizabeth while married. He knew that, but it was difficult to be sorry. Especially now with a baby on the way. If he was honest with himself he wasn't sorry because it was Elizabeth. And that was one of the reasons he asked for a divorce. If he could sleep with her as easy as that then he shouldn't be married to anyone, let alone Sam. He had been serious about things being different this time.

He heard a noise and turned to see a figure walking down the stairs. He met her at the bottom. She startled when she saw him.

“You’re supposed to be taking it easy.”

“You’re supposed to be sleeping upstairs.”

“I can’t sleep in his room.”

“Why don’t you sit down. I’ll be right back.”

She headed into the kitchen and was back almost immediately. She popped the top of the bottle open and poured two tablets into her hand. She closed the lid and put the bottle on the coffee table before putting the tablets into her mouth.

“You alright?”

“Just a little heartburn. I usually have some antacids upstairs but I ran out and didn’t make it to the store yesterday.” She stopped talking as she sat in the chair adjacent to the couch and silence filled the dark room. She waited a couple minutes before softly imploring him like he had her the day before. “Talk to me.”

“I walked away from him to protect him. I knew it would be difficult but I thought he’d grow up and be safe and happy. It would be worth it in the end. And then the accident happened. The grief was overwhelming so when Carly came to me I did what she asked because it gave me something to do. At the time I was just on autopilot, but I realize now how badly I hurt you by coming to you with her plea.” He sighed deeply. “Our son died and I didn’t know him at all. He didn’t know me. Instead of coming to you and learning about him I just threw myself into another life trying to make my life mean something.” His voice was hoarse. “He’ll never know I love him.”

She stretched her arm out across the space separating them. He reached his hand out and took hers.

“We both made a lot of mistakes, Jason. We could argue about whose were worse or who made more, but that doesn’t get us anywhere, especially now. You need to forgive yourself.” She eased out of her chair and stood up. She squeezed his hand before he let hers go. “Just think about it, okay?”

“Wait.” 

He stood up and scooped her up.

“Jason.”

He looked her in the eyes.

“I’m not failing you anymore. Any of you.”

He took her upstairs before coming back down to sleep.

………………………..

March 14, 2013

As late as Jason was up the night he was already awake when Elizabeth and the boys came downstairs for breakfast. 

“Good morning.”

“Morning, Mister Jason. Is your motorcycle here yet?”

Jason covered a smile.

“Jason, is your motorcycle still in winter storage or is it finally warm enough?”

Carly and Elizabeth were doing most of the talking during dinner. Cameron and Aiden were adding their two cents as well, but Jason could tell the older boy was nervous. He wished he knew how to make Cameron feel better, but figured it would take some time. He looked at Carly, wondering where that came from. 

“You have a motorcycle?”

There was no disguising the wonder in Cameron’s voice. Jason looked at Carly who was smirking back at him. He turned his attention to Cameron.

“I do. I have to put it away during the winter because it’s too dangerous to drive because of ice.” 

“I think it’d be cool to have a motorcycle. I try to ride my bike fast but mom is always warning me not to go too fast.”

He quirked an eyebrow at Elizabeth.

“Not too fast?” He smiled at Cameron. “Now, that’s funny seeing as your mom loves to go fast, too.”

“Really?” His expression changed to one of confusion. “How do you know?”

“I used to take her out on my motorcycle and I couldn’t go fast enough for her.”

Cameron’s eyes got really big.

“No way!” He looked at his mom. “You’ve been on a motorcycle. No fair.”

Elizabeth smiled at him and cupped his chin.

“Someday you will, too.”

Cameron’s smile became mischievous.

“Can it be tomorrow?”

Jason smiled at Cameron’s eager face before looking at Elizabeth.

“No doubt he’s your kid.” He got Cameron’s attention again. “I don’t know if you can ride tomorrow, but I can have it brought over and we can look at it.”

Cameron thought it over. He looked at his mom.

“I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

“Not yet, but it’ll be here before you finish your breakfast.”

“Cool!” 

Cameron ran into the kitchen. Aiden followed him.

“You’re going to earn some major brownie points with him over this.”

“That’s not why I’m doing it.”

She smiled.

“I know. You’re doing it because you’re a good man and it will make him happy. Thanks.”

He shrugged. She gave him a pointed look but her eyes twinkled.

“You’re welcome.”

…………………

It was Aiden’s nap time and Elizabeth had her feet up on the coffee table. She was waiting for Carly to bring in ice cream from the kitchen when there was a knock at the door.

Elizabeth looked behind her as the door opened and her guard, Zachary, stuck his head in.

“Dr. Quartermaine to see you, Miss Webber.”

She sighed. 

“Let her in.”

He nodded and stepped back to let the older woman in. He shut the door leaving the women inside. Elizabeth sat there waiting. Monica put her hands on her hips.

“Well, Elizabeth. Once again you’ve ruined Jason’s life with Sam.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You slept with him years ago getting pregnant with Jake and now you’re preg-“ She stopped mid-word. “Are you doing this on purpose?”

Elizabeth stood up slowly. There was fire in her eyes.

“Excuse me?”

“You know he’s rich and he’s good with kids. Why not snag yourself a sugar daddy?”

“Oh, yes. l did it for the money. I sit around all day eating bon bons while the money just pours in. You’re delusional.”

“And now you’ve left Danny in a broken home. Who knows if Sam will let Jason see him now that you’re in the picture? You’ve left him without a son.”

“No, Sam left him without a son.”

Monica turned towards the voice that had just come out of the kitchen.

“This is none of your business, Carly.”

“As if it’s any of your business. You have no idea what’s going on.”

Monica felt the slightest bit uneasy. Jason had said the same thing the day before. Her voice became taunting.

“Well then why don’t you enlighten me.”

Elizabeth’s voice held warning.

“Carly.”

“What? She wants to know.”

Elizabeth looked at Monica.

“You need to talk to Jason.”

“He won’t listen to me. He’s blinded by you for some reason.”

“Do you even hear yourself, Monica? He would listen to you if you weren’t trashing Elizabeth every chance you got.”

Monica whirled on Elizabeth.

“Why did you have to go after Jason again?”

“What are you smoking? Elizabeth didn’t go after Jason, before or now. And it’s not like Jason isn’t a grown man. He can be with who he wants. Just because you don’t like his choices doesn’t mean he doesn’t get to make them.”

“He’s just a man. They have needs and I’m sure Elizabeth was only too happy to help him. It was despicable of her to do this to Sam. She’s his wife. What has she ever done to her?”

“If you only knew.”

“You’re such a liar, Carly. We all know if you knew something juicy you wouldn’t be keeping it a secret. You would be all over town blabbing, especially if it broke up Jason’s marriage. You can’t let him—“

“Shut up!” Monica and Carly both looked over at Elizabeth. “I’ve had enough. Don’t you dare come into my house and defend that woman to me. You really want to know about your precious daughter-in-law? Fine. We’ll start at the beginning. Sam knew not only knew who kidnapped Jake from the park, but she watched. She watched and said nothing. Did nothing. No wait. That’s not true. She came to me and told me we were the same, that we had both lost a child. She threatened to quit her job if we were guests on her show. She did not want him found. And when hewas found and it looked like Jason and I were getting too close to each other she had men stop us in the park threatening to kidnap us and use us against Jason.”

Monica’s voice was almost a whisper but her anger was still evident.

“You’re lying.”

“She’s not.”

“You’ll say anything, Carly.”

“It’s true.” 

Jason’s voice came from near the front door. With all that had been going on no one heard him come in.

“Jason.”

“No. You’re done here. You refused to listen to me. You haven’t changed at all since I woke up all those years ago.”

“Jason, please.”

He turned on her.

“Not a chance.”

“Sam was always talking about how Elizabeth wanted you for herself. I just—“

“You’ve known Elizabeth since she was a teenager and you’re going to take the word of someone you’ve only spent time with for the last few months?”

“Sam is your wife, Jason, and Danny is your son.”

“And Elizabeth is my friend and the baby she is carrying is my daughter. There should be no difference on how you treat them. Especially since she was practically family. Go home and don’t come back.”

She looked afraid but asked one last question.

“Are you going to keep me from Danny?”

“I don’t have to. He’s not my son. Go talk to Sam and ask her all about that." He opened the door and spoke to Zachary. “Please show Dr. Quartermaine to her car.”

Monica marched out without a word. Elizabeth eased herself onto the couch. Carly went back into the kitchen. Elizabeth’s voice shared her weariness.

“I’m sorry if you didn’t want her to know. They were going at it and I just snapped.”

He sat at the other end.

“It’s okay.” Her saw the look on her face. “No, really. I should have done a lot of things differently. Telling her about Sam is just one.”

Carly came out of the kitchen with two bowls. 

“I can’t take the serious talk anymore. But I do have to say I’m glad it’s someone else on the receiving end for once. She gave a bowl to Elizabeth. “Vanilla ice cream for you. Chocolate for me.” She looked at Jason. “Did you want some?”

He shook his head no.

Elizabeth took a bite before asking.

“What do you mean?”

“I just know from experience not to badmouth you. I haven’t seen him that angry very often.”

“Oh.”

Carly smiled.

“Oh, indeed. Let’s watch something funny. I think we’ve got time before Cam gets home from school.” She motioned for Jason to switch places. “Scooch. I need to see the screen.”

He moved while taking in the scene. He was still not used to Carly and Elizabeth being friends, but it sure made his life easier. And theirs. He settled back into the couch and just enjoyed the peace of the moment.

Chapter 11 by lovemyqtkids

Thanks for sticking with me. Hope you enjoy.


Chapter 11

Elizabeth eased herself into the tub with only minimal groaning. She'd have loved a shower, but had been advised to not to as she might be unsteady on her feet for a few days after the fall. She closed her eyes and just breathed in the silence. The boys were sleeping and Jason was on the phone outside on the porch. 

After a few minutes she grabbed the soap and started washing up . The bruises were more tender today so she washed carefully. She rinsed and grabbed her towel as the water drained. She had never paid attention to how many bruises so she started looking in the mirror as she dried off. She turned sideways to see if she could see her back and her eyes narrowed in confusion at one bruise in particular. It seemed to have a shape. Her eyes then widened when she realized what it probably was. She headed into the closet before heading downstairs.

Jason was on the couch reading when he heard her descending.

“I need to show you something.”

He stood up as she reached the front of the couch. He watched her put a shoe on the coffee table.

“You alright?”

“I’m fine. Remember when I told you I thought we’d been pushed?”

He nodded.

“Do you remember something?”

“No, but I have this.”

She pulled her shirt up in the back on her right side. He studied the bruise and looked at her in confusion since he didn’t understand the significance of a large bruise and a very small bruise a few inches away from it. She leaned over and picked up what he now realized was a boot. She turned the boot to show in the bottom and put it next to the bruise. He then realized the bruise resembled the shoe print of a stiletto shoe or boot. 

“She kicked you over the edge.”

“I think so.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry?”

“She went after you because of me.”

“No, she went after me because she’s a crazy mess. Besides, we talked about this. You aren’t responsible for what other people do, remember?”

“I remember.”

“Good.” She put her hand on his shoulder. “I know it’s not easy. I’ve taken the blame for Lucky’s actions way too many times myself. That’s why we have each other now, to help us remember. And change the pattern.”

“Okay.” She yawned. “You want to go back upstairs?”

“Yes. I might read a little but I’m going to bed soon.”

“Let me help you. I’ve got to go out and see Cody but I won’t be gone long.”

He scooped her up into his arms.

“Thanks, Jason.

………………………………………..

Jason knocked on the door before entering the room. Cody sat up straighter in the bed. His arm was held close to his side by a sling. Jason stepped into the room and closed the door. He held out his hand as he neared the bed and Cody shook it.

“Thank you.”

Cody nodded.

“I’m glad they’re okay. Sonny told me Elizabeth is already at home.”

“She is. I’m staying there while she recovers.”

“That’s good. Do you have someone watching Sam?”

“Watching her how?”

“No disrespect to you since she’s your wife, but I think she pushed us.”

Jason pulled the stool over and sat by the bed.

“What do you remember?”

“We ran into Sam and Milo at the top of the stairs. It was obvious she had been waiting for Elizabeth. Started in on her about staying away from you. The first shot hit me so I grabbed Elizabeth and headed for the ground. There was somebody next to us after the next two shots. Whoever it was either kicked or shoved us. Sam was the only one close enough unless someone came out of nowhere.”

Jason nodded.

“Elizabeth has a bruise on her lower right back that looks like the bottom of a stiletto boot or shoe.”

“So it was her. Sorry, man.”

“Me, too. Sonny is checking with her guard to find out where she is. She’s used up all her chances.”

He knew Cody didn’t understand the reference, but he did and that’s all that mattered. 

“Do you think it was all planned or did she take advantage of the situation?”

“I don’t know, but she will tell us what she knows.”

There was a knock at the door before it opened and Epiphany entered.

“Time’s up, Mr. Morgan. It’s past visiting hours and Mr. Paul needs to rest.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

He stood.

“How is Elizabeth?”

“She’s good.”

“No nightmares?”

He hadn’t considered those. It didn’t help he was still sleeping downstairs.

“Not that I know of, but I’ll ask.”

“See that you do. She needs good rest.”

Jason nodded to them both and left the room.

………………………

March 15, 2013

Sonny popped the top off a beer and handed it to Jason. He poured himself some water from the wet bar before sitting down across from Jason. Jason tipped the bottle towards Sonny.

“Isn’t it a little early for this?”

Sonny shrugged.

“I know it’s not easy finding out what she did.”

“You mean finding out my son isn’t my son or that my wife tried to kill Elizabeth and our baby?”

“Either. Both.”

“Doesn’t matter. I should have known.”

“Jason, you couldn’t have known.”

Jason scoffed.

“Are you kidding? I know what she’s done. I know what she’s capable of. I threatened to kill her because of it and yet I took her back. I really am brain damaged.”

Sonny sat there blinking at him. It would have been funny if he wasn’t too busy hating himself.

“What are you talking about?”

Jason scrubbed his hands through his hair before putting them on his knees. 

“Sam was there when Jake was kidnapped from the park. She watched it and did nothing.”

“Was she afraid of that woman?”

“No. She was just mad at me for having a baby with Elizabeth.

Sonny had been lifting his glass to his lips when he stopped at hearing that.

“Seriously? Are you sure?”

Jason laughed bitterly.

“It was just one of the many excuses she gave. And then she stepped up her game. She hired those men to threaten Elizabeth in the park.”

“Weren’t the boys there?”

Jason sighed.

“Yes.”

“And that’s when you….”

“I threatened to kill her if she hurt Elizabeth again, but I couldn’t even do that right. No wonder Elizabeth felt she wasn’t important to me. I didn’t protect her from anyone.”

Sonny let a few minutes pass.

“How did you end up married to her?”

“She was around all the time. She was always at the penthouse with Spinelli working on cases. I wondered why since they have an office, but I never said anything. She was just there when we went to Mexico to find Michael and Kristina. She was always around. I wasn’t myself after I walked away from Elizabeth and the boys. It was easier to go along with her, with everyone else pushing us to be together. It was easier to pretend everything was good.”

“And Danny?”

Jason’s voice was hoarse.

“I missed Jake so much.”

Sonny drank some of his water.

“What are you going to do now?”

“What I threatened to do last time.”

……………

Jason, Elizabeth and her guard stepped out of the elevator onto the 6th floor of General Hospital. The guard stayed by the elevator and Jason and Elizabeth went to the nurses station. 

“Can I help you?”

“I have an appointment with Dr. Drake.”

“Name?”

“Jason Morgan.”

The nurse tapped away on the computer keys.

“He’s finishing up with a post-op visit, but should be out in a few minutes. You can wait over there.”

Jason nodded and they walked over to the waiting area. 

“Did you want to visit Cody now or wait until I’m done?”

“Hey.” They saw Patrick make it to them. “This won’t take long. You can meet her in Mr. Paul’s room when we’re finished.”

“We can wait. If that's okay.”

"That's fine."

They followed Patrick to a nearby room. Once inside Patrick spoke.

"What did you bring?"

Jason gave him a paper bag.

"There's a baby bottle, a pacifier and a hair brush in there. Hopefully you can get enough DNA to use."

Patrick opened a cabinet door and pulled out a mouth swab. He took it out of the protective covering and swabbed the inside of Jason's cheek when Jason opened his mouth. He put the lid on the swab and placed it into an envelope.

"We can test for same blood type today and I'll send off the DNA sample to a lab not used by the hospital."

"Thank you."

Patrick motioned Elizabeth over.

"How's your head?"

"I still wake up more often, but it doesn't really hurt anymore."

"Taking it easy?"

"Yes. I only get up to use the bathroom or to go up and down stairs occasionally."

"Any bad pain?"

"Just sore and achy. Bruises are tender and ugly."

He smiled.

"They tend to be. It could have been a whole lot worse, but I'd like you to take it easy for a few more days and we'll see about giving you more freedom."

"Okay."

"By the way, I wouldn't be adverse to the name Patricia."

She laughed and exchanged a smile with Jason.

"I'll be sure and add it to the list of names we didn't ask for."

.................

Epiphany was coming out of Cody's room when they arrived.

"The bruises add a little something, but you're looking good otherwise, Elizabeth."

"Thanks, Epiphany. I'm feeling better today."

"I'm glad. You sleeping?"

"Some." She saw Epiphany's look. "It'll get better."

"I'll be checking. I've got to get back to work. I'll see you later."

Jason knocked as she went into the next room. They heard a muffled voice and opened the door. Cody waved them in and they went down near the head of the bed.

"I'm glad you're okay, Miss Webber."

"You're the one who got shot. I should be saying that to you."

"I was doing my best to protect you. It's my job."

"I can't thank you enough, Cody. I know it's not much but...." She opened her tote bag she was using as a purse and pulled out a small sealed container. "I made you brownies. You'll never know how thankful I am you saved us."

Cody looked like he didn’t know what to say. Jason clapped his hand on Cody’s shoulder. His voice held laughter. 

“Just say you’re welcome, Cody. It’s safer that way.”

“Very funny.” But she was smiling. “It’s almost dinner time so I’m heading home to relieve Carly. You staying?”

“I’ll meet you at the elevator.”

“Okay.”

She said good-bye to Cody and the guard followed her.

Cody looked at Jason who had closed the door behind Elizabeth.

“You have news?”

“Cops found a body. We think it’s the shooter.”

“Loose end?’

“That’s my theory.”

“What about Sam?”

“Seems to have disappeared. Shawn talked to Alexis who said Sam asked her to keep Danny since she had a case out of town.”

“That’s not suspicious.”

“We’ll find her. It’s just a matter of when.”

Chapter 12 by lovemyqtkids
Jason helped get the boys into bed after he insisted Elizabeth relax on the couch.

“Want a snack?”

“Actually, yes, if it’s not too much trouble.”

“Anything in particular?”

She looked sheepish.

“Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And barbecue chips.”

“Be back in a minute.”

She turned the tv on while he was gone and started channel surfing. She started to put her feet on the coffee table, but first pulled her socks off. She pulled her hair off the back of her neck and twisted it up and held it against her head as she leaned back against the couch. She heard Jason come back in the room but couldn’t turn her head or her hair would slide back down on her neck.

“Sorry that took longer. I got a phone—.” He looked down at her. “Are you alright?”

She smiled and put the tv on mute.

“I’m fine.” She reached out for the plate. “Thank you.” She took the plate with one hand and slid her shirt up just over her stomach with the other. She sat the plate on her exposed skin and flinched slightly at the cold ceramic, but then relaxed. “That’s better.” She looked up at Jason. “Sorry. I quickly overheated. I can get a fan if that’s more comfortable for you.”

He sat down next to her. She started eating.

“You’re fine.” He smiled. “It’s a new look for you, but it doesn’t bother me.” He motioned to the tv. “Am I interrupting?”

“Not at all. I’m not really watching. Just bored.” She studied his face. “What’s up?”

“Are you sleeping okay?”

“I hadn’t been, but last night was better. I know we don't know who shot at us, but knowing why we fell helps. Does that make sense?”

“It does. I’m sorry it happened.” She opened her mouth but he didn’t let her speak. “I know it’s not my fault, but I’m still upset it happened.”

“Me, too. All we can do is do our best and take things as they come.”

He nodded and took a deep breath.

“Sam has disappeared and the person we think is the shooter is dead. I’m not comfortable with not knowing where she is or who hired him so I’m asking you not to go out too much until we know more. I don’t want to keep you locked up here. If you’ll just talk to your guard first we can be better prepared.”

“Jason.” She looked him in the eye. “It’s okay. Don’t feel bad for protecting us.”

She yawned and stretched.

“Tired?”

She laughed.

“Betrayed by my own body, but yes.”

“Want a lift?”

She grinned.

“I’m not proud. Yes, please.”

She placed her empty plate on the coffee table as he stood up. He scooped her up into his arms.

“Don’t worry about the plate. I’ll get it later.”

“I’m too tired to argue.”

“Good. You wouldn’t win anyway.”

“Ha.” She was smiling. “Thanks.”

He carried her upstairs and into her room before setting her on the bed.

“I’ll be across the hall tonight if you need anything.”

Her face showed surprise, but she didn’t comment about it.

“Good. His room should be used.” He headed for the door. “Good night, Jason.”

He turned back.

“Good night.”

……………….

March 17, 2013

Elizabeth opened the door and found the Corinthos boys.

“Hey, guys. It’s been awhile. Good to see you.”

“Yeah, We've got some tough classes at PCU so we’ve been hitting the books.”

She looked behind them.

Lose your mom?”

She stepped to the side as they walked in, both carrying pizza boxes.

“Mom got held up working on an upcoming event at the hotel. She’ll be here soon.”

“Good. What’d you bring me?”

Morgan looked at Michael.

“Mom was right. It’s a good thing we got her her own pizza.”

Elizabeth tried to glare at the two teenagers, but gave in to laughter.

“My own pizza? You’re forgiven.”

Cameron came running down the stairs and Aiden wasn’t too far behind him. 

“Michael! Morgan! You’re here!”

“Yo, Cam. You ready to get your butt kicked? We brought a new game.”

Cameron just laughed at Morgan.

“I’m not just a kid. I’m gonna kick your butt.”

“Boys, boys. Go upstairs and kick each others’ butts until Carly gets here.” She took the pizza and the four of them headed upstairs. “Michael.” He looked back. “Thanks.”

He smiled.

“What? He’s a fun kid. And we’re cousins.”

She smiled back.

“Thanks just the same.”

…………….

By the time Carly arrived the boys were in the middle of a heated battle and said they’d be down as soon as they were done. Carly followed Elizabeth into the kitchen. Elizabeth got a glass and filled it with water for her friend.

“How’d it go?”

“Exhausting. This couple has been planning an anniversary party for months only for the wife to suddenly want things different. We were able to talk her off the ledge, but I’m worn out just from restraining from putting my heels up her—“

“Hi, Aunt Carly!”

She swung around.

“Hi, Cam. How did it go? Did you beat ‘em?”

“Almost. I wiped out on the last turn. Can we play again after dinner? We don’t have school this week. Please?”

She turned around and found four pairs of eyes giving her the puppy dog look. She laughed at them as she handed them the pizza boxes, plates and napkins. 

“Go on. Get out of my kitchen.”

She heard Cam as they shuffled out.

“I think that means yes.”

Carly chuckled.

“Boys. Where’s Jason?”

“He had a meeting with Sonny. He said he should be back by nine.”

“How are things between you two?”

“Good.”

Carly’s brow creased in thought.

“What’s wrong?” Silence. “Elizabeth, you can tell me.”

Elizabeth shook her head.

“Nothing’s wrong. It’s been easy living with him. So easy that sometimes I forget and wish for things that won’t happen.”

Carly reached across the island and put her hand on Elizabeth’s.

“What makes you think it won’t happen?”

“I’m afraid I’d be waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“What do you mean?”

“After Jason was acquitted of Alcazar’s murder he told me he wanted us to be a family. He said everything I wanted to hear. It was beautiful. And then I had to tell him those two men had stopped us in the park. He shut down and said he couldn’t risk our safety and it was over. Even when we were engaged he backed out in less than two days.”

Carly was stunned.

“Engaged. You and Jason. He doesn’t tell me anything.”

“There really isn’t all that much to tell. He came back from Seattle after his hand surgery and we talked. I told him to ask me again. He proposed, I said yes. Less than a minute later we got the call that Michael had been shot. We went to the hospital together, but I knew my dreams were over. He came to my house and said he couldn’t risk us and walked away.”

“Hold up. You said again. He proposed before?”

“He proposed when I told him I was pregnant and then when we were trapped in the elevator.”

“You turned him down twice?”

“He was trying to make it work with Sam. I didn’t want to screw his life up more than I already had.”

Carly smiled wryly.

“Only you would be so noble.”

“I wasn’t noble. I was afraid. I was in love with a man who didn’t love me and I didn’t want to be an obligation. So instead I mucked things up equally by staying with a man who was good to me when I was doing what he wanted. Because it was familiar. I was a mess.”

“Wow. But I’m not judging. You’re talking to the queen of messes.”

“Why haven't we been friends before now?”

"Stubbornness.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“Thanks, Carly.”

“Alright, let’s go get some food before the boys eat it all.”

“You forget. I have my own pizza.”

Carly shuddered.

“There’s a reason for that.”

Elizabeth nudged her with her shoulder.

“It’s not that bad.”

“So you say.”

“Chicken.”

“Darn right.”

They reached the table and Carly snagged the box that still had pizza in it. The boys groaned as she grinned in triumph. Elizabeth rolled her eyes as she saw her pizza box was at the other end of the table. She grabbed a slice and started eating.

“So, Elizabeth. Morgan and I have been thinking.” 

She shared a look with Carly before giving her attention back to Michael. 

“About?”

“Baby names.”

Elizabeth’s eyebrows raised, but she said nothing. Morgan got involved.

“Weird, I know, but it’s been fun having a sister so why not get involved in a new cousin.”

“I’m going to throw Michaela into the ring, but I’d accept Michelle, too.”

Elizabeth smiled at Michael and she could have sworn she heard Carly snort.

“But, my preference is Morgana. It’s old school and yet has a certain charm to it.”

Elizabeth laughed outright. She grinned at Morgan.

“You do realize that would make her Morgana Morgan, right?”

Michael thumped Morgan on his back.

“Good try, bro.”

“Thank you both, but I think we’ll probably pick something new.”

The front door opened and Jason smiled when he saw the group at the table. He closed the door and jogged down the few steps.

“You save any for me?”

Cameron looked up at him.

“There’s some of Mom’s.”

He exchanged amused glances with Elizabeth before looking down at Cameron.

“How brave do I need to be?”

Elizabeth muttered, but wasn’t really upset.

“Good grief.” 

He looked her in the eyes.

“I think I can handle whatever you’ve got.”

Chapter 13 by lovemyqtkids

March 18, 2013

Jason laid in his son’s bed and thought about what he’d learned that night. He had decided to use the kitchen door after talking to the guard in back when he overheard Carly and Elizabeth’s conversation. He didn’t know what to say so he had headed back around and used the front door. He was trying to figure out if he should say anything to Elizabeth or just wait and hope his actions proved he was involved for the long haul. He still hadn’t worked it out when he heard a creak in the hallway. He listened and then heard the sound of weight on the stairs. He pulled a shirt on over his sweats and followed the sound downstairs. He stopped and leaned against the doorjamb and watched Elizabeth open the refrigerator. When she turned back around after finding the eggs she didn’t jump when she saw Jason in the doorway.

“Midnight snack?”

She smiled sheepishly.

“Yeah.”

“Bad dream or just hungry?”

He came into the kitchen and pulled out a tall chair at the island in the center. She raised her eyebrows, but was quiet as she sat.

“A little of both. A fried egg sandwich, please.”

“You want to talk about it?”

He set about getting out a skillet and the other things he’d need to make her food. 

“I only remember the fear and being jerked awake. Nothing else is concrete.”

“If you ever do you can talk to me.”

“I know.” Silence filled the room as he worked on her food, but it wasn’t awkward or stifling. He slid her plate with her fixed sandwich to her across the island. “Thanks.”

“Your follow-up is still at 8:30 tomorrow?”

She nodded. She finished her bite.

“Yes. Kelly is going to do another ultrasound to double check everything before letting me get back to normal.”

“I guess that means I’ll go back to the penthouse tomorrow.”

She looked up at him, hearing something she couldn’t quite place in his voice. She reached across the island and placed her hand on his.

“You can come by anytime, Jason.”

“I don’t want to let you down.”

“You’re not.”

“I want you to know I’m divorcing Sam.” Her eyes widened. “I had already told her when she pushed you. I’m not making any plans. I just wanted you to know she wasn’t going to be a part of this even if this hadn’t happened.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. You, our daughter and your boys are my priority. I’m not going to mess it up this time.”

We won’t mess it up this time.”

……………

March 19, 2013

“Cold?”

Elizabeth stuck her tongue out at Jason. 

“You would be too if you were laying on a table with nothing but a piece of paper covering you. I don’t know why the air conditioning is so cold.”

“Doesn’t seem cold to me.”

She smacked his arm playfully.

“Cheater.”

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. They looked as Kelly came through the doorway.

“How are you and the ballerina today?”

“Ballerina?”

Kelly smiled.

“Childhood dream. Were you good this week?”

Elizabeth grinned back.

“Yes, mom. I think I was going on adrenaline the first couple days, but after that I really slowed down and let Jason and the boys do most of the work.”

“Good. We want to keep your little girl in there as long as possible. Let’s take a look.”

………………………..

Jason held the chair out for Elizabeth and she eased into it. He passed her a menu from the middle of the table as he sat down.

“Need this?” She took it and tried to smile. He leaned across the table. His voice was low. “She said it was just a precaution.”

She sighed quietly.

“I know. I just don’t want to be a burden anymore.”

“You’re not a burden.”

“She put me on modified bed rest, Jason.”

“Just to give your body another week of rest. Even though you came out relatively unscathed you had quite the trauma. I can still do my work, Elizabeth.” He shifted in his seat. “I like spending time with you.”

She had opened her mouth to argue but shut it on his last sentence.

“Fine. It’s not like I have a choice anyway.” She said it grumpily, but with a smile so he knew she wasn’t really mad. She reached across the table and covered her hand with his. “Despite my grumbling I am glad you’re getting to be a part of all this first-hand.”

“Me, too.” He paused. “Are you going to the cemetery on Friday?”

Her eyes flew to his. Her voice was quiet.

“Yes. I was going to ask if you wanted to come.”

“I do. What did you do last year?”

“The boys and I took flowers and talked to Jake. This year we’re going to meet Carly and her kids there.” 

“To honor Jake for what he did for Josslyn.”

“Yeah. I’m glad she’s okay.” She looked away briefly. Her voice broke. “I just wish he was still here. It still hurts so much.”

He reached out and she took his hand again.

“I know.”

……………………….

“So, how’s jail?”

“Very funny, Carly.”

“You’re really okay?”

“Yes. She just wants me to really take it easy and rest.”

“Did she give you a hard time about Friday?”

“No. She just asked that it be my only outing for the week.”

“Good. And you’re okay with Jason staying there another week? I could always come out and help.”

Elizabeth knew Carly was concerned after the conversation on pizza night and she appreciated it.

“Thanks for the offer, but it’ll be okay.”

“Call me if it’s not.”

“Will do.”

……………………….

March 22, 2013

The weather was beautiful as Jason, Elizabeth, Cameron and Aiden walked passed various headstones on their way to Jake’s stone. When they got there Jason took a blanket from Elizabeth and spread it out in front of Jake’s marker. Before they got it smoothed out Carly, Michael, Morgan and Josslyn were making their way to them. Carly hugged Elizabeth.

“Hey, Carly. Thanks for coming.”

“I’m glad you asked. We brought brownies.” She warned them. “They aren’t homemade.”

“Then they’ll be edible.”

Elizabeth laughed at Michael’s assessment. They all got settled on the blanket before Elizabeth spoke.

“Today is a reminder of the beginning of a very difficult time for us. We lost our sweet, fearless Jake. But, in return, he helped save you, Miss Josslyn.” Elizabeth smiled at the little girl snuggled up next to Carly. “It was the hardest day ever, but something good came out of it.”

“I was a desperate woman, Elizabeth, and you’ll never know how grateful I am that you were unselfish. My timing and methods were terrible, but I will never forget I owe you.”

Elizabeth was about to cry so she changed gears. She passed the brownies to Cameron.

“Hey, Cam, why don’t you tell them about the time Jake tried to save the snowballs.”

Cameron started giggling. He looked up at Michael and Morgan.

“We made a bunch of snowballs out in the yard, but it almost bedtime so Mom made us come inside. I came in first and Jake followed, but I didn’t know he brought in as many snowballs as he could carry and put them on the table.”

Like a good listener Morgan asked a question.

“What did your mom say?”

“She didn’t see them!” He laughed. “She was upstairs with Aiden so we took our coats off and went upstairs, too.”

“I called the boys in and carried Aiden upstairs. I was heading back down when the boys were coming up. I didn’t go back downstairs until after getting the boys into bed and there was water all over the table. I had no idea where it came from until the next morning when Jake was looking for his snowballs.” She smiled in memory. “He was so adamant that I had lost them.” She closed her eyes to ward off the tears. She looked at Jason. “Every day is hard.” She looked around the group. “But it helps to remember the good times.”

…………………………

“How is Elizabeth holding up?”

“She’s strong, but being dependent on others isn't easy for her.”

“That doesn’t surprise me. And how’s your daughter?”

Jason noticed Sonny’s smile.

“What?”

“I’m still getting used to you having a girl, that’s all.”

Jason relaxed in his chair.

“You and me both.”

Sonny’s voice was sincere.

“I’m really glad you’re getting another chance to be a father. I know it was hard to lose your boys.”

Jason inhaled a breath and blew it out.

“I just hope this time will be different.”

“It already is different. Everyone knows Elizabeth’s baby is yours. She has a guard. You’re going to appointments.” Sonny leaned back in his desk chair. “Now for business. No word?”

“None. She took out a large sum of money 2 weeks ago and transferred it into an account in the Cayman islands. Once she disappeared here she went straight there and withdrew it in cash. Spinelli is looking, but until he gets a hit somewhere she’s in the wind.”

“Don’t worry, Jason. Sam won’t be able to hide forever. Once we find her we’ll make sure she can’t hurt anyone again.”

…………………………

Elizabeth’s eyes were closed as she leaned back into the couch. She could hear the boys playing quietly upstairs as she got comfortable. She wasn’t really tired so she wasn't expecting to sleep, just relax. The knock at the door surprised her. She sat up and looked as Cody showed up on the other side.

“It’s your grandmother, Miss Webber.”

“It’s Elizabeth, Cody.”

“I know that, Miss Webber.”

She shook her head and smiled. Then she sobered.

“You can let her in. Thank you.”

Elizabeth watched Audrey come inside, down the few steps and into the living room. She stopped and stood at the end of the couch. Silence filled the room. Audrey finally spoke.

“Aren’t you going to say anything, Elizabeth?”

“What do you want, Gram?” She put her hand up. “I'm not being disrespectful. I’m just tired of rehashing all of this.”

“Then, please listen. Save your children before it’s too late. Stay away from Jason.”

“We tried that the first time and we still lost Jake.” She sighed. “Life isn’t safe, Gram. I learned that from sitting on a park bench, from having a husband on drugs, from not seeing my child go outside. From all kinds of things. And none of them had to do with the mob. I’m not going to make the same mistake again and keep a child and her father away from each other.”

Audrey sat on the couch, her voice pleading.

“We’re your family and we love you. We want the best for you.”

“Oh, please. The best?” Elizabeth stood up, hands on her hips. “You’re the ones who criticize and judge me every time I make a decision you don’t agree with. You’re the ones who cost me my job. You’re the ones who helped me invest my kids’ financial future. You’re the ones who think it would be better if I had killed my baby. I don’t need your kind of love.”

Audrey stood as well.

“Elizabeth, please.”

“It’s time for you to go, Miss Hardy.” They looked to the front door where Jason had just entered. He ignored Audrey as he stepped around her and talked quietly to Elizabeth. “You’re supposed to be taking it easy.”

He helped her sit.

“I was. I am. She’s only been here a few minutes, but you’re right.” She caught her grandmother’s gaze. “It is time for you to go. And it breaks my heart to say this, but you won’t be allowed in if you come back. Do you even remember what today is? You’ve proven I can’t count on you for support. Now, you can leave by yourself or I can have Cody walk you out.”

Audrey straightened and left quietly. Jason sat next to Elizabeth on the couch.

“I’m sorry she won’t support you.”

She leaned sideways and put her head on his shoulder.

“Me, too. Thanks for being here.”

He kissed her temple.

“I don’t want to be anywhere else.”

Chapter 14 by lovemyqtkids

March 27, 2013 (one week after last chapter)

“You’re sure?”

She put her hand gently on his bicep and smiled.

“Yes, Jason. I’m sure. Kelly said we’re all good now. I promise you I’m going to take it easy anyway and you’re welcome to come by anytime. If you’re worried it’s a bad time you can call ahead, but it isn’t necessary.”

“We’re still on for Saturday, right?”

“Of course.” Her smile became bigger. “The boys are so excited. They love the zoo.”

“I’m looking forward to taking them.” He shifted from one foot to the other. “I guess I should go.”

But he didn’t move.

“Thank you for staying with me. I know I was hesitant at first, but it was good for you and the boys and the bonding you want to do.” She tilted her head slightly and made sure he was listening. “And I’m glad we’re talking again.”

“Me, too.” He finally moved, first stepping forward and kissing her forehead, then stepping back and taking the three steps up onto the landing. He picked up his duffel bag and opened the door. “I’ll see you Saturday.”

……………………..

March 30, 2013

“Are you awake, Mommy? Is she awake, Cam?”

Elizabeth rolled over, slowly coming awake as she heard her boys talk.

“Not yet, Aiden, but she’s moving so it won’t be long.”

“Mommy, we’re going to the zoo today! Is it time yet?”

Even in her drowsy state Elizabeth chuckled. She reached out and messed up his hair.

“No, silly. Not time yet. The animals aren’t even awake.”

Aiden looked at her seriously.

“Are you sure?”

“No, but I am sure the people who run the zoo aren’t awake yet. Let me get dressed. You need to eat breakfast and get dressed before Jason gets here.” The boys went running from the room yelling with excitement. “Please help your brother, Cam!”

She slid out of bed and changed her clothes. She quickly brushed her teeth and ran a brush through her hair before heading to the boys’ rooms to check on their progress. They met her in the hallway.

“Ready!”

“Good. Let’s go see what we can come up with for breakfast.”

……………………

Elizabeth had just entered the kitchen when the doorbell rang and she heard Cody.

“Jason is here.”

“Jason!”

She was glad the boys were excited to see Jason. She had worried after her grandmother had scared Cameron, but he had quickly warmed up to Jason once Jason had stayed with them. She smiled at the memory of Carly’s mention of Jason’s motorcycle which had helped soften his resolve. She came out of the kitchen to grab more stuff from the table and found the boys bombarding Jason with questions.

“Boys. Did you forget something?”

“Oops. Sorry, mommy.”

“Sorry, mama.”

They grabbed their plates and forks and carried them into the kitchen.

“Good morning.”

“Morning. Can I help?”

“It’s not necessary. Just cleaning off the table from breakfast.”

He picked up a couple glasses.

“Hey. What are friends for?”

Another ten minutes and they all had breakfast put away and the kitchen cleaned. The boys were getting their shoes on when Cameron asked a question.

“Are you sure you want to stay home, Mom?”

“You don’t want some guys only time?”

Cameron looked confused.

“Well, yeah, but I don’t want you to be alone.”

“You don’t have to worry about me. Aunt Carly’s coming over later with Josslyn. I didn’t think you’d want to be here for a tea party.”

His face wrinkled in disgust.

“No way.”

She laughed.

“Thanks for worrying about me, but you’ll have fun. I’ll have fun. And then we can swap stories over pizza tonight. How’s that sound?”

“Pizza!”

Elizabeth smiled at Aiden’s enthusiasm. Cameron chimed in.

“I love pizza.”

“Good. Now, listen to Jason and I’ll see you this afternoon.”

Kisses were given and the boys ran outside. Jason lingered.

“We’ll be back by three.”

“Don’t worry, Jason. Just have fun. We’ll be here when you get back.”

“Okay. Have fun with Carly. We’ll be back later.”

……………….

Elizabeth shut the door behind Jason and the boys after waving to them as they drove away. She stayed there, an idea coming to mind. She opened the door.

“Miss Webber?”

“Elizabeth, Cody.”

“I know, Miss Webber.”

It was the same conversation they always had, but it didn’t bother Elizabeth. She smiled and then sighed.

“Cody, do you know if Max is working today?”

“I believe he’s guarding Carly today.”

“So he’ll be here later for the tea party. That’s good. Will you please let me know if that changes?”

“Will do, Miss Webber.”

“Thank you, Cody.”

…………….

“Giraffes!”

Jason chuckled.

“Can we feed them, Jason?”

“Let’s go see.”

The trio, followed discreetly by guards, found a stand near the giraffe exhibit and Jason paid for two small cups of giraffe food. The ground was at an incline as they walked to the other end of the exhibit making Jason eye level with the giraffes. Cameron immediately stuck his cup out and calling out to the animals. Aiden was less sure.

“Would you like me to hold you?”

Aiden never took his eyes off the tall animal but nodded. Jason scooped him up and ventured a little closer to the giraffe while keeping an eye on the little boy making sure he wasn’t afraid. Cameron’s giraffe was eagerly eating out of his cup making him laugh. Aiden still wasn’t sure but his eyes got wide as his giraffe’s tongue was snaking out of its mouth and was able to reach the tip of his cup more than six inches away. He pulled his cup back.

“Wow. That’s a long tongue!”

“It sure is, Cam. You okay, Aiden?”

His voice was a whisper.

“You feed him.”

He took the cup and held it just close enough for the giraffe to get his tongue all the way in. Aiden giggled and Jason breathed easier knowing the little boy wasn’t afraid anymore. Once the food was gone they cleaned up in the bathroom.

“How about some lunch, guys?”

“Yeah! I’m starving.”

Jason laughed.

“Starving, huh? Let’s go see what we can find to eat.”

………………….

Elizabeth was reading a magazine when the door opened after a knock and Cody introduced Carly and Josslyn. She stood up as they came inside. Josslyn ran to Elizabeth.

“Aunt Elizabeth!”

Elizabeth bent so Josslyn could hug her.

“Hey, Joss. Ready for a tea party?”

“Yes! Uncle Sonny sent tiny cupcakes for us.”

“He did?"

“Yep.” She squealed. “They’re pink!”

Elizabeth laughed.

“How exciting! You want to go in the kitchen and pick out your cup?” 

Josslyn ran into the kitchen and Carly put the box of baked goods on the coffee table.

“Don’t say it.”

“Don’t say what? Uncle Sonny?”

“Jax wouldn’t have liked it at all,” Her voice softened. “But he’s dead. Sonny’s Michael and Morgan’s father and she sees him a lot.”

 Elizabeth pulled Carly in for a hug.

“I’m sorry. I was just teasing you. It’s good that she’s comfortable with him.” They looked to the door when they heard the knock. Cody stuck his head letting them know Patrick and Emma had arrived. “Hi, guys. Thanks for coming.”

“Hey, Patrick.”

“Hi, Carly.”

“You look a little uneasy. Are tea parties not your thing?”

“I’ll have you know I’m a tea party champion. I make a mean chamomile with honey.” He gave a dimpled smile and lifted his string wrapped box. “And I can buy tea cakes from a bakery with the best of ‘em.”

“Touché, Dr. Drake.” She laughed. “Touché.”

Josslyn came out of the kitchen and stopped when she saw the new people. Elizabeth motioned her over. 

“Joss, this is Emma. Emma, this is Joss.”

Josslyn had a lot of her mom in her.

“Do you like cupcakes?”

Emma’s answer was quiet.

“Yes.”

“Do you like purple?”

Emma’s face lit up, but she was still hesitant.

“I do.”

“Do you want to go look?”

Emma looked up at her dad.

“Go on. It’s okay.”

“You two get settled. I’ll be right back.”

Elizabeth headed for the front door while Josslyn and Emma went into the kitchen. Both Max and Cody looked at her when she opened the door. She stepped onto the porch and shut the door.

“Everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine, Cody. Thanks.” She turned to Max.

“I’m so very sorry about Milo. He was a very sweet guy and a lot of fun on karaoke night.”

He tipped his head ever so slightly.

“Thanks, Miss Webber. It’s still hard to believe.”

“I can imagine. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to his funeral.”

“It’s okay, Miss Webber. I’m just glad you and your baby are okay.”

“Thanks.” She smiled. “And it’s Elizabeth.”

He smiled in return.

“I know.”

………………………..

“Is she always shy?”

He smiled. 

“You met her mom.” She returned his smile. “She’s not usually shy, but there are times when she’s reminded she doesn’t have a mom.”

“Like today for a tea party.”

“Yeah, mom and daughter functions can be difficult.”

“I bet.” She hesitated, but then forged ahead. “It’s no secret I didn’t like Robin, but I am sorry for your loss. No child should have to grow up without a parent.”

“Thanks, Carly. I’d like to extend my condolences as well. It’s probably bad manners to wait more than a year, but I am sorry, nonetheless.”

“Thanks. It’s getting easier.”

They looked when the door opened and Elizabeth came back in. She smiled as she picked up the box of cupcakes from the coffee table. She passed them to Patrick and lead the way to the kitchen.

“Who’s ready to eat? Thanks to you guys we have more than double what I already had. We’d better get started.”

………………….

Cody let Jason and the boys in once they got home. Jason went upstairs and put a sleeping Aiden in his bed. He came back downstairs and heard voices in the back. He followed them into the kitchen.

“Hey, did he go down alright?”

“Never moved a muscle. He always sleep that soundly?”

“Always. I’m not exactly sure where he gets that from.” She looked at Cameron and then Jason. “Cam was just telling me you were a giraffe hero today.” She smiled.

“I didn’t do anything.”

“That’s what you always say.”

“We got to see some cool animals actually doing stuff today. I even think that lion was trying to get out. Don’t you, Jason?”

Jason smiled.

“He was prowling the edge of his pen pretty good. But he might have just been hungry.”

“That was so cool, mom! The trainer threw in some meat and they just went to town on it.”

That didn’t sound like fun at all to Elizabeth, but she tried to be a good sport, especially when her stomach gave a lurch. She inhaled deeply and tried to focus on the conversation. Jason noticed and changed the subject.

“How was your party?”

Realizing what he was doing she was finally able to smile in response.

“It was fun, but I think we’re going to have leftover cake until Cam’s birthday.” 

Cameron’s eyes lit up.

“Really?”

She laughed.

“Probably not that much cake, but we do have a lot of leftovers. I bought cupcakes yesterday and then Sonny sent some over with Carly and Patrick brought some, too.” 

“So can we have one?”

She looked back at Cameron.

After dinner, buddy.”

He grinned back at her.

“Is it dinnertime yet?”

“Smarty pants. We have to get the pizza ordered and pick out a movie.” 

“You go pick out a movie. Your mom and I will order pizza.”

Cameron laughed.

“Woohoo!”

He ran into the living room. Elizabeth opened her laptop that was on the island. She found the website for the pizza place they liked and picked out what she and the boys would eat. She slid the computer to Jason.

“Pick out what you want and add it to the list.”

He scanned the site and picked something. He finished the order and closed it.

“Thanks for today, Elizabeth. We really had a good time. Thanks for trusting me with your boys.”

Cameron raced back in. 

“Picked one! Can we wake Aiden up now?”

Jason grinned.

“Why don’t we go outside and play while we wait for Aiden and the pizza?”

“Cool!”

Jason stared at Elizabeth before following Cameron out of the room. No matter how she tried she couldn’t stop the butterflies she was now feeling.

Chapter 15 by lovemyqtkids

March 27, 2013 (one week after last chapter)

“You’re sure?”

She put her hand gently on his bicep and smiled.

“Yes, Jason. I’m sure. Kelly said we’re all good now. I promise you I’m going to take it easy anyway and you’re welcome to come by anytime. If you’re worried it’s a bad time you can call ahead, but it isn’t necessary.”

“We’re still on for Saturday, right?”

“Of course.” Her smile became bigger. “The boys are so excited. They love the zoo.”

“I’m looking forward to taking them.” He shifted from one foot to the other. “I guess I should go.”

But he didn’t move.

“Thank you for staying with me. I know I was hesitant at first, but it was good for you and the boys and the bonding you want to do.” She tilted her head slightly and made sure he was listening. “And I’m glad we’re talking again.”

“Me, too.” He finally moved, first stepping forward and kissing her forehead, then stepping back and taking the three steps up onto the landing. He picked up his duffel bag and opened the door. “I’ll see you Saturday.”

……………………..

March 30, 2013

“Are you awake, Mommy? Is she awake, Cam?”

Elizabeth rolled over, slowly coming awake as she heard her boys talk.

“Not yet, Aiden, but she’s moving so it won’t be long.”

“Mommy, we’re going to the zoo today! Is it time yet?”

Even in her drowsy state Elizabeth chuckled. She reached out and messed up his hair.

“No, silly. Not time yet. The animals aren’t even awake.”

Aiden looked at her seriously.

“Are you sure?”

“No, but I am sure the people who run the zoo aren’t awake yet. Let me get dressed. You need to eat breakfast and get dressed before Jason gets here.” The boys went running from the room yelling with excitement. “Please help your brother, Cam!”

She slid out of bed and changed her clothes. She quickly brushed her teeth and ran a brush through her hair before heading to the boys’ rooms to check on their progress. They met her in the hallway.

“Ready!”

“Good. Let’s go see what we can come up with for breakfast.”

……………………

Elizabeth had just entered the kitchen when the doorbell rang and she heard Cody.

“Jason is here.”

“Jason!”

She was glad the boys were excited to see Jason. She had worried after her grandmother had scared Cameron, but he had quickly warmed up to Jason once Jason had stayed with them. She smiled at the memory of Carly’s mention of Jason’s motorcycle which had helped soften his resolve. She came out of the kitchen to grab more stuff from the table and found the boys bombarding Jason with questions.

“Boys. Did you forget something?”

“Oops. Sorry, mommy.”

“Sorry, mama.”

They grabbed their plates and forks and carried them into the kitchen.

“Good morning.”

“Morning. Can I help?”

“It’s not necessary. Just cleaning off the table from breakfast.”

He picked up a couple glasses.

“Hey. What are friends for?”

Another ten minutes and they all had breakfast put away and the kitchen cleaned. The boys were getting their shoes on when Cameron asked a question.

“Are you sure you want to stay home, Mom?”

“You don’t want some guys only time?”

Cameron looked confused.

“Well, yeah, but I don’t want you to be alone.”

“You don’t have to worry about me. Aunt Carly’s coming over later with Josslyn. I didn’t think you’d want to be here for a tea party.”

His face wrinkled in disgust.

“No way.”

She laughed.

“Thanks for worrying about me, but you’ll have fun. I’ll have fun. And then we can swap stories over pizza tonight. How’s that sound?”

“Pizza!”

Elizabeth smiled at Aiden’s enthusiasm. Cameron chimed in.

“I love pizza.”

“Good. Now, listen to Jason and I’ll see you this afternoon.”

Kisses were given and the boys ran outside. Jason lingered.

“We’ll be back by three.”

“Don’t worry, Jason. Just have fun. We’ll be here when you get back.”

“Okay. Have fun with Carly. We’ll be back later.”

……………….

Elizabeth shut the door behind Jason and the boys after waving to them as they drove away. She stayed there, an idea coming to mind. She opened the door.

“Miss Webber?”

“Elizabeth, Cody.”

“I know, Miss Webber.”

It was the same conversation they always had, but it didn’t bother Elizabeth. She smiled and then sighed.

“Cody, do you know if Max is working today?”

“I believe he’s guarding Carly today.”

“So he’ll be here later for the tea party. That’s good. Will you please let me know if that changes?”

“Will do, Miss Webber.”

“Thank you, Cody.”

…………….

“Giraffes!”

Jason chuckled.

“Can we feed them, Jason?”

“Let’s go see.”

The trio, followed discreetly by guards, found a stand near the giraffe exhibit and Jason paid for two small cups of giraffe food. The ground was at an incline as they walked to the other end of the exhibit making Jason eye level with the giraffes. Cameron immediately stuck his cup out and calling out to the animals. Aiden was less sure.

“Would you like me to hold you?”

Aiden never took his eyes off the tall animal but nodded. Jason scooped him up and ventured a little closer to the giraffe while keeping an eye on the little boy making sure he wasn’t afraid. Cameron’s giraffe was eagerly eating out of his cup making him laugh. Aiden still wasn’t sure but his eyes got wide as his giraffe’s tongue was snaking out of its mouth and was able to reach the tip of his cup more than six inches away. He pulled his cup back.

“Wow. That’s a long tongue!”

“It sure is, Cam. You okay, Aiden?”

His voice was a whisper.

“You feed him.”

He took the cup and held it just close enough for the giraffe to get his tongue all the way in. Aiden giggled and Jason breathed easier knowing the little boy wasn’t afraid anymore. Once the food was gone they cleaned up in the bathroom.

“How about some lunch, guys?”

“Yeah! I’m starving.”

Jason laughed.

“Starving, huh? Let’s go see what we can find to eat.”

………………….

Elizabeth was reading a magazine when the door opened after a knock and Cody introduced Carly and Josslyn. She stood up as they came inside. Josslyn ran to Elizabeth.

“Aunt Elizabeth!”

Elizabeth bent so Josslyn could hug her.

“Hey, Joss. Ready for a tea party?”

“Yes! Uncle Sonny sent tiny cupcakes for us.”

“He did?"

“Yep.” She squealed. “They’re pink!”

Elizabeth laughed.

“How exciting! You want to go in the kitchen and pick out your cup?” 

Josslyn ran into the kitchen and Carly put the box of baked goods on the coffee table.

“Don’t say it.”

“Don’t say what? Uncle Sonny?”

“Jax wouldn’t have liked it at all,” Her voice softened. “But he’s dead. Sonny’s Michael and Morgan’s father and she sees him a lot.”

 Elizabeth pulled Carly in for a hug.

“I’m sorry. I was just teasing you. It’s good that she’s comfortable with him.” They looked to the door when they heard the knock. Cody stuck his head letting them know Patrick and Emma had arrived. “Hi, guys. Thanks for coming.”

“Hey, Patrick.”

“Hi, Carly.”

“You look a little uneasy. Are tea parties not your thing?”

“I’ll have you know I’m a tea party champion. I make a mean chamomile with honey.” He gave a dimpled smile and lifted his string wrapped box. “And I can buy tea cakes from a bakery with the best of ‘em.”

“Touché, Dr. Drake.” She laughed. “Touché.”

Josslyn came out of the kitchen and stopped when she saw the new people. Elizabeth motioned her over. 

“Joss, this is Emma. Emma, this is Joss.”

Josslyn had a lot of her mom in her.

“Do you like cupcakes?”

Emma’s answer was quiet.

“Yes.”

“Do you like purple?”

Emma’s face lit up, but she was still hesitant.

“I do.”

“Do you want to go look?”

Emma looked up at her dad.

“Go on. It’s okay.”

“You two get settled. I’ll be right back.”

Elizabeth headed for the front door while Josslyn and Emma went into the kitchen. Both Max and Cody looked at her when she opened the door. She stepped onto the porch and shut the door.

“Everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine, Cody. Thanks.” She turned to Max.

“I’m so very sorry about Milo. He was a very sweet guy and a lot of fun on karaoke night.”

He tipped his head ever so slightly.

“Thanks, Miss Webber. It’s still hard to believe.”

“I can imagine. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to his funeral.”

“It’s okay, Miss Webber. I’m just glad you and your baby are okay.”

“Thanks.” She smiled. “And it’s Elizabeth.”

He smiled in return.

“I know.”

………………………..

“Is she always shy?”

He smiled. 

“You met her mom.” She returned his smile. “She’s not usually shy, but there are times when she’s reminded she doesn’t have a mom.”

“Like today for a tea party.”

“Yeah, mom and daughter functions can be difficult.”

“I bet.” She hesitated, but then forged ahead. “It’s no secret I didn’t like Robin, but I am sorry for your loss. No child should have to grow up without a parent.”

“Thanks, Carly. I’d like to extend my condolences as well. It’s probably bad manners to wait more than a year, but I am sorry, nonetheless.”

“Thanks. It’s getting easier.”

They looked when the door opened and Elizabeth came back in. She smiled as she picked up the box of cupcakes from the coffee table. She passed them to Patrick and lead the way to the kitchen.

“Who’s ready to eat? Thanks to you guys we have more than double what I already had. We’d better get started.”

………………….

Cody let Jason and the boys in once they got home. Jason went upstairs and put a sleeping Aiden in his bed. He came back downstairs and heard voices in the back. He followed them into the kitchen.

“Hey, did he go down alright?”

“Never moved a muscle. He always sleep that soundly?”

“Always. I’m not exactly sure where he gets that from.” She looked at Cameron and then Jason. “Cam was just telling me you were a giraffe hero today.” She smiled.

“I didn’t do anything.”

“That’s what you always say.”

“We got to see some cool animals actually doing stuff today. I even think that lion was trying to get out. Don’t you, Jason?”

Jason smiled.

“He was prowling the edge of his pen pretty good. But he might have just been hungry.”

“That was so cool, mom! The trainer threw in some meat and they just went to town on it.”

That didn’t sound like fun at all to Elizabeth, but she tried to be a good sport, especially when her stomach gave a lurch. She inhaled deeply and tried to focus on the conversation. Jason noticed and changed the subject.

“How was your party?”

Realizing what he was doing she was finally able to smile in response.

“It was fun, but I think we’re going to have leftover cake until Cam’s birthday.” 

Cameron’s eyes lit up.

“Really?”

She laughed.

“Probably not that much cake, but we do have a lot of leftovers. I bought cupcakes yesterday and then Sonny sent some over with Carly and Patrick brought some, too.” 

“So can we have one?”

She looked back at Cameron.

After dinner, buddy.”

He grinned back at her.

“Is it dinnertime yet?”

“Smarty pants. We have to get the pizza ordered and pick out a movie.” 

“You go pick out a movie. Your mom and I will order pizza.”

Cameron laughed.

“Woohoo!”

He ran into the living room. Elizabeth opened her laptop that was on the island. She found the website for the pizza place they liked and picked out what she and the boys would eat. She slid the computer to Jason.

“Pick out what you want and add it to the list.”

He scanned the site and picked something. He finished the order and closed it.

“Thanks for today, Elizabeth. We really had a good time. Thanks for trusting me with your boys.”

Cameron raced back in. 

“Picked one! Can we wake Aiden up now?”

Jason grinned.

“Why don’t we go outside and play while we wait for Aiden and the pizza?”

“Cool!”

Jason stared at Elizabeth before following Cameron out of the room. No matter how she tried she couldn’t stop the butterflies she was now feeling.

Chapter 16 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 16

April 16, 2013

Elizabeth and Cody were waiting for the elevator when they heard her name. She looked back to see Carly heading her way.

“What brings you by?”

Elizabeth answered as they stepped into the elevator.

“I got a call yesterday from Edward asking if I’d meet him for lunch.” She saw Carly’s face. “I know, but he wasn’t pushy or condescending or anything. He sounded very sincere. I talked to Jason and he just cautioned me to be careful.”

“Do you want me to hang out in the restaurant just in case?”

Elizabeth smiled.

“I think we’ll be okay, but if it’s not Sonny is having lunch upstairs.”

The elevator stopped on Carly’s office floor. She paused before letting the doors close.

“I’m just a call away.”

“Thanks.”

Elizabeth and Cody rode the elevator to the top and entered the restaurant. She noticed a few people she knew, such as Nikolas and Sonny, but she headed toward the bar since Edward hadn’t arrived yet.

“What brings you here?”

She stopped, took a deep breath and faced Nikolas.

“It’s none of your business.”

“We’re practically family.”

“Alright.” She studied him. “Did you vote for me to keep my job?” He looked away. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. You and Lucky only play the family card when you want something from me. So what do you want? And if you have the audacity to tell me to let Lucky see the boys I will punch you. Only Lucky is keeping Lucky from the boys.”

She caught movement from the direction of the elevators and saw Edward step out. She walked around Nikolas without another word and met Edward in the middle.

“My dear, I apologize for being late.”

“You’re not late, Mr. Quartermaine. I just got here myself.”

The hostess appeared out of nowhere and motioned them to follow her.

“Please call me, Edward.”

She smiled as they sat down.

“We’ll see.”

He smiled back.

“Thanks for indulging an old man and meeting me today.”

“You’re not old.” Her smile was cheeky before turning softer. “I know you and Jason have had your issues, but you were always nice to me when I hung out with Emily.”

The waiter came by and took their drink orders. There was silence for a few minutes while they perused their menus. By the time they ordered both of them were relaxed. Edward had even shared stories of when Alan and Tracy were little.

“I did my Tracy wrong. I come from a time when women weren’t trusted with important business decisions, not to mention me wanting to pass my company onto my son. That was hard to let go of. It still is, but I’m learning. Don’t tell her, but ELQ is hers when I’m gone.”

“Your secret is safe with me.”

He coughed and cleared his throat.

“But that’s not why I asked you here. I heard about what happened at the hospital. I want to help you get your job back.”

Here eyes widened.

“Oh.”

“What Monica and Steven did to you was wrong. I have been known to kick people when they’re down in the business world, but this was inexcusable. You just don’t do that to family. I know Jason and I butt heads on many things, but I refuse to let his family be treated this way.”

“But we’re not his—“

His look stopped her short.

“You are important to him. Anyone with a pulse knows that. I’m not asking for anything in return. I would like to get to know you and your children in the future, but that is entirely up to you. I am only offering to help you get your job back.”

“I’m stunned. Not in a bad way. I just didn’t realize that was a possibility.”

“I am Edward Quartermaine. Anything is possible.”

“Why do you want to help me?”

“Jason and I have never seen eye to eye since he woke up. A lot of that was my fault, but I love him. He is my grandson and I love him. Jake was his son. Your baby is his child. We’re family. It’s taken me a long time to learn it’s as simple as that.”

She blinked her eyes a few times trying to clear the tears away. Her voice was hoarse.

“It’s a girl. We’re having a girl.”

His whole demeanor softened.

“A girl. She’s going to be beautiful.”

They were interrupted by their food arriving. Conversation was easy as they ate. After Edward asked for the check Elizabeth addressed his offer.

“Thank you for wanting to help me get my job back.”

“You don’t want it?”

“I don’t know.  I want to say yes, but to know people wanted you out that badly leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s worse when it’s family. Not to mention I need to talk to Jason. I don’t know if security will be a problem especially with Monica and Steven not wanting me there. I’m not saying no. I just need a couple days.”

“You take all the time you need.”

“Thank you, Edward.”

He smiled at her as they continued to eat.

………………

April 17, 2013

Elizabeth answered her phone on the first ring.

“We’re okay.” She laughed. “Really. Lunch was fine.”

“Edward didn’t bother you?”

“Not at all. He wants to get me my job back.”

Silence.

“What's the catch?”

“No catch. He did say he would like to get to know us later, but he said this is only to get me my job back.”

“Do you want it?"

“He asked me the same thing. I don’t know. Can you work out a security detail without stressing out?”

“Things are calm on the Corinthos-Morgan front so if you want to work we’ll figure something out.” He paused. “But you know you don’t have to.” He spoke again before she could. “Accepting help doesn't mean you’re not independent.”

She sighed, but didn't argue. She only changed the subject.

“How’s it going down there?”

“Good. I’m done on the island and I've got an appointment with the judge is in the morning. Assuming there aren’t any problems I’ll be home by early afternoon.”
 
“We can reschedule if we need to.”

“No, I'll be there. I’m not missing movie night.”

She smiled at his determined tone.

“Okay, we’ll see you then.”

…………………..

April 19, 2013

Cameron was at the window as soon as he heard a motorcycle, out the door as soon as Jason pulled into the driveway. Jason pulled off his helmet and carried it toward the house.

“You're here!”

"Am I late?"

Cameron laughed.

“Nope, we're just excited. Mom’s making spaghetti and she’ll make popcorn later for the movie.”

Jason’s voice was shocked.

“No ice cream?”

Cameron’s voice was serious.

“Popcorn first, then ice cream.”

Jason smiled and ruffled Cameron's hair.

“Good to know.”

Elizabeth and Aiden were at the top of the steps of the porch.

“Movie!”

“You excited, Aiden?”

Aiden nodded.

“What are we watching?”

“We’ll go get it!”

The boys raced inside.

Elizabeth had watched the boys run inside and turned back to Jason. He was looking at her intently.

“What?”

“You look beautiful.”

“I'm getting bigger by the day, Jason.”

He stepped up a step on the stairs making him almost eye to eye with her.

His voice was low and intimate.

“You’re beautiful.” His look stopped her from speaking. “Pregnant or not, Dressed up or comfortable at home. You'll always be beautiful to me."

“Found it!”

Elizabeth heard the announcement, but didn’t turn from Jason’s gaze until there was a tug on her hand.

“That’s great!”

The boys started talking over each other to tell Jason all about the movie with the talking cars. They pulled him inside and Elizabeth followed, still dazed at what happened.

………………….

Elizabeth moved as little as possible and grabbed the remote from the arm of the couch and turned the television off. She grinned at Jason who also had a child sprawled out asleep on him. He whispered.

“Do they always end up like this?”

She whispered back.
r32;“No, but they’ve been excited about this all week. Guess it finally caught up to them.”

“What’s the plan?”

“If they awaken when we take them upstairs we’ll brush their teeth. If not we’ll just put them in bed. One night won’t hurt them.”

“Okay, I’ll take Cam up and come back for Aiden. Don’t try to lift him.”

“Bossy.”

He just smiled at her. She stroked Aiden’s hair while Jason scooped Cameron up and carried him upstairs. He was back after a few minutes and he easily picked up Aiden as well. She followed them upstairs and helped get Aiden under his covers. She kissed both boys and headed into the hallway and then downstairs. She started stacking a few bowls onto each other from the coffee table.

“That was smart for putting them in pajamas before the movie.”

She laughed.

“I’ve learned that from experience. Changing kids’ clothes who are nothing but dead weight is no picnic.”

“I bet. Thanks for tonight. It was fun.”

She looked at him skeptically.

“Could you see the movie?”

He smiled.

“Not so much, but the detailed summary you wrote and gave me earlier really helped me know what was going on. I knew enough to not look stupid when they asked me questions.”

She smiled.

“They wouldn’t think you are stupid.”

“We won’t have to find out, will we?”

“Brat.”

“Is your appointment still next week?”

“Yes. It’s on Wednesday morning at 10:30.”

“Weren’t we there two weeks ago? And two weeks before that?”

She laughed.

“Yes. Usually you don’t start going every two weeks until later, but with the fall she wants me to check in more often.”

“You want me to pick you up?”

“Sure.”

……………………..

April 24, 2013

Elizabeth laid her purse on the table in the corner at Kelly's and sat down. She knew the waitress would be by in a minute to take her order, but she wasn’t in any hurry since Jason was outside on the phone with Sonny. She watched the television that was on in the corner but she wasn't really paying attention to it.

“Mom, when is Sam coming home? I love Danny as much as anyone, but I don’t get to hang out with my friends since I have to babysit all the time.”

Elizabeth didn't look up, but she was interested in Alexis' reply.

“I’m sorry, Molly. I don't know. She won't answer her phone because she’s working undercover. You know she doesn’t like to tell us about her work.”

Molly huffed.

“Well, she better come home soon. I'm tired of being a free nanny."

“Honey, you know she wants to be here, but her work is important, too.”

“Maybe we should ask her. You know she’s the reason Sam took that job.”

 Elizabeth knew Molly was talking about her, but she refused to get involved. She picked up her menu and looked at it even though she knew the whole thing without looking.

“We don’t know that.”

“Oh, come on, Mom. She slept with a married man. What kind of a person does that?”

Elizabeth looked up and happened to catch Alexis’ eye. Alexis looked away.

“Life is not that black and white, Molly. Things happen. Life is messy and sometimes people do the wrong thing.”

“Wait. Does that mean you’ve done it?”

“You’re getting off track. We don’t know why Sam took that case.”

Molly crossed her arms and spoke loudly in Elizabeth’s direction.

“Maybe, but we do know why she won’t come home. Divorce papers will do that.” Elizabeth tried to keep the surprise from her face. She had wondered when Jason went to the Dominican Republic the previous week, but she hadn’t asked because it wasn’t her business. With that Molly turned and spoke to her directly. “How could you do it, Elizabeth? How could you sleep with a married man?”

“Why don’t you ask your sister that question? Or your mom? Quit badgering a pregnant lady. Back off.”

Elizabeth shook her head, but couldn’t help but smile at Carly defending her. Alexis eyed both Elizabeth and Carly but didn’t say anything to them. She picked up her purse.

“Let’s go, Molly.”

Molly tried to argue, but her mother ushered her out rather quickly.

“Darn. I wanted to hear that conversation.”

Elizabeth tried not to laugh, but she did a little.

“Be nice. It’s not Molly’s fault she got stuck with Sam for a sister.”

She shook her head at Carly’s words and yet smiled as well.

“How did it go?”

“Clean bill of health. She wants us to keep coming in every two weeks just to make sure but she doesn’t expect any problems.”

“That’s good. Any progress on baby names?”

“No. I had wanted to use a family name for at least part of her name, but everything’s been used or part of the family who wants nothing to do with us.”

“Lucky for you we still have three months to pick one.“We?”

“Of course. I’m happy to offer my services.”

“No.”

They both looked up at Jason when they heard his voice.

Carly hit him in the stomach with the back of her hand before he sat down.

“Some best friend you are.”

He shared a look with Elizabeth before glancing at Carly.

“You’ll get over it.”
Chapter 17 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 17

April 25, 2013

“You do know what tomorrow is.”

Elizabeth chuckled as she flipped through the dresses on the rack.

“Yes, Carly. Afraid I’ll end up wearing my bathrobe?”

“That’ll make it easier for Jason.”

“Carly! It’s not like that.”

Carly snorted.

“Yeah, right. You keep telling yourself that.”

Elizabeth pulled out a dress to look at it more closely.

“Even if that were true it’s not the right time. He just got divorced and we’re still getting our friendship back on solid ground.”

Carly took the dress from Elizabeth.

“Put that back.” She handed her another one. “Try this one instead.” Elizabeth nodded and put it with the others. “Be open to the possibility. That’s all.”

……………….


“I love the color, but I don’t think the style is flattering.”

Elizabeth did one more turn in front of the mirror before agreeing.

“Hopefully one of the dresses I ordered online will work.”

Carly unzipped Elizabeth and Elizabeth went back in the dressing room.

“How many did you order?”

“Three.”

Elizabeth came back out in a ruffled pale pink dress.

“I’m not even zipping you up. You look like a blob of cotton candy.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“You’re right, but it was so pretty on the hanger.”

A man cleared his throat. They both turned to see Max stepping into the sitting area of the fitting rooms.

“I’m sorry to intrude. I’ll be back here with you ladies for now.”

Carly and Elizabeth shared a look, wondering what was happening. They only had one question.

“Do we need to leave, Max?”

“No, Miss Webber. You can continue.”

“Great. You can vote, too.”

Carly laughed.

“No need to panic, Max. She’s kidding.”

………………

Elizabeth leaned against the front door after shutting it. Jason was sitting on the couch and turned his head to look at her.

“Maybe I should just wear my bathrobe.”

“Excuse me?”

She pushed away from the door.

“Nothing. Having trouble finding a dress. I think I might still have the dress I wore to Carly’s wedding up in my closet somewhere.”

“I liked you in that brown dress. But if you don’t, your package came today.” She just gawked at him. “You were about to have Jake. I wouldn’t forget that.”

She stepped down into the living room and set her purse on the end table.

“Is it okay to ask about what happened at the store today?”

“Max and Cody both noticed this guy watching the boutique. Max stayed with you while Cody and another guy checked him out. Turns out he’s the boyfriend of one of the clerks. Her dad doesn’t want his daughter dating him so they sneak around. He was waiting for her to go on break.”

She tucked a leg under her as she joined him on the couch.

“Young love, huh? I’m glad it wasn’t something more serious.” She blew out a breath. “I was a little nervous.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her to him when he realized she was shaking. “Alright, a lot nervous. Any leads?”

“No, but we finally have a link between Sam and the guy we believed was the shooter.”

“Was?”

“Cops found a body the day after the shooting. We looked into it. They were both smart. Sam didn’t have any big withdrawals. He didn’t have any suspicious deposits. We found a witness today who saw them together.”

“Still can’t find her?"

“No. I’m sorry."

“Don’t be sorry. We’re safe and I know you will.” She settled into the couch. “Boys give you any trouble?”

“No more than usual.”

“Do they usually give you trouble?"

“Trouble, no. Boys being boys? Yes.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Nothing.” He smiled. “You think I'm going to break the boy honor code for a girl?”

She leaned back against the cushions.

“So that’s how it's going to be, huh? I thought you were on my side.”

“I am. But when it comes to my boys we’ve got to stick together.” If he wasn’t so good at his job he would have missed her eyes change for a second. He took her hands in his. “I meant the term ‘my boys’ in fun, but it’s also true. I don’t look at them any differently than our daughter. I know they won’t call me dad, but it won’t change how I feel about them.”

Her voice was barely a whisper.

“I don’t expect that of you.”

“You were always asking me what I want. I want them.” Despite her best efforts to blink back the tears they fell anyway. She opened her mouth, but he beat her to it. “I’m sure.”

Jason’s phone rang. He kissed her temple before standing up. He pulled out his phone.

“Morgan….okay. I'll be there soon.”

He ended the call. This time she spoke before him.

“It's okay. I'm not kicking you out. You’re not running away. We’ll talk later when you have time.”

“Pick you up tomorrow at 6?”

“Yes. I promise not to wear my bathrobe.”

“The fluffy pink one?”

“Yes.”

He smiled.

“Too bad.”

………………..

April 26, 2013

Elizabeth swiped her lips one last time with lipstick. She rubbed her lips together as she put the tube in her dark blue clutch. She fingered the midnight blue lace that lay over a pale blue fabric. She grabbed her shoes when she heard the doorbell. She was surprised to find her living room empty so she opened the door. Her heart fluttered when she saw Jason in his tuxedo, but she tried to ignore it.

“Why didn’t you let yourself in?"

“You don’t do that on a date.”

She smiled and motioned him in.

“I just have to put my shoes on.”

“Why don't you sit down and open this?"

He handed her a small jewelry box and kneeled down as she sat. He picked up a shoe as she opened the box. Inside the box was a simple silver chain with a teardrop shaped pendant a little bigger than a pencil eraser.

“Oh, Jason.”

“It’s a ruby for our daughter’s birthstone. She’s supposed to be born mid-July so I figured I was safe.” He smiled. “If she comes early we’ll just use it for Aiden and I’ll get you a new one."

“It’s beautiful.”

You are beautiful.” He looked down at the shoes he had just strapped to her feet. “Are you sure about those?”

He helped her to her feet.

She laughed.

“Yes. When I can't see my feet anymore I’ll quit wearing them.” She handed him the box. “Will you put it on me, please?”

He took the chain from the box as she turned around. She pulled her curly hair up as he unclasped the hook. When he was done she dropped her hair and turned back to look at him.

“Thank you for the necklace.”

“You’re welcome. The boys settled in at Carly’s?”

“Yes.” She laughed. “I’m sure they’ll be crabby tomorrow, but I’m just glad they’ll be safe so I don’t care.”

“Ready?”

She smiled at him.

“Yes.”

……………..

They were walking up to the Metro Court when they realized the area outside the hotel was set up like a red carpet. Someone had called the press and all the attendees were stopping and posing before heading in. Elizabeth made a wide berth behind the photographers and Jason was following. They reached the end of the velvet rope when the press noticed them. Jason unhooked the rope so Elizabeth could get through. The press realized they were there and started taking pictures and yelling for them to turn around. Both Jason and Elizabeth ignored them and slipped inside. The elevator took them to the third floor ballroom. Jason followed her out of the elevator with his hand on her lower back. She saw the seating chart off to the side and headed to it. They heard Carly before they turned to see her in a emerald gown.

“You made it! Our table is in the far corner.”

Carly hugged Jason and complimented Elizabeth.

“Love the dress.”

“Thanks. Yay for the internet.” She laughed. “The pictures didn’t do yours justice, Carly.” She pointed at Carly’s waist. “I love the sparkle.”

“What can I say?”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes while smiling.

“Whatever.” She looked at Jason. “Want to head to the table or the bar?”

“Let’s get a drink.”

They followed Carly through the crowd. Elizabeth smiled and waved at people she knew when she caught their gaze. Jason turned and leaned against the bar as Elizabeth slid up onto the stool. Carly noticed some of her staff milling about looking worried.

“I'll be back in a minute.”

“Did you want to go see your friends?”

Elizabeth looked up at him at him and quirked her mouth up on one side.

“I thought I was with a friend.”

Before he could respond they heard Sonny’s voice.

“You look beautiful, Elizabeth.”

She swiveled her chair around and smiled.

“Thanks, Sonny.”r32;
“I hate to interrupt, but I need to borrow your date for a few minutes.”

“Sonny.”

She put her hand on Jason’s arm.

“It’s okay. I’ll be right here when you get done.”

“Cody’s here if you need anything.”

She nodded and then he left with Sonny. Carly slid into the seat next to her.

“Where did Jason go?”

“Sonny had to talk to him.”

“Boys.”

“Evening, ladies. You both look lovely.” They swung around to see Edward Quartermaine. “Do you mind if I steal Elizabeth for a few minutes?”

Elizabeth slid off the stool and headed for the balcony area Edward pointed to.

“It’s nice to see you,” She hesitated slightly. “Edward.”

He just grinned.

“How are you, my dear?”

“I’m good.”

“And your boys?”

“They’re great. Growing like weeds. They’re hanging out with Josslyn and Emma tonight at Carly’s house.”

“Thick as thieves?”

She laughed.

“Oh my, yes. Every so often they remember Joss and Emma are girls, but usually they have a grand time together.”

He smiled.

“Kids are great, but that’s not why I asked to speak to you. I hope you will not be angry with me, but I went to the Board on your behalf. I know you aren’t sure what you want to do so here is what I got them to do.” She nodded and waited. “They are providing you with a generous severance package. There’s also a clause in the paperwork that gives you the right to return should you choose to do so, either now or after my great-granddaughter is born.” She opened her mouth to speak, then shut it again when she realized she couldn’t talk without crying. His expression changed to one of concern and worry. “I know I’m an old man set in my ways. I only want to help.”

She put her hand out and he took it in his own hands.

“You misunderstand. I’m not upset.” She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Just this one act is more than my family has done for me in a long time."

“Get used to it.”

She caught movement over his shoulder and her eyes narrowed.

“Please excuse me, Edward.”

.............

Author's note: I don't usually describe who wears what color and kinds of clothes, so I thought I'd at least give you links for Carly and Elizabeth's dresses. :)

Elizabeth's dress is the blue one, of course. :)  Please imagine Carly's dress is an emerald green.
Chapter 18 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 18

April 26, 2013

When Jason was finished with Sonny he looked toward the bar for Elizabeth. When she wasn't there his gaze continued to scan the crowd when he saw her talking to Edward with Cody keeping watch nearby. He headed to the bar stool closest to the wall and sat down. The bartender asked him what he wanted to drink. Once the bartender popped the lid off his beer Jason took a drink from the bottle as he turned in his seat so he could look around. He sighed and put his beer down when he saw Audrey Hardy headed his way. Her voice was frosty when she spoke.

“Mr. Morgan.”

“Good evening, Mrs. Hardy.”

She narrowed her eyes not sure if he was being sincere or not.

“Do you know where Elizabeth is?”

“She's talking to Edward.”

She snorted, but kept her opinions to herself.

“Good. I came over here to talk to you.”

“What do you need, Mrs. Hardy?”

“I need you to leave my granddaughter and her children alone.”

He looked her straight in the eyes.

“That’s not my decision.”

She sputtered.

“What do you mean it’s not your decision? You have done it countless times before. Do it now.”

“Elizabeth and I now make all decisions together regarding our children.”

“What do you mean your children?”

“I will not be treating the boys any differently than I do my daughter.”

She leaned in and pointed her finger at Jason.

“That’s enough, Grams.”

Elizabeth stopped next to Jason.

“Elizabeth.”

She looked at him.

“No, Jason. No more.” She stroked her hand down his back once before stepping in front of him. “This has gone on long enough. I’m not going to beg, or reason, or argue with you because there's no hope. If you come near any of us we will be filing a restraining order.”

She reached back, slid her hand into his and started to lead him away. Jason paused and leaned in so only Audrey could hear him.

“I won’t forget you wanted my daughter dead.”

He pulled away and followed Elizabeth to their table.

………………….

Carly made her way to the table about ten minutes later. As she sat down the lights flickered on and off to announce the five minute warning for the beginning of the ball.

“That’s timing, Carly.”

“What can I say?”

They laughed together while Jason just shook his head.

The first half opened with Monica welcoming everyone and sharing what the Nurses Ball fundraiser was for. There were various acts of singing and dancing before intermission. Elizabeth turned to Jason.r32;
“I'm going to use the ladies' room. Want me to get you a beer on the way back?”

“Sure.”

He stood and helped pull her chair out as she left the table. Cody followed her. Carly waved his way as she, too, left the table followed by Max. Jason was watching various people roam the room when he saw Lucky headed his way. He tensed. Lucky sat in Elizabeth’s vacated chair as if he was welcome. Lucky pointed to the bar with his own beer bottle.

“Look at her, Jason.”

Jason looked to the bar area where Lucky was pointing. Elizabeth had just come back from the bathroom and was sliding onto a bar stool next to Carly. They were obviously talking and laughing by their body language. Jason leaned back in his chair.

“What do you want?”

“I’m just looking out for you. I think you should have a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into. I should know. I married her twice.” Jason never took his eyes off Elizabeth. “And look at that. Already planning to be the next Mrs. Morgan.” Elizabeth was holding her left hand out and she and Carly were looking at it. Lucky looked back at Jason to see his expression so he didn’t see Elizabeth's other hand go up next to the first or see Carly put her hands out, too. Lucky was obviously an idiot, but Jason wasn't going to explain. “And when she’s bored with that or she gets scared she’ll come running back to me. I may or may not take her. Depends on how generous I’m feeling.” Jason watched a waiter approach the two women with a worried expression. Both women listened before sliding off their stools. Elizabeth looked his direction and motioned him over with a tilt of her head. Jason stood up and left Lucky talking to himself.

“Are you okay?”

He couldn’t help but ask.

“I’m fine, but one of the other nurses isn’t. Patrick thinks she might have been drugged. He wants to get her to a room to lie down while we wait for the ambulance, but he needs to be on stage soon so I told him we’d do it.”

Jason nodded. He followed the women to a table where Patrick sat with a nurse with her head resting on her arms on the table.

“Patrick, why don’t you go find Dante and I’ll help Jason and Elizabeth get her to a room. Tell him to stop by the desk to get the room number.”

“As soon as my number is finished I’ll be up.”

“Cynthia, we’re going to help you, okay?”

Elizabeth helped sit Cynthia up and Jason was able to pick her up. They followed Carly out of the ballroom. Carly started to walk to the desk, but Jason stopped her.

“Just give her my room.”

Elizabeth’s face showed her surprise. Carly waved her concern away.

“He has a standing reservation if ever he needs it.” The elevator doors opened and they got in. Carly punched the button for the penthouse floor. Elizabeth chanced a glance at Carly. “What? He’s my best friend.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“Only you would think having a penthouse room on standby would be normal, Carly.”

Carly nudged her with her shoulder.

“Whatever.”

They made it off the elevator and into the room without incident. Jason laid Cynthia on the bed. He stepped out of the way and Elizabeth picked up her wrist.

“Carly, can you find me pen and paper?” She looked behind her at Jason. “Can you time me for a minute?”

She found Cynthia’s pulse and looked at Jason.

“Go.” Carly brought the pen and notepad both with the Metro Court logo over and set it on the nightstand next to Elizabeth. “Done.”

Elizabeth laid Cynthia’s arm back on the bed and picked up the pen and wrote some information down.

“Thanks.”

There was a knock at the door and Carly went to answer it. When she came back she was followed by Dante and and two EMTs.

“Is she conscious?”

“No. Dr. Patrick Drake found her. He didn’t want to disrupt the Nurses Ball so he’ll be up as soon as his song is done. All we did was bring her up and check her heart rate.”

Elizabeth peeled the top sheet off of the notepad and gave it to the closest medic. She stepped back and almost bumped into Jason. He pulled her further back and she leaned into him. They stayed out of the way as Cynthia was strapped to the gurney and wheeled out. Dante stayed behind.

“Did you see anything?”

“Carly and I were at the bar talking when a waiter told us Patrick needed to see us. Jason, did you see anything?”

“Nothing.”

Dante looked uncertain, but he had been in the ballroom as well as knew there were many people milling about.

“Did she have a date?”

“I haven’t worked with her much so I don’t know if she came with someone.”

“Alright, thanks. I know how to find you if needed.”

He left the room leaving them alone with Carly.

“I’m going, too. I’m going to ask security to keep an eye out for anyone else who might have been affected.”

“Good idea. Night, Carly.”

“Call me tomorrow.”

“I will.”

Silence descended after Carly left.

“Please tell me she was talking to you.”

Elizabeth chuckled and turned to face him.

“You know Carly.”

“I do. That’s why I’m hoping she was talking to you.”

She cupped his cheeks with her hands.

“You’re being—“

He pushed off the wall abruptly and stood up. Her hands pulled away from his face in confusion.

“I’m going to kiss you.”

Her voice was breathless.

“O—“ Her eyes were barely closed before his mouth touched hers and then was gone. She smiled and then followed him. Her mouth touched his as her hands pulled him closer by the lapels. He was stunned but quickly participated. She pulled away and rested her forehead on his chest when she became lightheaded. She looked up at his stunned face. She blushed. “Too much?”

He leaned in and almost touched her nose with his.

“Never.”

She smiled slowly.

“Thanks for a great time tonight.”

She tilted her head a little and smiled expectantly at him.

“You’re welcome. You done?”

“Yes. It’s been fun, but I want to go home and get comfy.”

“After you.”

……………………

He took her coat after they entered her house.

“I’ll be back down in a minute.”

“Wait. Sit down, please.”

She sat on the stairs. He lifted one foot and then the other removing her shoes.

“Thanks.” She stood up and wiggled her toes. “That feels so good.” He grinned at her behavior. “Back soon.”

A few minutes later she was wearing a spaghetti strapped top and pajamas pants. She stopped on the stairs and watched him. He’d taken his shoes and shirt off leaving him in tuxedo pants, a wife beater and socks. He was sitting on the couch with his ankles crossed and feet resting on the coffee table. She finished coming down the stairs and sat next to him on the couch. She leaned back next to him and rested her arm against his.

“Feel better?”

“I do. You?”

“I’m good.”

“Good.”

They sat in comfortable silence for a minutes before he asked the question he’d thought of earlier.

“What did you want to do for Cam’s birthday?”

She didn’t answer. He looked down and realized she’d fallen asleep. He turned his body slowly until he was almost all the way on the couch and she was tucked into his side.
Chapter 19 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 19


April 27, 2013


Elizabeth stretched as she woke up the next morning. On her way to the bathroom she realized the house was too quiet. When she came back to the living room she noticed a note on the coffee table. As she picked it up she heard noises on the front porch. She heard keys in the lock and the boys quickly ran in and Jason followed in his normal clothes for the day.


“Mom!”


She sat on the couch as they reached her and hugged them.


“Hey, guys. Did you have fun at Carly’s?” They talked over each other trying to tell her all the things they’d done the night before. “Alright, alright, alright.” She smiled. “Did you eat already?”


“No. We’re so hungry.”


“So hungry? How about I start breakfast while your mom gets ready?”


Both boys cheered.


“I hope you’re not cheering because I’m not cooking.” Cameron giggled and hugged his mom. She tickled him. “Oh, go on.”


The boys ran into the kitchen. 


“I hope you don’t mind. I figured you’d want them home.”


“It was very thoughtful. I didn’t get your note until you came in the door. I must’ve been tired.”


“You alright?”


“Just pregnant.”


He tried to hide a small smile. She poked him. Before she could say something else her phone rang.


“I’ll get the boys fed. You take your time.”


He left the living room and she dug her phone out of her clutch.


“Hello…Hey, Patrick.” She listened to him. “That’s good. I’m glad she’ll be okay…See you later.”


She hung up and headed for the stairs.


…………….


Her hair was still wet when she entered the kitchen less than 15 minutes later. Jason started to stand, but she waved him back. She filled her plate from the skillet on the stove and sat down with the others. 


“Looks good.”


“It is good.” Cameron picked up his plate. “All done! Can I go?”


“Me too!”


Cameron put his plate on the counter and then took Aiden’s from him and did the same. They ran out of the room.


“Thanks again.” He nodded. “Cynthia’s okay. I don’t know the details, but she wasn’t drugged. I’m guessing it was some kind of side effect, but it’s just a guess.”


“I’m glad—“


The boys rushed into the kitchen. 


“Let’s talk birthday, mom!”


“Cameron! You interrupted Jason.”


Cameron grinned widely at Jason.


“Sorry, Jason.” He waited a beat. “Now can we talk birthday?”


………….


May 1, 2013


Birthday plans were in full swing. Cameron had requested a super hero party at the city park. Elizabeth could tell Jason was uncomfortable with such a public area as the venue but he was doing his best to give the almost nine year old what he wanted. Now Elizabeth, Cameron and Aiden were enjoying some ice cream at the Metro Court restaurant after a day of party shopping. Carly stopped by at their table after finding out they were there.


“So what did you get?”


Cameron’s eyes lit up.


“Everything!”


Carly’s eyes widened and she spoke in a stage whisper.


“I’ve met your mom. I doubt you got everything.”


“Well, everything cool.”


She gave him a side hug.


“I bet. I can’t wait to see it all next Saturday.”


“We’re even renting the ice rink on the other side of the park!”


“I heard. I should practice.”


Both Cameron and Aiden laughed between bites. Aiden grinned.


“I fall down all the time.”


“Well then, we should hang out together. I’m sure I’ll fall down, too.”


“I’ll be sure to bring my camera.”


“You’d better not. You’re only exempt because of that beach ball you’re carrying. I will find a way to hurt you.”


Elizabeth just laughed and went back to her ice cream.


……………….


May 5, 2013


Elizabeth rushed into the PCPD looking around for her son. She saw Anna talking to a police officer she didn’t know and headed straight for her.


“Anna, where’s Cameron?”


“Elizabeth, thanks for coming. He’s okay. He’s just back in my office.”


“What happened?”


“According to witnesses Lucky approached Cameron and tried to get him to go with him. However, when Cam’s guard got involved they got worried and called police.”


Elizabeth knew she wasn’t getting all of the details and just hoped her son was alright.


“Can I see him now?”


“Yes. We’d also like to get his statement now that you’re here.”


Elizabeth followed Anna to her office. Mercedes and Cameron both looked at the door when it opened. She mouthed a thank you to Mercedes.


“Mom!’


“Hey, baby. You okay?”


His tone was indulgent.


“I’m fine, Mom. Lucky showed up at the park today. He got mad at Mercedes because she wouldn’t leave us alone. He tried to drag me off to the side to talk, but Jimmy wouldn’t let him so he started yelling.”


She cupped his face in her hands and tilted it up a little.


“You’re sure you’re okay?”


“Mom, I’m not a baby.”


She pulled him to her and hugged him.


“I know, but —“ She stopped suddenly and started again. “I know. However, it doesn’t stop me from worrying.” She looked up at Anna. “Is it alright for him to leave now?”


“Yes.”


She looked at Mercedes.


“Will you take him home?” Mercedes nodded. Elizabeth looked back down at Cameron. “I’ll be there in a little bit.”


He hugged her tightly.


“Okay.”


She hugged Mercedes when she got close and watched as both she and Cameron left the room. Her voice was firm when she spoke again.


“Now I need to see Lucky.”


…………..


Jason had just entered the PCPD when he saw Cameron and Mercedes enter the bullpen from the other end of the room.


“Cam!”


“Jason!”


Cameron ran over and Jason picked him up. He just rubbed Cameron’s back when his arms came around Jason’s neck tightly. It wasn’t long before Cam pulled back.


“Are you okay?”


“Yeah.”


“Where’s your mom?”


“I don’t know. She said she’d meet us at home.” His face scrunched up. “Why are you here?”


“I was worried about you.”


“Oh.” He waited for Cameron to continue, but he wouldn’t lift his eyes. His tone was uncertain. “Will you go home with us?”


Jason wanted to talk to Elizabeth, but he felt like Cameron needed him more. He gently nudged Cameron’s chin up with his free hand and smiled.


“Let’s go.”

………………


Lucky was yelling and pulling at his wrist when Elizabeth entered the interrogation room. It took him a moment to realize she was there.


“Elizabeth! I’m so glad you’re here. They think I was going to do something to Cameron. Tell them I’m not a threat and they will uncuff me from this table.”


Instead of answering him she took the time to sit in the chair across from him and study him. After a couple of minutes he shifted uncomfortably in his chair, but he said nothing.


“Why are you here, Lucky?”


“I’m here because of a misunderstanding. I just wanted to spend some time with my son.”


“That’s not what I’m asking.”


Her voice was sad.


“Why did you come back?”


She didn’t know if it was her tone or the question itself, but he seemed confused.


“I told you why.”


She nodded.


“Okay, but why bother?”


He slammed his hand down on the table.


“I couldn’t let Jason have what is mine.”


She watched his eyes flare in anger when she snorted.


“Yours? That’s your problem. You think I’m a toy you can just pick up whenever you want.”


“Oh, please. You always come back. You can’t escape our permanent lock, Elizabeth.”


She raised one eyebrow and smiled with confidence.


“Watch me.”


………………


May 8, 2013


Elizabeth squinted against the bright sunlight and pulled her sunglasses out of her purse. She slid them on and turned to Cody who was holding the door open.


“I think Cam will love it.” He smiled back before his smile turned into thin line. She turned to see what had changed his expression. She pursed her own lips and addressed the man standing there. “What do you want, Lucky?”


“I know Cam’s birthday party is this weekend. I want to know where and when.”


“Not going to happen.”


“I’m his father, Elizabeth.”


She took her sunglasses off and glared at him.


“You’re his father when it’s convenient for you or when you want to stick it to me. You came back a month ago and the first time you made an effort to talk to him was three days ago. I’m not putting either of my children back on the roller coaster that is you as a parent.”


“You can’t stop me.”


“Yes, I can. You’re not legally his father as he was never adopted. Even still, good luck getting a judge to give you visitation when they find out you abandoned them over a year ago.”


“It doesn’t matter. Eventually you’ll come to your senses and crawl back to me.” His next words were almost a song. “We have a permanent lock, Elizabeth. You can’t break that.”


“And you have a permanent condition of stupidity. I am never going back to you.” She turned and threw the next words over her shoulder as she left. “Suck it up, Buttercup.”


………………..


May 10, 2013


Elizabeth sat down on the lid of the toilet and propped her chin on the counter. Cameron was in the midst of telling her all of the things he had done at his birthday party while also brushing his teeth. She was exhausted, but smiled as she tried to figure out what he was saying around his toothbrush. He rinsed out his mouth when he was done and continued to talk.


“And then he tried to turn around and instead took us all out.”


She laughed with him.


“I wondered about the big dog pile out there on the ice.”


“Yeah. Thankfully no one got hurt, but it was cold.”


“Alright, time for bed. You should already be in bed.”


“But I’m not tired and I’m nine now.”


She ruffled his hair.


“Well aware, but you still have to go to bed.”


He climbed in and she tucked him in.


“Today was great, Mom.”


“I’m glad.”


“Could you send Jason up so I can say goodnight?”


“Sure.”


She leaned over and kissed his forehead.


“Thanks for being my mom and my dad. I love you.”


She answered around the lump in her throat.


“I love you, too.”


………………..


Cameron’s eyes were closed when Jason made it to his room, but as soon as he moved into the room Cam's eyes opened.


“Enjoy your party?”


Cameron pushed himself to a sitting position.


“It was the best. All my friends dressed up, getting to ice skate, lots of food and cake. The best!”


Jason smiled at Cameron’s enthusiasm.


“I’m glad.”


“But you know that because you were there.”


“I was.”


“And Lucky wasn’t.” Jason didn’t know what to say to that. “Thank you.”


“What?”


“I know he’s supposed to be my dad and all, but I don’t know him and I don’t want to know him after the other day. Mom knew I didn’t want him there today and I know you’re the reason he didn’t ruin my party.”


Cameron threw his arms around Jason’s neck and hugged him tightly. Jason hugged him back before helping him get tucked in once more. He stood up.


“Night, Cam.”


“Night, Jason. I love you.”


Chapter 20 by lovemyqtkids
Unexpectedly, Chapter 20

May 11, 2013

Elizabeth was touched when Jason and Cameron went into her son’s room after breakfast and spent time together. She was amused when they were huddled together in conversation in the backyard after lunch. However, by dinner time she was suspicious when they went outside on the porch with their dessert.

Once the boys were in bed Jason got ready to leave as well. He smiled at her, knowing she wanted to know what was going on, but only hugged her and said goodnight before leaving.

………

Do you think you could come over?

Jason didn’t hesitate. He texted Elizabeth back saying he was on his way. He grabbed his keys and left his penthouse. He called Cody in the elevator to make sure she was physically okay. He didn’t know what had happened between the time he left and now, but he didn’t care. He only cared if she was okay. By the time he climbed off the motorcycle in the driveway she had the door open and was waiting for him. He nodded at Cody and went inside. He turned to her as soon as he had the door shut and locked. His concern ratcheted up when he realized she had been crying.

“What’s wrong?”

“I forgot his birthday, Jason.” Her voice cracked. “Jake’s birthday was last week and I forgot.”

He pulled her to him and held her as she cried again. Jason’s voice was soft and tone soothing.

“Hey, you’re human. I forgot, too. It’s not like you didn’t have a lot going on. Cam’s birthday, Lucky’s actions, being pregnant.”

She chuckled and pulled back.

“Are you saying I’m disabled by pregnancy?”

His eyes crinkled in amusement.

“Oh, no. I learned my lesson last time.” She smiled. “Give yourself a break is all I’m saying. We’re doing the best we can and sometimes we’ll mess up.” He wiped her tears dry with his thumbs.

“Okay?”

“Okay.”

He turned her away from him and nudged her towards the stairs.

“Go on. I’ll lay down with you until you fall asleep if you want.”

“Only if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t mind.”

She yawned.


May 12, 2013

The smell of coffee tempted her awake. She smiled to herself and stretched. As she rolled herself to a sitting position she became aware of whispering in the hallway. She wondered what the boys were up to and literally jumped when they came around the corner yelling.

“Happy Mother’s Day!”

Cameron and Aiden climbed on her bed and tackled her, knocking her back on the mattress. Her laugh was muffled as they covered her to hug and kiss her. When they finally settled in next to her, one on each side, she realized Jason had stayed.

“Jason.”

He was standing at the foot of the bed carrying a tray. She couldn’t see what was on it, other than a flower in a vase, but she was pretty sure it involved food and the coffee she could smell.

“The boys wanted to surprise you. Thanks to you I didn’t have to get up quite so early.”

She smiled at him before looking between her two boys.

“You did a great job. I had no idea.”

“Love you, Mama.”

She hugged Aiden and whispered her love for him, too. Cameron got up on his knees and hugged her from behind.

“We wanted to do something special for you.”

“I love it. What’d you guys make me?”

…………………

May 17, 2013

Patrick had the day off from work so he asked Elizabeth if he thought her boys and Josslyn might like to play at the new playground the city had commissioned back in March. He could tell she wanted to laugh but held it back when he even said she could invite Jason. She had only smiled and told him she would ask.

The new structure was huge making Elizabeth thankful for the extra guards because the kids ran were running around it almost nonstop. It also gave her a chance to visit with Carly and Patrick as they watched from one side of the play area.

“Any sign of Lucky since last week?

Elizabeth briefly glanced at Patrick before back at the kids playing.

“No. I don’t know whether to be relieved or worried. He tends to be unpredictable when he doesn’t get his way. It’s possible he’ll get mad and leave town but it’s also possible he’ll try to get back at me.”

Patrick’s expression hardened.

“What do you mean, get back at you?”

“He might try to hurt me because I hurt him.”

“Do you think he’d get physical?”

“No, the only time he’s ever hurt me physically is when he was high. He does like to get nasty with his words.”

Carly pushed her sunglasses up on top of her head.

“We Spencers do have that gift.”

Patrick rolled his eyes, but he was smiling.

“That’s putting it mildly.”

Carly punched his arm.

“Hey, now!”

“I need that arm, you know!”

“Behave then.”

“I was just agreeing with you.”

“Yeah, right.”

Elizabeth laughed at them.

“Do I need to separate you two?’

“I’m not the one who got physi—“

Elizabeth’s brow furrowed when he stopped mid word. She turned to him in confusion.
r32;
“Patrick?”

He was looking at something off to her right. She looked that way herself and barely got a glimpse of a dark haired woman before that woman turned and ran. Elizabeth was shocked when Patrick ran after her.

“Elizabeth?” She looked at Carly. “Did that look like Sam?”

Elizabeth was uneasy and looked back to where she saw the woman.

“I think so.”

…………….

Elizabeth jumped when the back door opened. She turned as Jason sat on the bench with her. He laid his arm on the back of the bench and she wrapped her arms around his torso. His arm settled on her far shoulder.

“Was it her?”

She felt him stiffen.

“We’re not sure. We couldn’t find her.”

She slid out of the hug and turned so her bent leg was resting on the bench between them.

“Stop. It’s not your fault. None of the guards could leave without putting us in potential danger. Maybe Patrick should have said something, but he tried to go after her. We’re all safe. It’s okay.” She ran a hand down his nearest arm. “We’re okay.”

“You have no idea how relieved I am that you are. I don’t like not knowing where she is.”

“Neither do I. You’re only human, Jason. Finding her is secondary to all of us being safe. It’s not like she doesn’t have some knowledge about not being found, I’m guessing.”

“You are correct.” He sighed. “And she also has experience with using aliases.”

“What?”

“That’s why Amelia Joffe came to town. Sam had married her father under another name. Things happened and her father died. Amelia had proof that she’d been marrying men, taking their money and then disappearing.”

“Wow. That’s…talent.”

His mouth turned up on one side.

“That’s one word for it.” She smiled. “Did you have fun anyway?”

“Yes. The new playground was a hit with the kids, but as a parent? It’s a nightmare. I was really thankful for guards today. One was at every entrance that I couldn’t see and we were at the main ramp. But, the kids loved it and who doesn’t want happy kids?”

“Speaking of happy kids where are they?”

“Cameron went Carly’s with Emma and Joss. Aiden is napping.” She yawned. And laughed. “The power of suggestion.”

“Come on.” He put his hand out and she took it. She followed him inside to the couch and sat down next to him. He slouched down on the couch and put his feet on the coffee table. She shook her head while smiling and did the same. He put his arm around her shoulders. “You don’t have to sleep. Just rest.”

She laughed out loud now.

“Okay, Dad.”

“Don’t be a brat.”

“Don’t be bossy.”

“Please close your eyes?”

She couldn’t reply because she yawned again. She rolled her eyes at his knowing look and laughed again as she closed her eyes.

“Whatever.”


May 20, 2013

Elizabeth hooked her purse strap over the back of her chair before she eased down into her seat. Carly looked up and smiled while she straightened her papers and put them in a file folder.

“You don’t have to stop. I’m not in a hurry.”

“No, it’s fine. Brought it up so I could talk to the head bartender after lunch.” She stopped and looked carefully at Elizabeth.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Sorry. Steven just called wanting to have lunch next week.”

“Steven?”

“Weird, right? I haven’t talked to him since we saw him in the Metro Court restaurant that time. It’s been months.”

“Well, how did he sound?”

“I guess he sounded sincere.”

“Do you think you’ll go? Do you even want to?”

“I don’t know. I want go because he’s my brother and I love him.” She sighed. “But, I don’t want to see him knowing how he feels about Jason and our relationship.”

“Relationship, huh?”

“Friendship. Relationship. Whatever. He’s the father of 2 of my children and he’s still speaking to me after I hurt him so much.”

“He hurt you, too.

She shrugged one shoulder and picked at the tablecloth.

“Nothing will ever be as awful as me asking him to give up Jake. I can never make that right.”

Carly reached across the table and covered the fingers grasping the cloth.

“Hey, you both made mistakes and you’ve come out the other side. Most people don’t get a second chance.”

“True. How many did you and Sonny get?”

“Very funny, but we’re talking about you.”

“We are. I guess I will go to lunch with him and hope it turns out okay.”

………………

May 22, 2013

“I want to see the boys, Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth had just stepped away from the counter at Kelly’s with her to go order, but placed the bags back on the counter. She turned to face Lucky.

“You’re welcome to call ahead and see the boys at my house, Lucky.”

“And if I want to take them somewhere?”

“Not a chance.”

“I’m their father.”

She scoffed.

“In name only.”

“I’ll take you to court.”

“We’ve had this discussion before. Do it and see yourself laughed out of the courtroom.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “You don’t really want to see the boys. You want a way to control me and having control over the boys gives you some power. I’m not giving in anymore.”

She turned back to the counter and picked up her bags. She headed for the door where Cody was waiting. Cody opened the door and Elizabeth stepped through the doorway.

“Elizabeth!”

She looked back.

“Enough, Lucky. Take me to court. Embarrass yourself. I don’t care anymore.”

She turned and left, not bothering to stay for anything he might say.”
Chapter 21 by lovemyqtkids
Unexpectedly, Chapter 21

May 27, 2013


“Should you be hanging out at the bar?”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes as she swiveled her bar stool.

“Funny. Steven’s late. I should have more understanding since he’s a doctor and all, but he’s been annoying lately.”

“I think you’ve been hanging out with me too much.”

Elizabeth laughed.

“Nah. We have a lot of time to make up for.”

Carly laughed as well.

“Watch out, World.”

“Elizabeth, sorry I’m late.”

They both turned to watch Steven walk toward them. Elizabeth shared a look with Carly at Steven’s slow pace.

“And yet you’re walking like you’re early.”

Elizabeth put her hand on Carly’s elbow.

“It’s okay, Carly. He’s very important, you know, and it was kind of him to take time out of his schedule to scold me at lunch.”

“Elizabeth.”

“Am I wrong, Steven?”

“Scold is a strong word. I just want you to be safe.”

“I’ve heard it all before so unless you’re going to support my life I think I’ll just order something here at the bar and get it to go.”

“Or get it to go and come down to my office and eat.”

“You know what, Carly? Let’s do it.” She glanced at Steven. “Steven, I want you to be in my life, but I need you to support me no matter what. Is there something else you want to talk about?” She waited, but there was only silence. “If not, then I’m out of here.”

……………….

May 30, 2013

“Sorry we had to reschedule you.”

“It’s fine, Kelly. I’m completely flexible considering I am currently unemployed.”

Kelly grinned at Elizabeth.

“You could work that to your advantage.”

Elizabeth flushed.

“Kelly! Behave!” Elizabeth braved a look at Jason who was obviously trying to not smile himself. Elizabeth whispered to him. “Don’t encourage her.”

“I said nothing. Not that you couldn’t use some time to relax with your boys.”

She glared at him, but she knew he knew she didn’t mean it.

“Okay, Mom and Dad, things are looking great. Kelly Morgan looks great.”

Elizabeth snorted.

“Nice try, but no.”

Kelly’s expression was unrepentant.

“It was worth a shot.” She looked back and forth between the parents. “Unless you have any questions, we’ll see you in another two weeks.”

“I think we’re good. Thanks, Kelly.”

“Great. You know how to reach me if anything changes.”

She left them alone.

“Did we get done in time? Will you be late?”

“Elizabeth, it’s fine. We got done in time. Besides, it’s just a meeting. It’s not more important than this.”

“I don’t want to cause you problems.”

“You don’t.” He tipped her chin up so they were eye to eye. “You don’t. You are more important than any meeting.” He kissed her forehead. “But I do have to go. I’ll see you at dinner?”

“Yes. Be careful.”

………………

Patrick was waiting for her when she stepped out of the elevator.

“Have you been waiting long?”

“No, I must have just missed you downstairs. Hungry?”

“Always.”

He smiled fondly.

“I remember those days with Robin.”

They followed the hostess to a table across the room. Once they were settled and ordered drinks they were alone.

“How’s work?”

“Not the same without you.”

“Flatterer.”

“I’m serious.”r32;

She smiled.

“I’m teasing.”

“Didn’t you say your severance package gives you the option to return?”

“It does, thanks to Edward.”

“So there you go.”

“I don’t know, Patrick. I would have to work with both Monica and Steven who convinced the rest of the board to fire me. I’m just not sure it’s worth the stress.”

He sighed.

“I get it. I do, but I don’t have to like it.”

She reached across the table and covered his hand momentarily with hers.

“I’m glad we’re friends.”

“That goes without saying.” He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “But that’s not why I asked you to lunch.”

Her brow furrowed.

“Is something wrong?”

“No. I just want your opinion about something.”

“Okay.”

Their food arrived so there was silence until they thanked the staff and were alone again. She was stirring her salad up after dressing it when he spoke again.

“I’m thinking about dating.” Her eyes shot up but she continued stirring. “I just don’t know if it’s a good idea.”

She put her fork down.

“One, you have to do what is right for you and only you can decide that. Two, if you think it’s time then I support you. Three, do you have someone in mind or is this abstract at this point?”

“I might have someone in mind.”

She waited for him, but he said nothing. Her voice was kind.

“It can’t be that bad, Patrick. Do you feel like you’re betraying Robin?”

“She would want me to move on, I’m sure. It’s the who that she might have a problem with.”

Her face scrunched up in confusion.

“Who could possibly upset—“ She stopped suddenly. “Oh.” She tilted her head slightly. “But she’s changed. Then again, so have I. She and I becoming friends is proof of that.” She picked up her fork again. “And even if she hadn’t if there was a chance she’d make you happy then why not?”

“You’re right.”

For a few minutes only the sounds of silverware hitting plates was heard.

“So, how long have you been thinking about it? Is this a new development?”

“There’s always been a flirty attraction, but we never did much about it except for one time years ago.”

He raised his glass to drink and her mouth dropped open.

“I’m sorry. You did what now?”

“It’s a little embarrassing now, but I tried to talk her into sleeping with me for a little revenge on Robin.”

Her eyes widened. Her mouth opened and closed a few times without sound.

“You're both adults.”

He gave her a knowing smile.

“I like to think I wasn’t back then. We were interrupted before anything really happened and that was that.”

She smirked.

“Apparently not.”

“We’ve had several playdates with just Emma and Joss and it was nice spending time with Carly.”

“I’m not judging. Really. I think it’s great, whether it would be with Carly or someone else. I loved Robin and as sad as it is she’s not here anymore and you have the right to be happy. Whatever you end up doing do it because it’s something you decide. I have missed a lot time with Jason because I listened to my well-meaning friends and family about what was right for me. Learn from me. Make yourself happy and Emma will be happy, too.”

“Thanks, Elizabeth.”

…………..

Patrick and Elizabeth were heading towards the exit in the MetroCourt lobby when they heard someone call out for Elizabeth. They turned to see Diane Miller waving at them.

“Hey, Diane. Everything okay?”

“Yes. I only wanted to let you know I am going to find you a fantastic family court attorney.”

“Oh, thank you, but I won’t be needing that.” Elizabeth wanted to smile, but didn’t. “I know Lucky said he would take me to court, but I can pretty much guarantee you he won’t.”

“He threatened you?”

Elizabeth looked up at Patrick and patted his arm.

“Don’t worry. He’s full of hot air.” She gave her attention back to Diane. “Lucky is all talk.” She shrugged in embarrassment. “He is. Him threatening to take the boys is only an attempt to control me. It has worked before, but I’m stronger now and I’m not alone.” Diane still looked skeptical. “Tell you what. You find me a name and I’ll keep it just in case.”

“Good. I’d rather you be prepared. Have a good day, you two.”

“Thanks.”

Diane left them standing in the lobby.

“You sure you’re not worried about Lucky?”

“The man left his kids to go find himself after his wife of five minutes died. I wish I was worried because that meant he was a good dad, but…” She blew out a breath. “He’s just not.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter.” He swung his arm over her shoulder and they headed outside. “You’ve always got Uncle Patrick.”

………….

“Boys, your bags don’t go on the floor.” Cameron and Aiden picked up their backpacks and headed upstairs. “Play nicely, please.”

“Yes, mom!”

She smiled and put her purse and keys on the hook by the door before toeing her shoes off and letting out a relieved sigh. She tilted her head as she realized she could smell food. She headed for the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway and watched Jason work for a minute before walking to a barstool and sitting down.

“When I invited you to dinner it wasn’t for you to cook.”

He was smiling when he looked over his shoulder.

“I know.” He turned and looked at her when she groaned. She rubbed the side of her extended stomach. He started around the island to get to her. “Something wrong?”

She reached for him and when he held his hand out as well she put it on a knobby spot on the other side. She held it there with her left hand while rubbing the original spot with her right.

“No, just achy, but she is active today.”

“Is that a sign of anything?”

“Probably something I ate at lunch.”

They smiled together.

“That reminds me, though. She’s due in six weeks. Any predictions on when she’ll get here?”

“Well, all three of the boys were pretty much on time so unless she has plans of her own I’m expecting to go the full six weeks. Not much fun by that time but a healthy baby is worth it.”

“It is. What are the boys up to?”

“Playing. Probably making a mess.”

“It’s what us boys are known for.” She chuckled. “You want to pull out that list?”

“Sure.” She slid off the stool and went into the living room. She was back quickly and climbed back up onto the stool. “That gets trickier by the week.”

He smiled.

“How many do we have on it so far?”

“Just four.”

He gave her a look.

“We only need one.”

She laughed.

“True. You wanting to add some?”

“No. We just haven’t talked about them in awhile. Why? Do you have new ones?”

“Yes, I have two, but one is kind of cheesy and usually a boy’s name.” His eyebrows went up. “I know. We’ll save that one.”

“For another baby?”

Her face flushed immediately.

“A what? No, that’s not…how embarrassing.” She gave a shaky chuckle. “I just meant I’ll tell you the crazy name after the regular one.”

He looked at her so long she wanted to squirm, but she held firm.

“Just for the record, I wouldn’t be against the idea.”

She tilted her head in confusion.

“What idea? You know what? Don’t tell me right now.”

He took pity on her.

“Alright, what’s the first one?”

“I like Piper. It’s a little trendy, but I like it anyway.”

“Piper Morgan. It’s nice.” He turned back around momentarily to stir whatever was in the pot while she wrote on the paper. “And the other?”

“It got stuck in my head and now I can’t get it out, but I’m not sure I want to use it, especially with it being traditionally a boy name.”

“Elizabeth.” He chuckled. “Breathe.”

“Right. Okay, I kind of like the name August.”

“August. For a girl.”

“Yeah. Kind of. Maybe a middle name? Or we can save it for a pet, even.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“What is?”

“We should get a pet.”

She was so caught up in her thoughts she didn’t hear the boys until they almost in the kitchen. They were asking Jason all kinds of questions about dinner and weekend plans giving her the time to wonder to herself. What did he mean by we?
Chapter 22 by lovemyqtkids
June 3, 2013

Elizabeth rushed into Kelly’s as quickly as she could at seven and a half months pregnant and made her way to Patrick and Emma at the counter.

“I’m here!”

“Thanks so much. I’m sorry you had to come.”

She waved his concerns away.

“I was nearby and I’m happy to help.”

He gave Emma a kiss. He waved to Elizabeth and spoke as he left.

“Be good and listen to Elizabeth. I’ll be over to get her as soon as surgery is done.”

Elizabeth smiled at Emma when he was gone. The bell from the door jingled again.

“He acts as if we’re amateurs.” Emma giggled. “You ready to go get the boys?”

“Yes!”

She slid off her stool. They were walking down the steps at the docks when they heard Elizabeth’s name. They looked up and saw Jason coming down the opposite set of stairs.

“At the warehouse today?”

“Yes. Thought I’d stretch my legs and get some coffee. What brings you by?”

“I came by to get Emma for a playdate since Patrick had an emergency surgery to do. We’re on our way to get the boys.” She glanced down at Emma. “Do you know Jason, Emma?”

She nodded, but kept silent. Jason smiled at her and she smiled in return.

“Robin used to bring her to the coffee shop. Emma would get hot chocolate and her mom would get a caramel macchiato.”

Elizabeth gave Emma a little squeeze.

“Hot chocolate? That’s my favorite.” She smiled up at Jason. “I’ll be inviting Emma and Patrick for dinner as well, but you’re welcome to join us.

“I can bring dessert.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“How do you feel about ice cream, Emma?”

Her eyes lit up.

“I love chocolate!”

“That’s a good choice.” He caught Elizabeth’s gaze again. “I’ll bring some ice cream and cones and we can eat in the backyard.”

Emma had been leaning up against Elizabeth and pulled her head away and her expression was confused.

“What’s wrong?”

“Your stomach bumped my head.”

Elizabeth grinned at her.

“That’s the baby. She’s in there moving and kicking and punching. It’s like a tiny swimming pool. There’s not a lot of room so anybody on the outside can feel it, too. Here.”

She pointed to a spot on the top of her stomach and Emma put her hand there. The skin moved under the shirt’s fabric and she pulled her hand back quickly. She laughed and put it back.

“That’s weird.”

“It totally is, but it’s cool, too. Watch. Jason can put his hand over here and feel it, too.”

Jason put his hand on the bottom of the other side and felt the baby move, too.

“It’s almost like she’s stretching her arms and legs at the same time.”

Emma nodded, obviously agreeing with Jason.

Elizabeth’s phone chirped. She slid her phone out of her pocket and glanced at the time.

“Okay, that’s our cue. Cameron’s done with practice. We’ve got to go, but ice cream sounds like fun. Thanks, Jason. See you later.”

“Bye, Jason!”

He waved as they left with Cody behind them.

……………….

Elizabeth was laughing as she trailed behind the kids. The three of them ran upstairs to play.

“Put your shoes away!”

She shut the front door and locked it. She hung her purse on the doorknob and turned to step down into the living room. She froze as she realized Sam was standing in the doorway to the kitchen. The gun she held in her right hand was resting on her hip.

“You’ve got such a lovely little home here, Elizabeth.”

Her words were pleasant, but her tone was devoid of warmth and kindness. Elizabeth’s eyes flicked up the stairs and back to Sam quickly.

“Sam. What brings you by?”

“Come on down into the living room. I can shoot you before you ever call for help.” Elizabeth complied, but kept the couch between them. Sam stepped further into the room. “Did you really think I wouldn’t be keeping an eye on you and that baby? That little girl that should have been mine?”

Cold dread licked up Elizabeth’s spine.

“That’s not how it works, Sam.”

“Jason and I were supposed to raise my daughter. We were going to be great parents and love her forever.”

“Love doesn’t stop when they’re gone.”

“No, but it’s not the same. I want that chance, Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth’s fear intensified.

“You’re a mother. You have Danny.”

“I want a daughter, Elizabeth. I want Jason’s daughter. I deserve it.”

Elizabeth’s anger override her concern for a minute. She snorted. She actually snorted at a woman holding a gun on her.

“You tried to kill Jason’s daughter. You deserve nothing.”

Sam began gesturing with her gun as she talked.

“It was a mistake. A rash decision in a crazy situation. The shooting was only supposed to scare you away, but when you were on the ground I just couldn’t help myself. I realized after the fact you might know I pushed you and I knew I had to run.”

“Why are you here today?”

“I don’t want you getting comfortable with Jason feeling the baby kick or spending time with you. Once she’s mine everything will be as it should be.” Sam’s head tilted to the side and that’s when Elizabeth heard it. Male voices from out on the front porch. “That’s my cue to leave. Just know this. I will be her mother, Elizabeth, not you.”

Sam turned and ran into the kitchen.

“Jason!” Jason shoved the front door open. “Sam just ran out the back.” Jason threw a command at Cody as he ran through the house. “Go around!”

Jason took off after her, but apparently didn’t get very far. She could hear him cursing in the back of the house. By the time she made it to the kitchen he had finally gotten the door open and was in the backyard. He slammed the door when he came back in.

“She got away. She jerry-rigged the door so that it wouldn’t open when I tried to follow her.” He strode across the room. He ran his hands down her arms. “Are you okay?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

Her hands went to his chest.

“Yes, I’m sure. I’m a little rattled, but I’m safe. We’re perfectly safe. I promise.”

“What did she want?”

Her fingers clenched into his skin through the shirt.

“She wants our daughter.”

…………….

Jason knocked quietly, but didn’t wait for an answer before entering. He’d missed the boys’ bedtimes, but knew Elizabeth would probably be up. He set his bag by the door and stepped further into the room. The television was on, but Elizabeth wasn’t in the room. He turned when he heard movement on the stairs. She saw him before she reached the bottom.

“Hey. You get everything you need?”

“For a few days, anyway. I’ll go back as I need.”

“I’m sorry about—“

He put his hand out to stop her.

“I feel better being with you and the boys and it was easier for me to come here than for you to pack them up and come to the penthouse or a safe house.”

“I appreciate the compromise. Your room is ready upstairs.” He nodded his thanks. “Have you had dinner? There’s food in the kitchen.”

“Sonny fed me.”

She grinned.

“Probably better than anything I cooked.”

“Hey, now.”

She only grinned wider. She moved around the couch and sat down. She grabbed the remote and turned the tv off. He sat on the other end as she set the remote on the coffee table.

“Any luck?”

“No, which makes me think she’s been watching your house for awhile.”

She grimaced.

“That’s comforting.”

“I know. We’re going to up the guards as well. I’m sorry we can’t catch her.”

She reached out and covered his hand with hers.

“We talked about this before. She’s not an amateur, although I’m still not sure why she showed her hand. Surprise has to be a better tool if she was coming after our daughter.”

“I think she has a general plan, but her anger gets the best of her at times. Back in March she hired that shooter to scare you, but when she had the opportunity to shove you down the stairs she took it. Then she had to improvise because she knew we would figure it out. Today she must have been watching us because hours after I felt our baby kick she’s in your house telling you it’s not going to happen again. I will stop her, Elizabeth.”

“I know you will.”

…………..

June 7, 2013

Jason hadn’t asked Elizabeth to stay home after Sam’s impromptu visit, but she’d done it anyway. Now, four days later she thought she might go stir crazy from cabin fever. She laughed to herself as she straightened up the living room. The boys had been anything but upset about being stuck at home since Jason had moved in again. She was the only one who had been on the grumpy side. She glanced towards the back of the house when the door bell rang, as if she could see Jason and the boys while they were playing outside. She knew it was foolish to think it was Sam but it crossed her mind anyway. She put the book she was holding on the right side of the third step to be carried up later and then answered the door. She tried to hold back her surprise.

“Lucky. What brings you by?”

“Do you mind if I come in?”

She stepped back and stepped down into the living room after she shut the door.

“What’s up?”

“I’m leaving town.”

“Oh. Are you here to say good-bye to the boys?”

“No, don’t bother them. It’s not like they’re going to miss me anyway.”

“Lucky.”

He put his hand up to stop her.

“We both know it’s true. I wasn’t a good father when I was here, let alone when I wasn’t.”

“You could be if you tried.”

He shook his head in disgust.

“I don’t want to try because I can’t stand being around you.” He scoffed. “The woman you’ve become. You’re trash and when your kids grow up they’ll know it, too.”

“You shut up!”

Elizabeth whirled around at Cameron’s outraged voice. His fists were clenched down by his sides and he was glaring at Lucky.

“Cam.”

He ignored his mother. She made her way to him.

“Nobody asked you to come here. My mom is the best person ever and we don’t want you.”

“Cameron.”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes at Lucky’s patronizing tone.

“You heard him, Lucky. I think it’s time you went.” She called out from her spot near Cameron. “Cody!”

Cody opened the door almost immediately.

“Yes, Ms. Webber?”

“Lucky is leaving.”

“Yes, Ms. Webber.”

She laid her hand on Cameron’s opposite shoulder.

“I wish you well, Lucky, but good-bye.” She turned her back on Lucky and bent down to Cameron’s level. “You must have come in for something. What is it?”

“Oh, yeah. We’re thirsty. Can we have a drink?”

She led the way into the kitchen leaving Cody to make sure Lucky left.

“Of course, but I thought you might want a popsicle instead.”

“Yes! Popsicles!”

“I’ll go tell Aiden and Jason!”

She laughed.

“You do that.”

She knew she would have to talk to Cameron at some point about what he’d said to Lucky but that was something that could wait. She also couldn’t help but feel relief at knowing Lucky would not be there to cause problems, especially since Sam had ramped up her interest in their lives. She pulled out the box from the freezer and went out back.

………….

Cameron selected a grape popsicle while Aiden had wanted cherry. She said nothing when Jason picked orange and she gave him her cherry popsicle to hold while she put the rest back in the freezer. When she returned the remains of the wrappers were on the step next to Jason. She sat on his other side and accepted her own popsicle.

“Thanks.” She looked out at the boys who were not eating at the moment, but using their popsicles as swords. She just laughed and tasted her own. “Did Cameron mention Lucky while I was inside?”

His head swung to look at her. She glanced up.

“No. Is there a problem?”

“He stopped by to tell me he was leaving town. He said I was trash and Cam heard him.” She looked back out at her son. “He defended me fiercely.”

“No surprise. He’s a great kid.”

“I’ll need to talk to him about what he said.”

“You mind if I do it?” She finished her popsicle and she let him have the stick when he reached for it. He put it with the other trash. He shrugged. “If you don’t mind. He might appreciate it from someone who agrees with him.”

She nudged his arm with hers. She had to bite back a smile.

“Talk to him. It’s not like you’re not as thick as thieves anyway.”

“Jealous?”

“Only on Tuesdays.”

“Brat.”

She just smiled and tucked her arm through his as they watched the boys continue to play as the sun went down.
Chapter 23 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 23

June 8, 2013


Elizabeth sighed in contentment as the doors closed behind them, enveloping them in the cool air-conditioned environment. They hadn’t been outside long, just from the car to the store door but it was enough to make Elizabeth uncomfortable with the heat. She looked back at Jason and Cameron to see where they should go first and noticed them sharing looks with each other.

“Am I keeping you from something?” She laughed while rolling her eyes. “Never mind. I’ll go look at some clothes and meet you by the cribs in 20 minutes, okay?”

She turned before they could respond and headed for the shopping carts. She pulled one out of the row and headed for the baby clothes, Cody trailing behind. She was looking at a white sleeper with red trim when her phone rang. She placed it back on the rack with the others and found her phone in her purse.

“Do you really think he’s gone?”

She smiled at Carly’s lack of greeting.

“Hello to you, too, Carly.”

“You should know me by now.”

“I do. I just like to get my kicks in where I can.”

“Funny. Now answer the question.”

Elizabeth had called Carly earlier that morning to see if she wanted to go baby shopping and had told her about Lucky’s visit.

“I don’t know. He’s acting like it. He only came to town because my grandmother called him. I’m sure he’s relieved to leave us all behind since he’s so angry about everything. I know Jason’s got someone watching him and he did make flight reservations for Europe. I hate the boys being hurt by him but I’m also relieved he won’t be here to do it again.”

“He hurt you, too.”

Elizabeth sighed softly.

“I know and it might make me sound terrible but I expected it. it’s easier to brace yourself when you know it’s coming.”

“That’s depressing. I know he’s my cousin but it’s probably for the best that he goes. He’s too much like Luke.”

“Maybe I didn’t try hard enough.”

“Don’t you dare. He acted like an overgrown child instead of an adult. This is not your fault, Elizabeth. If anything, you gave him too many chances. Let it go.”

Elizabeth chuckled.

“Should I start singing now?”

“You’re lucky you’re pregnant or I’d punch you. So, what are you doing?”

“Shopping.”

Carly huffed.

“Without me?”

“We need a crib and you were busy. Should I apologize?”

“Yes!”

“I’ll make it up to you.”

“As you should.”

“What are the guys doing?”

“Aiden’s over at a friend’s house and Cam and Jason are plotting somewhere on the other side of the store.”

“Sounds dangerous.”

“Could be but I think this time they’re trading I hate Lucky stories.”

“Again, without me?”

“Will it appease you if I buy zero baby clothes today and bring you back?”

Carly snickered.

“It’s a start.”

…………..

“Do you think they have toys here?”

Jason motioned for Cameron to lead the way.

“Let’s go see.”

They started on one end of the store and headed towards the back, looking down each aisle as they went.

“Yes!”

Jason smiled and followed Cameron down the aisle with what looked like baby toys. It took another aisle before they found toys for kids two and three years old.

“What are we looking for?”

“I’m not sure. Mom said Aiden’s birthday is coming up and I want to get him something.”

“Let’s see what we can find.” Jason followed as Cameron would pull out a toy, see what it did, and then put it back not shelf before moving down to repeat with another toy. Jason spoke again when Cameron was on the fourth toy. “Your mom mentioned your dad stopped by last night.”

Jason wasn’t sure what to expect when Cameron looked up at him but resignation wasn’t it.

“He’s not my dad.” He put the toy back on the shelf. “I know he helped my mom when I was a baby but he hasn’t cared much for years. Oh, he said he did but he wasn’t around much at all and then when Jake died he quit coming.” He shrugged. “I learned quickly that if he didn’t care about his own kid then there wasn’t much chance for me.”

Jason swallowed, trying to rid himself of the sudden lump in his throat. He wasn’t sure having this serious conversation in a baby store was the best idea but he didn’t want Cameron to go another minute without some kind of assurance. He put his hands gently on Cameron’s shoulders and then bent down slightly so they could be face to face.

“Did you know I met you before you were born?” It was obvious by Cameron’s expression he had not been aware. “It’s true. I was talking to your mom and you were moving around in her stomach and she let me feel you.” He paused. “It was amazing. And then I got to meet you for real when you were about 6 months old. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to you and your mom and Jake but I’m making a vow to you here and now. I want to be your dad and Aiden’s dad, not just your sister’s. I promise to never leave you or ignore you.”

“Are you going to adopt us?”

“You’re amazing kids and I’d love to be your dad but I want to do what makes you comfortable.”

“Can I think about it?”

“Yes but I want you to know something. Even if you decide you don’t want me to adopt you I’m still going to be here for you.” Jason held out his hand for Cameron to shake it. “Deal?”

Cameron ignored the hand and hugged Jason around the waist.

“Okay.”

……….

Jason and Cameron were waiting in the crib section when she arrived. She smiled at them.

“Excited?”

“It’s a crib, Mom.”

She pulled him close while chuckling and gave him a quick hug.

“Alright, let’s look around.”

Cameron was hanging close to her which surprised her but she didn’t comment on it. They browsed cribs that were different colors, different shades of wood, round cribs, rectangle cribs, convertible cribs. Cameron had rolled his eyes at her after they found a crib that was all kinds of weird and Elizabeth looked up and shared a laugh with Jason having to agree with Cameron’s assessment. Jason’s phone rang and he stepped back to answer it. Cameron took advantage of the moment of privacy.

“Jason wants to adopt us.”

Elizabeth’s heart was thundering in her chest but she was able to keep her voice level.

“How do you feel about that?”

He shrugged.

“It’d be cool to have a dad who is good to us.”

Her eyes watered and she rubbed his arm.

“Oh, Cam. I’m sorry about your dad.”

“He’s not my dad.” He looked up at her with an expression she couldn’t quite name. “But I think I’d like Jason to be.”

Her voice shook.

“He would love that but what he really wants is for you to be sure. Why don’t you take some time to think about it? He’s not going anywhere.” She took a quick breath. “Let’s find him and pick a bed so we can go get Aiden from Gabe’s house. I’m getting hungry.”

……………

June 11, 2013

Carly followed Elizabeth into the baby’s room. She looked around as Elizabeth put down the bags she was carrying. She didn’t say anything as Elizabeth took her bags and put them down, too.

“Wow. You have been busy.”

Elizabeth smiled as she looked at the room, too.

“I figured we should probably get to work since she’s due next month.”

Carly’s tone was sarcastic.

“You think?”

Elizabeth playfully pushed her.

“I know, I know. We should have done it sooner but we just didn’t. What do you think?”

“I love it. Definitely girly without overdosing on pink.” She stroked a finger down one of the black elephants that made a single file line horizontally across the crib bumper. Above them were hot pink rectangles that were lined with black polka dots on the left and right sides of the pink. The sheet was white with black oval polka dots randomly placed and the bed skirt was ruffled with big dandelions. The top ruffle had hot pink dandelions, the bottom had lime green dandelions. She smiled at the green elephant with big black polka dots and pink elephant with small black polka dots pictures on the wall. “Reminds me of Michael’s nursery.”

Elizabeth’s voice was reverent.

“It’s supposed to. And Jake’s nursery. I wanted to find something to honor Jake but when I found this I knew I could honor both of them and tie it to their sister.” Carly’s head whipped up so quickly Elizabeth was afraid she’d hurt herself. “We both know how he feels about Michael.”

“I made a lot of mistakes back then.” She snorted. “And since then.”

Elizabeth put her hand on Carly’s shoulder.

“You don’t have the market on mistakes.”

Carly tried to smile.

“I suppose I don’t.”

“There are a lot of things we all could have done differently, maybe should have done differently but we can’t change any of that so we just have to figure out a way to keep going.”

Carly smirked.

“Do you think you could stop talking like Jason?”

Elizabeth laughed and playfully shrugged.

“No promises but I would like to talk about Jason.”

“Alright, let’s get all those clothes ready for washing. You take the rocking chair and I’ll sit on the floor.” They both sat down and started peeling stickers off clothes and snipped the plastic tags that held price tags on. Elizabeth was shocked when Carly spoke quickly. “What about him?”

“He wants to adopt the boys.”

“How do you feel about it?”

“It’d be an easy decision if we were together but we’re not.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“We really are friends if you can say that to me and mean it.”

Carly smirked and kept working. Elizabeth shook her head and tossed the finished sleeper in the pile.

“I guess it doesn’t really matter. He’s an adult and it is something he would do.”

“It so is. And it’s not like you guys aren’t going to end up together anyway.”

“What?”

Carly snorted.

“Oh, please. Don’t act innocent. There has always been something between you and now you’re having another baby together.” She shrugged. “You can’t act like it isn’t a possibility.” She raised her eyebrows knowingly. “Not if you don’t want me to call you a liar.”

“Calling me a liar would have given you such pleasure at one time.”

Carly laughed.

“I know. How times have changed. Now, quit stalling.”

“Yes, I have feelings for Jason but I’m not sure how he feels about me.”

“Weren’t you the one who told me he kissed you at the Nurses’ Ball?”

“You remember nothing I tell you but you remember that?”

“Duh.”

Elizabeth’s voice was shaky.

“Yes, I have feelings for Jason. Yes, he will be an amazing dad to my boys whether we are together or not. Yes, having him live with us was everything I thought it would be.”

“But?”

“But it’s never worked before. Not for long, anyway.”

“Things are different this time, aren’t they?”

“You’re right. The whole world knows this baby is Jason’s and we’re being protected. I guess I’m just afraid we’ll lose it all if we try and we crash and burn again. It feels like we have so much more to lose this time.”

“It’s possible. However, your kids will have two parents who can’t seem to stay away from each other no matter what so I think you don’t have to worry so much.”

They smiled at each other.

“Maybe you’re right.”

“Please, we know I like to be right so I’m definitely rooting for you.” Elizabeth laughed. “Now, let’s talk about me. I went on a date with Patrick last night.”

Elizabeth stopped rocking and put the onesie she was holding into her lap.

“Did you have a good time?”

“Who doesn’t like dinner and dancing?”

“Jason?”

Carly smiled.

“He doesn’t count.”

“I know. I’m teasing but I shouldn’t. You were trying to tell me something.”

“It’s okay.” Carly went back to peeling off stickers. “I was nervous.” She looked up at Elizabeth. “Is that weird? We’re friends but I was nervous. Wasn’t always sure what to say or do.”

“No, it’s not weird. I’d say it was pretty normal. Especially if you haven’t dated in awhile. I’m guessing you were nervous because you wanted it to work out.”

“Years ago I was tempted to sleep with him just to stick it to Robin but last night? Last night I just wanted to enjoy being out with him and getting to know him better.”

“Awwww, our little Carly is growing up.”

Carly pretended to growl and threw the pile of baby clothes at Elizabeth.

“Shut up.”

Elizabeth looked at the clothes scattered all around her.

“I take it all back.”

Nursery theme: https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/44fe9459-e15b-449e-ac0b-4365d4aea41d/svn/cotton-tale-designs-crib-bedding-hd4s-64_1000.jpg
This story archived at http://www.beautifulmemoirs.net/viewstory.php?sid=123