Twisting Destinies by lovemyqtkids
Summary: For those who haven't been watching Elizabeth found out (from Nikolas) Jake is Jason the night of the Nurses Ball back in the spring 2015. She kept it a secret. He found out who he is the day they were supposed to get married. Through a series of events after that he questioned her wanting to know if she knew who he was before he did. They are currently not together. The gala is happening on-screen currently. This is just my vision.
Categories: Liason > Alternate History > Drama Characters: Elizabeth Webber, Jason Morgan
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 6 Completed: No Word count: 18115 Read: 4055 Published: May 29, 2016 Updated: Jun 22, 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

Chapter 1 by lovemyqtkids
It had been a week since Jason had moved out and Elizabeth was weary. She had kicked Diane out of her house, kept from throwing Carly down an elevator shaft at the hospital and liked to think she had won a stare down with Sam at the Metrocourt. She was weary, but determined. She had known better than to try and keep Jason’s identity a secret, but she’d done it anyway and now she knew. She got up from the couch where she was folding laundry to answer the door. She was surprised to see Patrick on the other side.

“Hi.”

“Mind if I come in?”

She stepped back and she followed him to the couch after shutting the door. Her voice was confused.

“What are you doing here? I'm a pariah, remember?”

He flashed a smile.

“I’ve heard the rumors.”

Her voice was shaky.

“I'm sorry.”

He quickly pulled her in for a hug.

“I know you and I know Nikolas put you in a difficult situation. You could have handled it better, but love does strange things.”

She pulled away and sat down.

“You’re a good friend, Patrick."

“I know. Don't you forget it.” She chuckled. “How are you, really?"

“I should be asking you that.”

“I’d rather not talk about it, although you’re well within your rights to say I told you so.”

"I didn't want to be right."

“It’s not your fault. She made her choice after finding out the truth. That's on her, not you.”

She sighed.

“I'm still sorry.”

They both looked at the door when there was another knock. She got up and answered it. She was even more surprised to see Jason.

“What do you want?”

“I saw Jake after school yesterday and I promised him I would come fix his bike.”

He hesitated when he saw Patrick, but stepped onto the landing.

“It's in the backyard.”

She closed the door, walked past him and sat back down on the couch. She picked up a shirt from the basket and began folding it. She could feel Jason looking at her, but she continued to work. She put the folded shirt on the coffee table and grabbed another. Jason finally moved and headed towards the kitchen.

“Jason.”

“Patrick.”

Once he was gone Patrick commented.

“He looked confused.”

“That's because the last time I saw him I was begging him to stay. Not my finest moment; not that choosing to lie was a good move, either.”

“And now?"

“And now I think I've finally realized I can only count on myself.”

“And me.”

She looked at him and had to blink back tears.

“Thanks.”

"Is it safe to ask why you did it?"

"The easy answer is because I wanted to be happy, but I thought he'd be happy, too. Jason and I always worked best when it was just us. In my studio, in our safehouse. But when you add in Sonny, Carly, Sam and Lucky we didn’t stand a chance. I should have known better after he went back to Sam last time.”

His voice was thoughtful and kind.

“How come?” She looked at him. He could tell she was debating in her mind. “You know you can tell me anything.”

“Even if it makes Sam look bad?”

He tried to joke.

“Especially so. She left me, you know.”

“How much do you want to know?”

“Whatever you want me to know."

She blew out a breath.

“She watched Jake's first kidnapping."

“What the…she did what?"

“Hid in the bushes and let that woman take Jake. She came to me and told me we were the same since we both lost a child. She told me,” she closed her eyes briefly in memory, “that I could have another baby to replace him. I kicked her out.”

“Good girl.”

She tried to smile.

“She wouldn't let us on her show so we could appeal to the kidnappers, even threatened to quit her job if Amelia let us on anyway.”

“How could she? That's despicable.”

“That’s not all. A couple months later she hired those men in the park to scare us away from being a family. It worked.”

“Why doesn't anyone know? How could you not tell me? She lived in my home with Emma.”

“We were trying to keep Jake’s paternity a secret. She got her freedom if she kept her mouth shut. Jake was a target because he was Jason’s son and she wasn't his mother. I would have said something if I felt Emma was in danger. I'm so sorry.”

“Me, too," He took a deep breath, “but what’s done is done. So that was it? You guys were over?"

“We met in secret for about 6 months after Emily died. We were even engaged for half a minute or so it felt. I had barely said yes when we got the call saying Michael had been shot in the head. He walked away for good then. Said he couldn't risk our lives.”

He sat up and rested his elbows on his knees.

“And yet he turned around and married Sam and had a baby."

“It wasn’t that fast, but yeah.” She picked up a pair of small pants and folded them. “Anyway, I was a fool for trying to recreate the past.” She put the folded pants on the table with the other clothes. “Enough about me and my terrible choices. How are you and Emma holding up?”


“She's having a difficult time. Between Sam and Robin…”

“I’m so sorry I did this to your family.”

“You didn’t. Sam didn’t have to walk away for a man who doesn’t even remember her, but she did.”

“Why don't you and Emma come for dinner tonight?”

“That’d be great. Emma needs to be around her friends. But I didn’t come over here to beg for dinner.”

Elizabeth chuckled.

“Bonus?”

“Of course.” He paused. “I got a new job.”

Her eyes widened.

“I'm guessing you don't mean here.”

“No. I got a call yesterday from Chicago Med. They’re getting ready to open a Neurosurgery wing and they want me to head it up.”

“That’s amazing news, Patrick.”

He grinned.

“It is.”

She playfully smacked his arm. He studied her until she shifted.

“What are you thinking?”

“You should come with me.”

“What?”

“I'm serious. It's a new wing. They'll need nurses and you’re the best one I know.” He looked down when his phone received an alert. “Think about it. We can discuss it later. Can you pick up Emma from school? An accident is coming in with severe head injuries.”

They both stood up and headed toward the door.

"Of course. We'll see you for dinner when you’re done.”

He kissed her cheek and headed out. She went through the house to the back door. She opened it and spoke to Jason.

“I have to go get the kids from school. Let yourself out when you’re done.”

Before he could respond she was making her way back through the house.

………..

She was standing outside the ballroom doors taking a breath before entering into the Gala. She thought about checking her phone for the time, but he wasn’t late yet.

“Elizabeth.”

She turned and saw Patrick approaching.

“Hey, I just got here.”

He looked at the closed doors.

“Are we sure about this?”

“Absolutely not.”

He smiled at her answer.

“Are we doing it anyway?”

She smiled.

“If we must.” He held his arm out toward her and she hooked her hand through it. “Thanks for being my date.”

“What can I say? I’m a catch.”

She laughed.

“Let’s get you inside before your head floats away.”

They walked into the ballroom and Elizabeth felt like everyone was suddenly looking at them.

“Looks like Carly’s on the warpath. Let’s get you somewhere else.”

Patrick nudged her into the crowd. When they came out on the other side she saw Jason and Sonny sitting at a table near the wall. She caught his gaze, straightened her back, raised her chin after and veered off to the left. She saw Epiphany and Felix at a nearby table.

“You look amazing, girl.”

“Thanks, Felix.”

Epiphany stood up and embraced Elizabeth.

“It's nice to see your gumption."

“It's nice to know I still have it.”

Elizabeth and Patrick sat down at their table just in time to see Sam join Jason and Sonny at their table. She turned so she didn’t have to torture herself. A passing waiter stopped by with a tray of champagne and canapés. They all took a glass and some food and thanked him. Elizabeth raised her glass.

“Here's to being enough by yourself..”

Felix raised his glass.

“Cheers. Love sucks.” Elizabeth looked at Felix quizzically. “Don’t ask.”

Patrick lifted his glass.

“You know how I feel.”

Epiphany looked them all over. She raised her glass.

“You all are a mess. Cheers.”

Elizabeth laughed and drank. Felix wagged his finger at her.

“Girl, what we really need is tequila. I want to witness a legendary ‘lick it, slam it, suck it’ shot.”

Patrick cocked his head.

“She probably doesn’t remember how.”

One of Elizabeth’s eyebrows shot upward.

“Excuse me?” She gave Patrick a look. “I know what you’re trying to do and I’ll let you. Let’s go.”

The four of them made their way through the tables and people and found four barstools next to each other. As they sat down Elizabeth asked the bartender for salt, limes and tequila.

………………

Jason tried to pay attention to the conversation Carly insisted on having, but his attention kept drifting to the foursome at the bar. Jason lifted his bottle of beer to his lips just as Carly snapped at him.

“Jason!”

“What, Carly?”

“You’re not paying attention at all.”

“I’m here. What more do you want?”

“Quit looking at her. She is not worth your time. I mean, really. The nerve of her to show up with Patrick, let alone at all.”

“They’re friends, Carly. Friends support friends. That’s what they do.”

“Please. She just wants sympathy.”

Jason looked at Sam. She obviously agreed with Carly.

“Carly, leave him alone. He’s an adult. He’ll figure it out.”

Jason resisted in rolling his eyes at all of them, but it was a struggle. It bothered him Elizabeth didn’t seem upset by their fight. He abruptly stood up and left the table. Carly huffed. Sam whined.

“What does he see in her?”

“Doesn’t matter. I won’t let her sink her claws into him again.”

……………………

Jason approached the bar so he could observe Elizabeth without her seeing. She was laughing at Felix who had dropped his lime before he could use it. He cursed inwardly when the group went silent when they noticed him. Elizabeth turned in her seat.

“Jason.”

“Elizabeth, can I talk to you for a minute?”

He noticed Patrick’s stare as she slid off the barstool. She put her hand on Patrick’s arm.

“I’ll be fine.”

He motioned to the balcony and she led the way. He swore as they stepped onto the balcony. He pulled off his jacket and held it out.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

She took it carefully and slid it on and wrapped it around her.

“Thank you.”

Silence settled over them.

“How are you?”

She turned from the view of the city to look at him.

“‘It’s been a rough week, but it’s been fun to come tonight and forget for awhile.” Silence descended again as she studied him. “What is it you really want to know?”

“I heard you and Patrick the other day. The things you said about Sam. Are they true?”

She looked out over the skyline.

“I suppose I deserve that. Yes, it’s all true. You can ask Spinelli. I’m pretty sure he helped you track down the gunmen Sam hired. Or you can talk to Amelia Joffe. She was Sam’s boss when Jake disappeared. She went with you to rescue him.”

He put his hand up and spoke gently.

“Stop. I believe you.”

She spoke but there was no heat behind her words.

“That’s a first.”

“You lied to me about something huge. What did you expect me to do?”

She turned her full body towards him then and pulled his jacket closer around her.

“I expected you to hear me out. I expected you to believe in me as much I believed in you. I expected you not to be looking for an excuse to leave.”

“What? I wanted to marry you. How can you say that?”

“I’ve had a lot of time to think since you walked out last week. At the time I was devastated and desperate trying to get you to stay and listen to me. You believed the worst in me from the moment you found out. How many times did you tell me over the last year you didn’t care if you had a family out there, that you didn’t want to know? And yet you accused me of trapping you, of keeping you from your wife and son. I’m sorry I didn’t realize you would want to know because it was Sam and Danny. If that wasn’t enough you accused me of not wanting you until I knew you were Jason. I thought we had been building something and then Hayden showed up so nothing happened. You have no idea how it made me feel when we found out it was all a lie.”r32;
“How did it make you feel?”

Her voice was sad.

“It doesn’t matter anymore. Last week you treated me like Lucky used to. You could be ugly because you were right. I deserve better.” She took his jacket off folded it in half and held it out to him. “Good-bye.”

The lining on one of the pockets was sticking out of the pocket a little. He tucked it back in and stopped short. He stuck his hand in all the way and pulled out the ring he had placed on her hand just months before. He closed his fist around it and wondered if he’d made a mistake.

…………………

Patrick had been watching the balcony doors after Elizabeth left. As soon as she had come back in he was off the barstool and heading her way.

“Are you okay?”

“Not really, so I’m just going to grab a cab and go home.”

“We’ll go together. I’ve had enough fun.”

“Okay. Maybe we can talk about that job offer so more.”

His eyes widened briefly before he smiled.

“Now that’s more like it.”

They headed to the coat room before leaving.

……………….

Three days after the gala Elizabeth officially applied for a job at Chicago Med. She was nervous, but if she got the job she wouldn't be going alone so that made things easier for her. Five days after that she found out she got the job. It was now Christmas Eve and she only had one week left at General Hospital. She came out of Room 927 and started typing on her phone.

“Wow, does your boss know you text at work or is that why you’re leaving?”

Elizabeth sent her text and then faced off with Carly.

“Not that’s it’s any of your business, but I am texting this patient’s doctor about some results. Why are you harassing me at work?”

“I know I can harass you anywhere, but it’s fun when your coworkers get to hear what a lying—“

Elizabeth stepped closer and interrupted.

“Do you have something new to say because you flapping your mouth about the same old thing just makes you sound like a petulant child.”

“How dare you—“

“How dare I? You keep getting in my face about keeping Jason from his child when you did it not only once, but three times. If it had been up to you AJ, Sonny and Nikolas would never have known about their children. Get out of my face or I will assault you.”

“Listen here—“

“Carly.” They looked to see Jason approaching. “Leave Elizabeth alone.”

“Jason.”

“I’ll talk to you later.” Carly huffed and stalked off. Jason turned to see Elizabeth going the other way. “Elizabeth.”

She stopped and pivoted.

“I’m working.”

“I know. I’d just like to work out details so I can spend some time with the boys tomorrow.”

“My shift is over in about twenty minutes. I’ll meet you in the waiting area.”

Jason nodded and she went back to work. It wasn’t long before she was done and back in her regular clothes. He stood up to meet her.

“Walk you to your car?”

“Sure.” The elevator arrived and he motioned for her to go first.” What were you thinking?”

“If it’s okay I’d like to come over early and watch them open presents.”

“They get up early.”

He smiled.

“I know. I’ll be there at seven. Alright?”

She nodded.

“That’s fine.”

They exited on the parking garage lower level.

“I still can’t believe you’re leaving.”

“I can’t either, but I think it’s a good opportunity. I think it’s good to have a fresh start. You can come visit Jake anytime.”

“It’s not the same.”

“No, but it’s better than what we believed a year ago.”

He nodded thoughtfully.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

…………………..

Christmas had been strained with Jason and the boys, but it was over and Elizabeth was now in moving mode. The movers had come three days ago and packed everything up in two days. It was now New Year’s Eve and their last night in Port Charles. She double-checked the lock on the hotel door before slipping through the room to check on her boys. She had let them stay up a little, but not until midnight with them heading out of town the next day. She kissed Aiden who was using the couch for a bed and then Cameron and Jake who were sharing the extra bed. Her phone rang and she grabbed it and headed to the bathroom hoping it wouldn’t wake the boys. She answered it without looking.

“Yes, Patrick. We’re ready to go.”

“Elizabeth?”

The voice sounded far away, but she knew that voice. Her body went cold.

“Jason?”

There was silence only interrupted by static.

“Elizabeth…it’s me.”

“But it can’t be.” More space over the phone. “Jason? Talk to me. This is impossible.”

“….not me. I’m not in Port Charles.”

“It can’t be. This doesn’t make any sense.”

The voice was still far away, but stronger now.

“...lizabeth, listen to me. It rains in Uzbekistan when you forget your umbrella.”

Her knees gave out and she slid to the floor.

“Jason? Where are you?”

“…..Vienna. ….careful.”

“Vienna? Jason, listen to me. Hang in there. I’m coming to find you.” She took a deep breath. “I’m going to find you.”
Chapter 2 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 2

January 31, 2016


Jason was tired. Between his personal life of dealing with Carly, Sam and Danny and getting back into the swing of things with working with Sonny he was tired. Busy and tired. He was finally getting a chance to fly to Chicago to see Jake. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to be the Jason Morgan, but he could admit having a whole plane cabin to himself was nice. Once he landed he was out of the airport and headed to Patrick’s apartment in no time. He parked in the visitor’s area of the tall building and headed for the door. He was stopped in the lobby by someone at a desk and approved by Patrick upstairs before they let him on the elevator. He knew Patrick and Elizabeth were sharing an apartment until they both found homes they wanted. Patrick was waiting in the doorway to his apartment when Jason stepped out of the elevator.

“Come on in.”

“Sorry I didn’t call ahead. I couldn’t get ahold of Elizabeth and it didn’t occur to me to try you until I got here.”

Patrick shut the door behind Jason.

“They aren’t here, Jason.”

“When will they be back?”

“They aren’t coming back.”

“What do you mean?”

“They don’t live here and I don’t know where she is.”

Jason’s blood ran cold.

“What do you mean you don’t know where she is? Is she in trouble?”

“Here’s what I know. We moved here, put most of our stuff into storage, got settled into the apartment, but she was on her phone and computer a lot. Two weeks ago she promised me she was okay, but moved out with the boys. She calls me periodically but it’s not from her regular phone.”

Jason was stunned and sat down, unable to figure out what to say.

“How does she sound? Is she scared? Running from something?”

“No. She sounds fine. She sounds like herself. She's just not here.”

“Why didn’t you call me?”

“I’m her friend, not yours.”

“Well, I’m asking you to call me when you hear from her. I just want to make sure she’s okay. Her and the boys.”

Patrick put his hands on his hips.

“I will talk to her and give you a message.”

Jason didn’t like it, but he nodded.

………………

February 2, 2016

“Jason showed up. Or whatever his name is.”

Elizabeth’s breath caught in her throat.

“Was he a problem?”

“No, but you need to be careful. I’m pretty sure he won’t just accept what I told him.”

“Okay, thanks.”

“Any progress?”

“We’ve got a lead that looks promising. We’re going to double check it and then go.”

“Boys are good? Need me to keep them?”

“I’d love to have you watch them, but I don’t want to put you or them in the middle, especially if he turns up again. I can’t stop him from trying to take Jake right now.”

“It’s okay. Just wanted you to know I’ve got your back.”

“I appreciate it.” She wrote something down. “Tell him I called to check in. You gave me his message and I told you we’re fine. I’ll call you on your regular phone in a few minutes so Spinelli will find it when he checks your phone. Less than 90 seconds and they can’t trace me.”

“You been watching a lot of tv?”

She laughed.

“Maybe. I’ll call you again soon. Love you.”

………………

April 27th, 2016

Elizabeth looked out her hotel window and admired the nighttime lights of Bratislava, Slovakia. She had left the boys with the nanny who had been with them the last couple months. Vienna wasn’t that far in the grand scheme of things, about 30 minutes by vehicle, but after so many years apart she was getting antsy to find and rescue Jason. The soft knock at the door startled her even though she was expecting it. She lifted the cover over the peephole and opened the door after verification.

“Anna, come in.”

“Did you talk to the boys?”

“Yes. They are enjoying exploring the house. ”

“Good.” She could sense Elizabeth’s nerves. “We’re going to find him, Elizabeth.”

“I know.” Her voice cracked. “I just hope he’s okay.”

Anna put her hands on Elizabeth’s shoulders.

“He’s going to be okay as soon as we get to him.”

“I have to believe that. What did you find out?”

“Our intel tells us it’s a legitimate clinic with regular patients. However, there are some special patients being treated there. They have given private nurses to as not arouse suspicion or raise any flags. We believe Jason is one of them. There are no electronic records we could find so we’ll have to go from room to room. Medications for inducing manageability are given at 8pm and 8am. We’re planning to get there at five am.”

“Okay.”

“Good. Let’s get our make-up on go.”

Elizabeth studied her face in the mirror as she put on the dark paint so she would blend into the darkness. Her hair was in a bun and she had on a black outfit.

“Ready?”

“Ready enough.”

…………….

The thirty minutes in the van to get to the small clinic was too long and yet too short at the same time for Elizabeth. It was torture to be so close and yet so far. It was terrifying to not know what they would encounter and to not know what shape Jason would be in. She took a deep breath as the van rolled to a stop.

“We’re going the last two blocks on foot. We’ll divide up and enter from opposite ends.”

Elizabeth was with Jeremy and Phillip and they were going in the south end of the building while Anna and two others were entering from the north. Even though everyone had been given a picture of Jason he might not be easily recognizable so Anna and Elizabeth were on different teams to help make identification quicker.

“Tranq everyone who isn’t a patient. Meet back here as soon as possible. Radio contact only in case of emergency.”

Elizabeth said a little prayer and followed the two men leading the way. Security was easy to breach and they were soon at the first patient’s door. She and her partners had already worked out a system before hand. They would watch the hallways while she checked each room. They’d only run into one employee so far when he’d come out of a patient’s room. He’d been tranquilized and stashed in a supply closet. There was one more room before they would make their way to the second floor. Elizabeth slipped inside and shut the door quietly. She crept to the bed and made her way to the far end. The man in the bed had long hair and was almost too thin. As she studied his face his eyes suddenly opened. She gasped.

“Who are you?”

The sob surprised her. She tamped down the rest.

“Jason, it’s me.”

He froze.

“Elizabeth?”

As he sat up she took just a small step back so as not to crowd him. He’d been locked up for years and she worried about him. There was enough moonlight to see his eyes. She couldn’t stop the tears anymore. She slowly reached out and covered his cheek with her hand.

“It’s me.” He sighed and covered her hand with his own. Her voice was ragged. “I’m so sorry it took me so long.”

“Now is when it matters.”

He turned and slid his legs off the bed. She stepped closer and rested her forehead on his. He pulled her close as well and just held on. She didn’t want to move, but knew they needed to get out of the building.

“Can you walk?”

He stood carefully.

“Well enough.”

She put his arm over her shoulder and her other hand around his back.

“I’ll help. Let’s go.”

Her partners walked in front and behind them and they quickly escaped.


…………….

Jason and Elizabeth sat in the back of the van by themselves. She rested her temple on his shoulder so he would know he wasn’t alone anymore. They were silent while the rest of the team talked quietly amongst themselves. The vehicle came to a stop at a nondescript building. Jason started to move when the others did, but Elizabeth tugged him back. The driver got out and Anna took his place. When they started going again only the three of them were left. Jason looked at Elizabeth questioningly as they left the city.

“We’re going to Italy.” She wasn’t sure if she should tell him everything, but knew he deserved to know. “The boys are there.”

She knew she had startled him, but he didn’t question her.

…………………

They stopped once so Jason could change clothes and they could move to seats closer to the front to make things less suspicious. Anna also pulled documents out of the back and had them ready for when they got to the border. Elizabeth was holding her breath and Jason’s hand while they waited for border patrol to look at their passports. Once they were let through she cried a few tears of relief. After five hours on the road Anna worked her way off the main roads and eventually turned onto a long driveway. At the end of the drive sat a house which looked like the roof was an umbrella as it overhung the rest of the house by a couple feet all around. Jason opened the door and turned to help Elizabeth out. Anna also got out and came around to their side. Elizabeth hugged Anna.

“Thank you for all your help. I couldn’t have gotten to him without you.”

“I’ll keep an eye and ear out to make sure no one traces him or you to here. I’ll contact you soon.”

“Thank you, Anna.”

Anna slowly put her hand on his upper arm.

“You’re welcome, Jason.”

“I’ll see you both later.”

Anna drove back down the driveway. Elizabeth gave her attention to Jason and she wrapped her arm around his torso again to help him into the house.

“I’m feeling stronger now.”

She smiled at him.

“Humor me.”

She helped him to one of the two bedrooms downstairs and helped him sit on the bed. She stood in front of him. She couldn’t stop herself from touching his cheek again.

“You’re safe here.”

“Where is here?”

“We’re in Udine, Italy. I picked a house out in the country so you won’t feel confined. I can’t even begin to guess what you have been through and I want to give you freedom. I brought the boys because I want to be here for you as long as you let me. However, if you want to recover alone we’ll go stay in the city.”

“Why not Port Charles?”

“I can’t leave you here alone, Jason.” She took a deep breath. “Please don’t ask me to.”

He reached out and gently pulled her to him as he stood. She wrapped her arms around him as well and just held on.

“I won’t.”

After a few moments Elizabeth inched back and motioned to the area next to him. He nodded and she sat down.

“I know we have a lot to talk about, but first I thought you might want to shower or eat or something. I have some clothes here but we can always get more later. You tell me what you need and I’ll do my best to get it for you. The boys are out playing with the nanny. They won’t be back for awhile.”

He nodded.

“I’ll take that shower.”

“When you’re done take a left at the end of the hallway and I’ll be in the kitchen.”

……………..

Before Elizabeth reached the doorway to the hallway she heard the shower turn on. She realized he had left the bathroom door open and almost went back to shut it before stopping herself. Since she was the only one in the house she left his bedroom door open as well. If she could give him freedom, even in tiny ways, she was going to do it. She entered the kitchen and started a pot of coffee for him and pulled out milk to heat for her hot chocolate. She turned the radio on but left the volume low. She was opening the refrigerator to pull out food for a picnic for the boys when she felt she wasn’t alone. She turned and saw Jason standing in the doorway.

“Come in. Are you hungry?”

“Yes, but I’d like to do something about my hair first if you have scissors.”

“Hopefully I have whatever you need. You can cut it in here if you want or outside on the porch.”

“Outside sounds great.”

She tried not to let his words alter her expression. She opened the cabinet under the sink and pulled out a plastic box. She opened the door and put the box on the picnic table. She went back inside and picked up a chair but before she could get far he was taking it from her and carrying it outside himself.

“If you decide you need help or a mirror just ask. I’ll be out in a few minutes after I make the boys’ their lunch.” She pointed to the little house out in the field. “They’ve created quite the little world out there.” Elizabeth made sure Jason had everything he needed but she was still hesitant to leave. “I’ll be back in a few.”

Elizabeth knew she couldn’t hover over him no matter how much she wanted to make sure he was alright so she made sandwiches, cut up fruit, bagged chips and cookies. She packed the little cooler she kept for the trip to the backyard and went outside. She noticed Jason had used the scissors to cut most of the extra length off.

“I could use your help when you get back.”

She smiled.

“Sure. I’ll just be a minute or two.”

She left him on the porch knowing he was watching her. She loved on her boys, passed the cooler to Alessia, and headed back. His expression was thoughtful but a bit confused, she thought, as she got closer. She was rendered speechless at his words.

“Who’s the third boy with Cam and Jake?” He reached out and grasped her gently by the elbows. “Do you need to sit down? You don’t look so good.”

He helped her sit down in his chair. He crouched in front of her.

“He’s my son. Aiden.” Now it was his turn to be stunned. She took one of his hands between hers. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Going to Mexico to find Michael and Kristina.”

…………………

It had been almost 3 months to the day since Jason found out Elizabeth had disappeared with the boys. As soon as he had left Patrick’s apartment he had Spinelli searching. Spinelli searched for any money trail, any job trail, anything with Elizabeth’s name, but nothing. He even searched for anything in the boys’ names, but still nothing. He only knew she was okay because she called Patrick every week, but it was never long enough to trace where she was nor was it the same number twice. Spinelli hoped he would find something soon because he knew his mentor was tired of fighting with Sonny, Carly and Sam about his search for Elizabeth and Jake.

…………………

Almost seven years. He’d been gone almost seven years and she hadn’t known. She looked in his face and knew she had to put aside those feelings for the moment. She picked up the electric razor and tried to smile.

“I’ll talk while I cut, okay?”

She started with him, or someone who looked like him, coming back from Mexico and getting back together with Sam, of her disastrous relationships with Nikolas and Lucky and Helena got involved in the paternity. She had trouble getting the words out but told him how they thought Jake had been hit by a car and his death. She shared how the other Jason married Sam and had a baby with her and then how they thought he’d died in a mob war. She knew it only got crazier as she explained how a John Doe came into town and somehow ended up as Jason as well. She ended with Jake showing up alive and how she was busted for keeping the secret that the other man was Jason.

“But he isn’t.”

She grasped his chin gently with two fingers and tilted his head back and forth to see if the top and sides were even and straight.

“No, he isn’t.” She sat on the picnic table bench. “What are we going to do about that?”
Chapter 3 by lovemyqtkids
Twisting Destinies, Chapter 3


April 28, 2016


Found rare gift. Busy this week. Will call next week and tell you all about it. Love and miss you both. Give Emma a kiss for us.


April 30, 2016

Jason was ready to start throwing things. He’d had Spinelli looking for Elizabeth and the boys since he’d returned from Chicago and had no success. It was as if she had completely disappeared. His only conclusion was someone was helping her, but he had no idea who. He really should let them go because they weren’t part of the plan anymore, but he just couldn’t. He could blame it on keeping up appearances, but it wasn’t completely true. He picked up his phone to call Spinelli once again.


May 1, 2016

Jason had yawned after her question and Elizabeth had chuckled breaking the tension. She had suggested tabling any serious conversations until a later time. He had agreed and told her he was going to lay down for awhile. That was four days ago. He had spent more time than he wanted sleeping and recovering from the drugs they had been giving him for who knows how long. He’d also been dreaming which he couldn’t do and that made him wonder if he was actually remembering things. They were disjointed and didn’t make much sense so he tried not to think about it much until he had a better handle on things.

……………..

Jason heard the slight creak of the step and waited for the muted sound of a closing door. A minute later he heard it, like clockwork, like he had for the last three nights. Tonight, however, he wasn’t going to stay in his room. He slid out of bed and put on a t-shirt and sweats before heading to the kitchen. He walked to the window and looked out. Elizabeth was sitting cross-legged on a lounger with her head bowed and elbows resting on her knees. He opened the door and closed it gently behind him.

“I’m sorry if I woke you.”

He walked over and sat in front of her with a leg on each side of the lounger.

“You didn’t. I think sleeping off the drugs messed up my schedule. Not that I used to sleep much before.”

Her voice was almost a whisper.

“I remember.”

He knew something was bothering her and had been for the last week. He voiced the question he had been hoping to avoid.

“Do you want me to leave?”

He thought she might hurt her neck from whipping it up so quickly.

“No.” He could hear her honesty in her answer. “I should be asking you that.”

“What? Why?”

Her confessions came out on a harsh whisper.

“Because I didn’t know he wasn’t you.”

“Hey.” He reached out and stroked her cheek with his hand. “You did the best you could.”

She lifted her tear filled eyes to his.

“How can you believe that?”

“Because I know you.” She folded in on herself as sobs overtook her. He grasped her by the hips and turned her sideways as he pulled her into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and rested his cheek on the side of her hair. He didn’t know how long they sat in the dark, but even after she quieted they sat there enfolded together. Her soft voice questioned him again. “How can you have faith in me, even now? I told you some of the things I’ve done.”

He scooted back a little and framed her face with his hands. He wanted to make sure she was listening to him.

“Did you fall in love with him because his name was Jason?”

“No, but I did what I did to keep him after I thought he was Jason.”

“With our history I can’t really blame you. I never stuck around long, did I?”

“This isn’t your fault, Jas—“”

“And I refuse to let you take the blame, either. We were pretty good at making mistakes, weren’t we?”

She sighed.

“Yes.”

“I’m going to say something and it’s going to scare you, but I’m saying it anyway.” He took a breath and let it out. “I love you, Elizabeth Webber. I have for years. No matter what has happened in my life I always comes back to you. I know whatever you did over the last seven years you did the best you could because I know you. I don’t know what the future holds, whether we’ll be together or we won’t, how we’ll deal with the people in Port Charles, what to do about the guy who thinks he’s me, but there’s not another woman out there for me.”

Her breath caught in her throat.

“Wow. That’s quite the speech, Jason Morgan.”

One side of his mouth quirked up and his expression softened.

“I’ve had a lot of time to come up with it.”

“I’d laugh if that wasn’t so depressing.”

“It’s okay.”

She leaned into him again, wrapping her arms around him this time.

“It’s not okay, but you’re not alone anymore.”

………………

May 2, 2016

The light was just beginning to rise on the horizon when Elizabeth spoke again.

“You going back to bed?”

“No, I feel like I’ve been sleeping for days.”

She shrugged.

“Well, you pretty much have. Breakfast?”

“Let me do it.” He pointed at her when she opened her mouth. His tone was teasing. “Don’t say it. You promised not to talk about it.”

She returned his smile.

“I didn’t say anything.”

“Uh-huh. What do you want?”

“You cook. You pick, and I’ll help.”

“Alright.”

He opened the door and followed her inside. He poked around the cabinets and refrigerator before pulling out eggs and some other things. She pulled out a skillet and a bowl before finding the knife drawer.

“What do you think about meeting the boys today?” She saw him hesitate momentarily before going back to cooking. “But you don’t have to.”

He turned to face her and leaned against the counter.

“What do they know about me?”

She smiled at him.

“They know you’re my friend. I didn’t know what to tell them so I said the doctors had been giving you the wrong medication and you would sleep a lot until the medicine wasn’t in your body anymore.”

“That was the easy part.”

Her voice was gentle.

“Yeah. A lot of it they’ll never know—“

“Mom, we’re hungry! Where are you?”

They heard loud footsteps on the stairs. She looked to Jason to see if she needed to redirect the boys. She could see it wasn’t a problem and looked to the door to wait for the boys.

“We’re in the kitchen!” The two boys slowed when they noticed Jason at the stove, but they crossed the kitchen and sat at the table anyway. “Good morning. Where’s Aiden?”

“I don’t know. He said he’d be down later.”

“Okay. That’s probably good. I want you to meet a good friend of mine.” She held her hand out for Jason and he took it. They walked to the table. “You may not remember, Cam, but you knew him when you were little. Jake, you were just a little guy, less than two, but you’ve met him, too.” She looked each boy in the face before announcing his name. “This is Jason.”

“We know another Jason, too!” Cameron’s face scrunched in confusion. “Well, we did, but he turned out to not be Jason.” He looked up at Jason who couldn’t hide his surprise. “Mom told us he wasn’t Jason when we left Chicago. She said she didn’t know who he was so we couldn’t trust him.”

“Your mom is pretty smart. She is almost always smarter than me.”

She smacked his arm, but she wasn’t really trying to hurt him. It was Jake who surprised them both.

“My dad’s name is Jason.”

She sat in the chair around the corner from Jake. Jason sat down next to Cameron.

“Jake, honey, he is your dad. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense but someone has had him locked up a long time. It’s why we left Patrick and Emma in Chicago. I know you’re only eight—“

“Until Wednesday!”

She grinned and poked him playfully in his middle.
r32;“Yes, only until Wednesday. You’re eight, but this is about you and your dad and too important to wait until you’re older. You’re eight and twelve.” She put her hand up when both boys’ mouths opened. She smiled. “Only for a few more days, I know. My point is, we’ll probably tell you more things than we usually would at your age because you’ve been dealing with all this just like us.”

“It has been kind of crazy.”

“It really has, Cam.”

“It’ll probably get crazier when we know more of what happened to Jason and why there’s another Jason running around Port Charles.”

“Will we go back?”

Jason and Elizabeth exchanged looks.

“Maybe. We won’t know until we have more information.” She looked between her boys to make sure they were comfortable with the news they had just heard. “Now, why don’t you both run and get Aiden. We can talk birthday ideas while we eat.” They both cheered as they ran out of the room. She tilted her head as she looked at Jason. “How’d I do?”

“You won me over.”

She shook her head and chuckled even as she blushed.

“Go on. Go make us your—“

He covered her mouth with his hand.

“Don’t say it.”

………….

May 3, 2016

“Mom?”

“Yes, Cam?”

Elizabeth put her pad and pencil down to give Cameron her full attention.

“Where’s Jason?”

“He’s walking around the property. Do you want me to find him?”

“No, I want to talk to you alone.”

“Is something wrong?”

“No, I don’t want to make him feel bad.”

She was confused now.

“About what?”

“Alessia was telling us about this new game in town. They lock you in a room and you have an hour to escape. Jake and I wanted to do it for our birthday, but we don’t want to do it now.”

“Because of Jason.”

“Yeah.We don’t want him to be reminded of bad things.”

“Honey, I know Jason and he would want you to do what you want.”

“We can’t take him into a locked room knowing he’s been locked up for years, Mom.”

She pulled him close and hugged him.

“You boys are being very thoughtful. Do you know what you want to do instead?”

“She also told us about a really big park where we can explore or we can go bowling.”

‘I like both of those ideas. Maybe we can even do both.”

“Awesome. I’m going to tell Jake and Aiden.”

She watched him run out to the field. Her voice was reverent.

“Oh, my sweet boys.

…………..

“We need a hacker.”

Jason looked up from the laptop when he heard her voice.

“What?”

She smiled.

“We need a hacker.”

He leaned back in his chair.

“Probably a good idea. We need to find out why Jerry would replace me with an imposter.”

“Yeah, the answer to that would be good.”

“There has to be a clinic there or an airport nearby that he used.”

“A clinic? Why would he need a clinic? Were you hurt?”

“I was hurt pretty badly. Jerry and I had been fighting and shooting at each other. The balcony above us fell and trapped us. However, Jerry was able to dig himself out. He taunted me for awhile before shooting me twice in the chest before leaving me there.”

Her face drained of all color.

“Jason.”

His voice was low and comforting.

“It’s okay. I’m okay now.”

Her voice cracked.

“I could have lost you and I never would have known.”

“But you didn’t.”

She swiped a tear away impatiently. She tried to smile.

“Good.”

…………………….

May 4, 2016

“Can you really do that?”

Jason looked down at Aiden who was looking up at him. He bit back a smile.

“Afraid I’ll burn your burger?”

Aiden scrunched his face up.

“Maybe.”

Jason smiled then.

“I promise not to burn your burger if you promise not to eat all the ice cream later.”

“I guess that’s fair. Okay.”

Elizabeth approached them with a clean platter.

“Smells good. What are you guys up to?”

Jason and Aiden nodded at each other before Aiden ran off.

“Just making a deal.”

“Mm-hmm. It’s been such a good day. I didn’t know you were a bowler.”

“Funny. It’s kind of like pool. Just needed to figure out angles. I love spending Jake’s birthday with him.” He put his hand up before she could speak and then began scooping burgers off the grill and put them on the platter. “No looking back. We’re starting again, here and now.”

“Okay. Boys, food’s ready!”

The boys ran to the picnic table and sat while Jason and Elizabeth finished putting the food on it. Cameron started passing the buns around once the adults were seated as well. They continued passing food around the table. Jason took the bowl of cole slaw from Cameron and put a spoonful on his plate.

“Have you decided what you want to do for your birhday, Cam?”

“We want to explore this big park Alessia’s been telling us about. Maybe do a picnic or eat out. It’s called Parco something.”

“Parco del Cormor?”

Jake’s eyes widened in surprise.

“How did you know?”

Jason glanced at Cameron.

“I read a lot.”

Elizabeth snorted.

“That’s putting it mildly.”

Jason’s eyes narrowed, but it was obvious he was trying not to smile.

“Are you making fun of me?”

“I wouldn’t do that.”

“Mm-hmm.”

Jake looked back and forth between his parents. She looked down at him and tapped his nose.

“Happy birthday, Jake.”
Chapter 4 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 4

May 5, 2016

She smelled coffee when she came out of the bathroom. She made her bed and then headed for the kitchen. She leaned against the door jamb and watched Jason flip pancakes. She smiled when he turned his head to look at her.

“It’s nice to know you have more than omelets in your repertoire.”

“Breaking your promise?”

She entered and looked around the kitchen as if to prove they were alone.

“I am not.” She nudged him gently when she reached him. “Especially when you’re sweet enough to do the cooking.”

“I’m not sweet.”

She shrugged.

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

“Am I supposed to be afraid of that look?”

“You’d think. My name alone strikes fear all up and down the east coast and here you are, laughing at me.”

She smirked at him.

“Hey, you can’t win them all.”

“Mom! Is that pancakes we smell?”

They both turned at hearing Cameron’s voice yelling. It was obvious the boys were running down the stairs with all the noise they made.

“Boys. Seriously. Where are your manners?”

“Sorry. Can we eat now?”

“Help set the table and then you can eat.”

………….

May 15, 2016

“I think I found one.”

“That’s good.”

“What would you say to another trip into the city?”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I thought we could all go. We can do some sightseeing, but I’ll need to leave for a bit to meet this ‘Hactivist.’ If you don’t mind the boys being close to that.”

“Jason, we’re a team. We’ll go have a snack while you do what you need to. We’re going to get answers and then we’re going to get your life back. I promise.”

…………..

“Took you long enough.”

“To what? Find him?”

“No, to call me with the news.”

She laughed.

“I wanted to make sure you got the new phones first.”

“So, you actually found him.”

Her voice was shaky.

“I’m as shocked as you. When he called me on New Year’s Eve I knew it was him, but to find him in that clinic and know without a doubt it was him was overwhelming.”

“I know how you feel.”

“I know you do.”

“You’d think by now I’d be immune to people coming back from the dead.”

“Ha! Port Charles does seem to have a high quotient of that.”

Silence drifted between them.

“Are you going back?”

“Eventually.” She sighed. “I don’t know if he’ll want to live there or not, but I know we can’t let his friends and family continue believing in an imposter.”

“Can’t blame him for that.”

“No.”

“How are you doing?”

“Me?”

“Yes, you. Don’t tell me you’re fine.”

He waited her out.

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m emotional. I’m worried. I’m happy. I’m scared. I’m guilty. I’m confused. I’m grateful.” Her voice broke. “I’m everything.”

“Do you need me to take my vacation early? We can be out there soon.”

“That’s sweet, but no. I’m just trying to sort out my feelings. He’s not the problem. I am.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s wiped the slate clean when it comes to me. He said he knows me and my motives matter more than the choices I made.” Her voice softened. “He’s always had such faith in me.”

“And at times you’ve been your worst critic.”

She sighed.

“You are correct.”

“I love you and I think you’re amazing, choices and all.” He waited a beat. “It sounds like Jason does as well.”

Her voice took on a teasing tone.

“Took long enough for him to grow on you.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

She laughed outright.

“It’s too soon to make any future plans, especially since I have a lot to work out in my own head, but I like being here with him.”

She heard some kind of bell in the background.

“That’s probably Emma’s playdate. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay, have fun. Love you. And don’t forget—“

“Elizabeth, we’ve done this for months now. I’ll throw this one away and use a different one next time.” She smiled even though he couldn’t see her. “Love you too.”

…………..

“How’s Patrick?”

She looked up when she heard Jason’s voice and watched him put a mug on the table next to her.

“Thank you.” She put her nose near her mug and inhaled slowly. She smiled. “I do love chocolate.”

He grinned before taking a drink from his own mug.

“I know.” He sat in a chair on the other side of the patio table. He leaned back a little and pushed the chair next to him away a bit and put his feet up on it. “I love it out here.”

She looked up at the stars.

“They look so big.” He could hear the laughter in her voice. “even without a motorcycle.”

“That they do.” The silence filled the space between them but it wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable. “Thank you.” He turned only his head to find her gaze on him. “For all of this. For uprooting your life and your boys, for putting so much thought into my recovery. It means a lot.”

“I would never leave you there. And uprooting my boys was nothing once I knew you were—“

“Elizabeth.”

“Yes?”

“Someone once told me you’re supposed to say you’re welcome when thanked.”

She snapped her mouth shut and held back a grin.

“Really.” Her smile escaped. “You’re welcome, Jason. And to answer your question, he’s doing great. I can’t remember if I told you he and Emma moved to Chicago.”

“Alone?”

She knew there would be difficult things to tell him and it did not get easier when she did. She reached across the table for his hand. He met her in the middle. He squeezed gently.

“We thought Robin died four years ago. There was an explosion at the hospital and she was inside the room when it happened.” She looked off into the darkness. “She came back when he was about to get married, but things weren’t the same. Robin didn’t want to disrupt Emma’s life right away so she didn’t push for custody. There was some concern about her safety due to work she had done while she was captive so he still has Emma full-time. She goes to Chicago when she can and I know he visits Port Charles with Emma. His marriage didn’t work out and last year Patrick and Sam somehow got together. He was happy and she seemed happy. Then she left him when she thought you were alive. He was already thinking of moving when my life blew up. I decided to follow him.” She turned to look at him. “The night before we were to leave I got your call. Our timing has never been good.” She smiled at him. “But it was then. I went to Chicago with Patrick as planned, but when I wasn’t working I was doing everything I could to find you. I enlisted Anna’s help because she had better resources and she is Robin’s mother.”

“I’m glad you found someone to help.”

“She was a life saver, Jason. She was able to trace your call to Europe so I packed the boys up and we headed here. Anna’s been helping me sell my art so I can support us. Between Patrick and myself we’ve kept the other Jason, for lack of a better name, at bay without causing too much alarm.” She sighed. “I’m not sure, though, because neither of us are there.”

“It’s okay. We’ll deal with him as we need to.”

She leaned back and broke contact. Silence surrounded them as they sat there on the back porch listening to the night sounds. She knew he had most likely caught up to what she said and wanted to explain.

“My brother presented me with an opportunity to invest some money. I didn’t feel good about the money you gave us so I invested it.” She sighed. “It was a terrible idea and we lost it all. Please don’t worry. We weren’t hurting for anything. I had my job and a little money for a cushion. It is what it is now.”

She didn’t know if he sensed she didn’t want to talk or if he just didn’t know what to say but he remained quiet.

…………

“But we want to see what Jason is doing.”

“I already said no, Cam. Now go play outside like you were told.”

Cameron opened his mouth again but one look at his mother made him change his mind.

“Fine. We’ll be out back.”

“Good call since that’s where I told you to play.”

He finally returned her smile and he followed Jake and Aiden outside. She poured two mugs of coffee and headed out back herself. Once on the patio she followed the edge of the house around to the side. She paused to see what Jason was up to.

“You going to help or just watch?”

“I’m thinking I should go get my camera. This was not the vision of you and a bike I had in mind.”

He turned his head to look at her behind him.

“Already making fun of me?”

She laughed out loud and moved closer.

“I bring a peace offering.” He went from crouching to sitting on the ground and accepted the mug. “Any luck?”

“Looks like the chain is catching on the frame and making it difficult to ride for Aiden. I think I finally fixed it.”

“He’s going to be thrilled. He rides his bike as often as he can.”

“Does he ride fast?”

“Have you met his mom?”

He smiled over his mug.

“I have.”

“Mom!” She turned to look out towards where the boys were playing in the yard. “Can we please come see Jason now?”

Cameron had barely stopped speaking when Jason spoke.

“It’s fine. I like them.

She was shaking her head and chuckling at the same time.

“Fine.” She raised her voice. “Come on then!” The boys ran towards them and past her to get to Jason. “Oh, I see how it is.” Jason reached out and grabbed her ankle gently. He tugged slightly and she stepped closer. The boys were checking out Aiden’s fixed bike. “What?”

“Want to help me pick out a bike when we get back to Port Charles?”

She held back a grin.

“You want to try something new?”

“A motorcycle, brat.”

“You don’t say, but I don’t know how I can help you. I don’t know anything about them.”

“I need to make sure we get one we’re both comfortable on.”

“What?”

“We’re a team now, aren’t we?”

She stared down at him.

“You’re right.” She gave him a tender smile. “You’re right. It’s new for me, that’s all.”

………………..

July 12th, 2016

Elizabeth closed her suitcase and latched the locks. She flopped back on the bed and closed her eyes. She heard voices in the hallway, Jason and the boys. The boys’ voices got softer as they headed down the stairs. She figured Jason would be in shortly.

“Second thoughts?”

She heard Jason enter the room, but her eyes remained closed.

“Maybe.” She chuckled. “I’m kidding. Mostly. I’m nervous about going back to Port Charles.” She felt the bed shift as Jason picked up the suitcase and put it somewhere else. The bed dipped as Jason sat down with his back against the headboard. “Really nervous.”

“I know it won’t be easy, but you won’t be alone. Not ever again, Elizabeth.”

“I know, but it won’t stop the comments and the judgments.”

“Hey.” He waited until she opened her eyes and was looking at him. “We talked about this together and we talked to the counselor, remember? We’re a unit. A team. A family. I tried to downplay your importance before hoping they would leave you alone, but it didn’t work. I’m not going to do it this time. The minute anyone opens their mouth and says something ugly about you or us we’re going to shut them down. I promise.”

“I know. I don’t blame you for before, Jason. It’s all this uncertainty about what will happen once we reveal what we know. It’s beyond crazy. What if they don’t believe us?”

He sighed heavily.

“Then we’ll take it one day at a time with them. But it doesn’t stop what we’ve started to build here.”

“No, it doesn’t. Our family is important.”

……………..

July 19, 2016

Elizabeth did one last lap of the plane before she sat down for the final descent. She cast a look around and saw the boys in various stages of sleep, but they were buckled so she let them be. She came back to the couch along the window and sat next to Jason who was once again reading through the file they’d received earlier that month from the hacker they had hired. She buckled herself in and laid a hand on his arm.

“Hey, there’s nothing we can do until we get home.”

“I know.” He closed the folder, but still had his fist clenched. “So much lost time.” He waved the folder. “Because of this.” He tossed it on the seat on the other side of him. “All of this proof and it still sounds crazy.”

“I wish we could get your time back, but I promise you we will get your life back.”

……………….

Jason and Elizabeth were working their way out of the revolving doors with the boys and the luggage when they heard Elizabeth’s name. The boys went running when they saw Patrick and Emma already inside the hotel. Jason and Elizabeth followed with their suitcases. Patrick looked at Elizabeth once the boys were talking over each other and Emma. She dropped her bags and threw herself at him. He hugged her tight and waited her out while she cried. She pulled back after a bit. She swiped at the tears on her face.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. We’re family and you’ve been through a lot. I’m glad we could be here.”

“Me, too.”

They stepped back when Emma finally paid attention to Elizabeth. She ran at Elizabeth and jumped into Elizabeth’s waiting arms. Patrick turned to give Jason his full attention. He held his hand out. Jason shook it.

“I’m glad you’re alive.”

“Me, too. Was your room ready?”

“Yes, thanks. We’re right across the hall from your rooms.”

“Good. Elizabeth and the boys will be glad to have you close. Will you watch the boys while I check in?”

“Sure.”

Emma was back to talking with the boys when Jason came back with their room keys. The adults herded the children to the elevator, along with the guards that had come with them and they were soon on their way up to their rooms. They were all the way at the end of the hallway next to the emergency stairwell. One guard stood next to the stairwell door while the other three stood next to each of the doors. Elizabeth helped Aiden open one door while the two older boys opened the other.

“Patrick, come on over once you get settled.”

“Will do.”

Once Elizabeth was in the room she shut and locked the deadbolt before making her way to the connecting door.

“What’s that door, Mommy?”

“Check it out.”

She opened it and held back her laughter at his confused face.

“It’s a wall?”

“Just wait.”

They could hear sounds coming through the wall and then it swung open. Jake reacted first.

“No way!”

She laughed.

“Yes, way.”

“Our two rooms are one big room now.”

Aiden piped up.

“Cool!”

“Can we go see Emma?”

“She’ll be over in a little bit, Cam. Their trip was a lot longer than ours.”

He flopped back on one of the beds.

“Fine.”

She rolled her eyes after she turned away.

“Didn’t you bring a deck of cards? You all could play Go Fish or War or something.”

“Go Fish is for—“ He stopped talking when he saw his mother’s disapproving expression. “Maybe Jason will play with us.”

She peeked into the other room after unpacking and heard Jason giving the boys instructions for a new card game. She smiled and went to answer the door when there was a knock.

“Come on in. You’re just in time, Emma. Jason’s teaching the boys a new game.” Elizabeth followed Emma to the table and helped her pull another chair to the table. She knelt down. “Emma, this is Jason. He’s a friend of your mom and me.” Emma’s eyes widened a little and a ghost of a smile appeared. “Also, he knew you when you were a baby. Can you believe it?”

Emma looked up at Jason.

“Really?”

“Really. I was even there when your mom and dad got married.”

“She was really pretty.”

“She was. Still is.”

Emma smiled and looked back at her dad. Patrick winked at her.

“Ready to learn this game?’

Emma nodded. Patrick addressed Elizabeth.

“Can we go across the hall or into the other room?”

She smiled and motioned to the other room with a tilt of her head. She motioned for him to go ahead. She looked at the group in the corner.

“We’ll be in the other room.” Jason’s face showed concern, but returned her smile before turning his attention back to the kids. “Holler if they tie you up.” She didn’t wait to hear his response to her laughter and followed Patrick into the adjoining room. “Want to sit by the window?”

“Sounds good.”

He helped her pull the chairs over in front of the window. She had pulled the curtains open whens he unpacked so there was an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. They weren’t close to it, but they could see it. She answered him before he could ask.

“I’m okay. I’m also worried and anxious, but that’s to be expected.”

“Are you sure you don’t want us to come to Port Charles with you?”

“It would be nice, but I’m not going to let you risk your job just to come hold my hand. I’d much rather you be here now to help us celebrate.”

“But it’s not real.”

“It is real.” She looked at the wall as if she could see Jason and the kids behind it. “Jason, the boys, and I are a family, whether we get married or not.” She turned back to face him. “Of course, I would rather get married because we’re in love and want to be together. But we don’t have time to wait, not if we’re going to Port Charles. Getting married now is to protect Jake from whoever is claiming to be his father back home.”

“But is it what you want?”

“That’s a loaded question.” She pulled her legs up from the floor, wrapped her arms around her shins and leaned her cheek against her knee. “I can’t help feeling I’m cheating him.”

“Cheating him how?” He settled back into the chair. “You’re afraid he’ll change his mind.”

Her voice was a broken whisper.

“What if I’m not the woman he thinks I am?”

He sat up and perched on the edge of his seat. He cupped her face with his hands.

“You are amazing and if he can’t see that then he’s an idiot.”

“He doesn’t know everything I’ve done.”

He wiped the few tears that escaped before getting up to grab the tissue box that was on the nightstand. She took one he offered.

“Elizabeth Webber, if I know you, and I like to think I do, you told him more than enough of what happened while he was gone. Also, I may not know him as well as you do, but I’ve seen enough of the two of you together to know you’re important to him. You yourself said he wiped the slate clean. What you need to do is believe him.”

“You’re right.”

“Could you repeat that a little louder? I didn’t hear you.”

She laughed.

“I’m sorry. That was a one time statement.”

“Alright, as your Friend of Honor or whatever you want to call me, do you need anything before the ceremony tomorrow?”

“Just flowers. I’d like to carry some, but I don’t need anything else.”

“We’ll go out and get some in the morning.”

“Thank you, Patrick. It means more than you know for you to be here.”

“That’s what family is for.”
Chapter 5 by lovemyqtkids
Author's Notes:
Hope you enjoy this chapter. Thanks for sticking with me even when posting is slow. I appreciate you all!
Chapter 5

July 20, 2016


“What was that?”

“What was what?”

“You know what. The you may now kiss the bride kiss. That kiss.”

She wasn’t quite ready to answer his question so she looked over at the kids to check on them. Their wedding reception was really just them renting out the pool for the seven of them and the kids were already in the water having a blast. She decided to mess with him a little while she continued to think.

“Patrick, if you don’t know what kissing is then how in the world did Emma get here?”

A smile escaped, but it didn’t deter him. He sat up on the lounger and turned his whole body, putting his feet on the floor between her lounger and his. He held out his hands and she swung her legs over and put them on the ground as she placed hers in his.

“Quit stalling.”

“The kiss was…proof, I guess. Proof that everything that was ever good about us is still there.”

“Okay.” He squeezed her hand gently in support. “That’s good, right? Somewhere to start from?”

“That’s always been the easy part. Our connection, being together.” She took one of her hands out of his and waved it towards something only she could imagine. Her voice cracked. “But we don’t do well when we have to deal with other people.”

His tone held understanding.

“Like Sonny and Carly.”

“And everyone else. Including me at times. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being an obligation. I would put other people first because it was familiar and easy.”

“What about Emily?”

She laughed nervously and pulled her hands away completely and gripped her knees.

“She supported me at the end, but only when she knew Jason wanted to be with me.” She shrugged one shoulder up. “It is what it is.”

He heard the pain in her voice and his tone softened.

“Hey. You’ve got me now.” He made a face hoping to make her smile. When she did he returned it. “Even if I don’t understand the attraction. I’m hoping he’s smarter now.”

“Be nice.”

“I’m serious. You’re his wife and he’s going to have to stand up to his friends. And you’ll have to do the same.”

“I know that.”

He looked at her quizzically because he felt like there was something else going on and felt vindicated when she looked away. He watched the kids with her while he tried to figure out how to coax it out of her. She sighed. Apparently, he wasn’t going to have to.

“What is it?

Her voice was uncertain.

“I’m afraid he’ll change his mind. Or want to.” Her eyes were filled with tears when she looked at him again. “We’re going back to people who will run over each other to tell him the things I’ve done. We’ve never survived anything before.”

“You’re right.”

They both looked up when they heard Jason’s voice. Patrick looked back and forth between them before standing up.

“You can have my chair. I’ll go check on the kids.”

…………

Jason did take Patrick’s lounger once he’d walked away. Elizabeth smiled at him even though her voice was a little shaky.

“Hey.”

“Hi.” He held his hand out. “Join me?”

She took it and let him lead her to the deep end of the pool. He pulled his t-shirt up over his head and dropped it on the ground next to the water while she untied her wrap and did the same. She noticed his look and started to point at him in warning when he tugged and they both fell in the water. She broke the surface of the water and splashed water his way even though she had her eyes closed. His laugh told her she missed him but she smiled anyway as she treaded water and swiped her face as dry as she could. She started to go under again so he pulled her close and helped her back to the wall.

“You could have warned me.”

“Where’s the fun in that?”

“Very funny.” Instead of pulling away she wrapped her arms around his neck. “How much did you hear?”

“Enough. We don’t have a good track record, but I love you. That’s not going to change. I loved you when I left for Mexico. I loved you when I woke up. I love you now. I’m in love with you, Elizabeth. I made vows today and I’m not going to let anyone come between us, not my friends, not your family, not the danger. You and the boys are my family.”

She stroked his cheek gently with her hand before letting it settle there. She pressed her forehead against his and exhaled slowly. She leaned back so he could see her. His hands tensed slightly and she knew he didn’t want her to go far.

“I believe you. I just may need you to remind me now and then. I’ve always been in love with you even when it was buried so deep I thought it was lost. I made vows today, too, and I’m going to trust you, defend you to all others and stand by you no matter what. You are our family.”

The vows they had made legally were important, but the promises they had just made to each other when it was the two of them were special and theirs alone. Her thumb grazed across his cheek and caressed his mouth. Her gaze followed her thumb and then back to his eyes, but he was already closing the distance between them. Their mouths met and she sighed into the kiss when she realized Jason was pulling away. She frowned at him and he grinned tilting his head toward the kids. She looked over and the kids were yelling for them to join them. He unwound his arms from her waist and put his hands on the wall to pull himself out of the water, but her hand on his arm stopped him.

“Continue this later?”

His arm snaked out quickly to wrap around her and bumped her to him.

“Definitely.”

……………

The boys were loud and boisterous while getting ready for bed, but seeing as they had stayed up late and worn themselves out in the pool they fell asleep rather quickly. Jason double checked the chair blocking the door to the hallway and the lock on the window before pulling one of the connecting doors about three-fourths closed. Elizabeth came out of the bathroom in their room in pajamas with a towel wrapped around her hair.

“Boys in bed?”

“Yes. I think they were asleep before you actually started your shower.”

She smiled.

“They played hard in the pool.”

She tugged at the towel and Jason chuckled when her wet hair was sticking out every which way.

“Cute look.”

She tried to whip the towel at him, but it was too big and she had no skill. He grabbed the end she’d tried to snap him with and yanked. She fell into him and laughed at his smiling.

“Hey now. I just need practice.”

“Practice? You plan to hit me often?”

“Will I need to?”

“We both know you’re the troublemaker.”

She started to reply but turned at Aiden’s voice. She cupped his cheeks in her hands.

“I’ll get him. Go take your shower.”

……………..

Jason rubbed his hair dry before throwing his towel over the shower curtain bar and spreading it out to dry. He draped his swim trunks next to Elizabeth’s swimsuit on the towel bar and left the bathroom wearing a pair of sweatpants. Both rooms were dark except for the sliver of light from the end table lamp on the other side of Elizabeth’s bed. She was sitting up reading something on her phone. He went to the door to the hallway and unlocked and opened it. He spoke quietly and briefly to the guards before shutting the door and re-locking it. He turned and walked further into the room.

“I left the light on for you.” He stopped in the middle of the room. “You can sleep in the other bed if you want to but I thought we might want to start married life together, even if we’re not ready for together.” He took the last few steps to the empty side of the bed and pulled the covers back. “Is that okay with you?”

He had started to sit but straightened at her last question. He walked around the bed and sat near her hip. He held his hand out and she put hers in it.

“Today was the first time we’ve kissed in years. I don’t think either of us is ready for more just yet. We’ll know when. Don’t you think?”

She smiled. He went back to his side of the bed and sat like her, up against the headboard, leaving the covers at his waist. She put her phone on the blanket and picked at imaginary lint. He was confused when she wouldn’t make eye contact.

“You can…wear what you want. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”

He smiled at the top of her head since she wouldn’t look at him.

“This is good.”

She finally looked up and caught his gaze.

“For now.”

He thought she might be blushing but didn’t comment on it. He returned her smile and agreed.

“For now.” He motioned to the open doorway. “How’s Aiden?”

“He’s fine. Talking in his sleep, apparently. He was dead to the world when I checked on him.”

“Good.”

He leaned over and hit the switch for the lamp blanketing the room in darkness except for the small square illuminated by the phone. She left it on and set it on her nightstand.

The soft light covered them as they slid into bed to lay down. He laid his right arm at the top of her pillow and she rolled so she could rest her cheek on his shoulder with her left arm tucked between them. She felt his stomach muscles tense as her right hand skirted to his other side so she could hug him. His left arm wrapped around her pulling her close, completing the connection. When she looked up at him he knew he would do just about anything to keep her looking at him like that.

“This is right, isn’t it?”

Although it had been phrased as a question he knew she wasn’t really asking, but he answered her anyway.

“It is.” He slid his hand up and ran his fingers through her now dry hair. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

She met him halfway and this kiss was sweet and tender, meant to soothe and comfort. She broke the kiss and yawned. He stroked her cheek.

“Let’s sleep.”

She rolled over in place, never leaving the warmth of his arms, and settled her cheek on his arm.

“Will your arm fall asleep if I use it as a pillow?”

“Go ahead.”

Her right hand found his, the back of her hand to his palm and they laced fingers. He copied her position, now on his right side as well. His left hand slid past her hip to her stomach.

“I sleep on my side. Sorry.”

He kissed the warm spot where her neck met her shoulder.

“I remember.”

The phone finally timed out and went dark. He felt her move her head before realizing she was placing a quick kiss on his arm as she snuggled further back into him.

“Good night, Jason.”

“Good night.”

……………..

July 21, 2016

As much as Elizabeth wanted to stay and enjoy Paris she knew Jason wanted to get home and make things right now that they found out what had happened to him. It hadn’t taken much to convince Anna to give them a WSB plane to fly back to the States in, especially with her granddaughter on board. The plane had stopped briefly at a small, private airfield and dropped The Morgans off so it could continue on to Chicago with Patrick and Emma.

There was a WSB agent waiting with keys and the car Jason had purchased before they left and the boys piled in while their luggage was put in the back. They drove to a house that had already been rented for them and gotten settled. Due to the long flight and time difference, it was only a few hours until bedtime. They decided to have pizza delivered before crashing early.

They took the pizza out back and the boys grabbed some slices before taking off to annoy each other while running around.

Elizabeth tucked her arm around Jason’s as she sat on the step next to him. She leaned into him resting her temple on his arm. Jason kissed the top of her head.

“Not hungry?”

“A little. Mostly tired.”

“I can get the boys fed and ready for bed if you want to go to bed.”

“As tempting as that sounds I want to be out here with you guys.”

He set his half-eaten slice back in the box.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, really. I just want to enjoy these quiet moments together before everything blows up.”

“Second thoughts?”

Her arm tensed around his and she hugged his arm.

“Stop asking me that. Never. You deserve to have your life back and I’m not stopping until we do.”

“Okay.”

“I’ll take on the whole town if I have to, Jason.”

He covered the hand wrapped around his with one of his own.

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary, but I appreciate the support.”

……………….

July 23, 2016

Jason and Elizabeth had exchanged several concerned looks over the course of dinner when it was obvious something was bothering Cameron. The boys helped clear the table and clean up before Jason made a suggestion.

“How about Cam and I run out and get some dessert?”

The younger boys threw out all kinds of suggestions until Elizabeth stopped them with a laugh and a groan.

“Stop. I’m pretty sure they will buy dessert everyone will love.” She side hugged her oldest. “We’ll be out back when you return.”

While Cameron ran to get his shoes Jason moved closer to Elizabeth.

“Hopefully he’ll talk to you since he’s not said a peep to me.”

He reached out to pull her to him but she was already reaching for his embrace.

“It’ll be okay, whether he talks or not.”

He kissed her temple before meeting Cameron at the door.

……………….

“What do you want for dessert?”

“Do you care if we just run through a drive-thru and get sundaes?”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

Jason decided they should fill up the gas tank before getting ice cream so they pulled into the next gas station they came to.

“Come on.”

Jason showed Cameron where the button was to pop the gas tank lid and how to use the pump to start the gas flow. They stood there waiting for the pump to shut off.

“Do I get to drive, too?”

Jason smiled at Cameron’s cheeky grin.

“Not yet, but the more you know the more comfortable you’ll be when you are old enough.”

“I’m older than you think.”

The truth in the statement made Jason a little sad.

“I know you are.”

“I want to ask you something.”

“Are you going to stay this time?”

The pump kicked off and Jason put the nozzle back where it went and closed the gas tank lid while Cameron went back around to his side and climbed into his seat. Jason slid into his own seat and turned to the boy he’d loved since he’d first felt him kick.

“Yes. I made a lot of mistakes before and I’ll probably still make a lot of mistakes but I won’t be leaving you again.”

Jason waited to see if Cameron would accept that. Cameron nodded.

“Okay. Are we going to stay in Port Charles?”

“Your mom and I have talked about it and we’ve decided that it’s up to you boys. Yes, we would have final say but we want the three of you to be happy and comfortable whether it be here or somewhere else.”

“Do you want to live here?”

“It depends. I don’t want to live here if people can’t respect my mom. She’s had to put up with a lot of crap from everyone who knows her, even Gram and Uncle Steven, and she deserves better. I’ve heard things about all of them and they have no room to talk.”

Jason gently put his hand on Cameron’s shoulder.

“You’re right. To all of it. I let your mom down on this front, too, but I promise you things will be different this time. You’re almost a man now. If you think I’m not treating your mom right you say so. I won’t punish you for that.”

Jason felt like he was laid open, waiting for Cameron to accept him.

“I won’t need to, will I?”

“I’m going to do my best.”

“Good.” Cameron smiled. “Let’s go get some ice cream.”

July 24, 2016

“Boys, you coming?” She knew the boys were excited but the excitement was extremely tampered by the early morning wake up time. They were dragging themselves down the stairs. She kept her smile hidden and hugged them when they reached the bottom. “Put your shoes on and go on to the car. Jason made some breakfast for the road.”

The trio moved slowly but was soon out the door.

“You got everything?”

She turned to watch Jason come out of the kitchen with the small cooler.

“I believe so. Towels, water shoes, sunscreen, extra clothes for later.”

He came up to her and with his hand on her back led her to the front door.

“Water park, here we come.”

……….

Carly threw the file folder down onto the seat next to her. She knew the meeting she was on the way to was extremely important but she was about to go cross-eyed from looking at the information yet again. She looked out the window to distract herself when she sat up straight not believing her eyes. Elizabeth Webber was standing on the side of the road with her boys. Looked like some guy was fixing a flat tire for her. If she had the time she would stop the car right now and give Elizabeth a piece of her mind for keeping Jake from Jason. As they passed the car the man changing the tire stood up and Carly gasped and pressed her face almost against the glass. However, another car pulled up in the lane between her and the shoulder cutting off her view. If she didn’t know better she would think he was Jason, the Jason she’d met twenty years ago but it couldn’t be. How pathetic could one person be to go out and find someone who closely resembled a man who never wanted you? She couldn’t wait to embarrass Elizabeth to the whole town once she showed her lying face.
Chapter 6 by lovemyqtkids
Chapter 6

July 24, 2016


“Sonny!” Carly threw her purse on his desk and proceeded into the room. She neared the stairs. “Sonny!” She listened and finally heard movement from the kitchen. She rolled her eyes, knowing she should have started there.

“What is it, Carly?”

He was drying his hands off as he stepped into the room.

“You will not believe this. You just won’t. Where’s Jason? He needs to hear this, too.”

“He’s out of town on business.”

“What? Why? Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I gave him something to do since he can’t find Elizabeth and Jake.”

“He can’t find Jake, Sonny. He doesn’t care about Elizabeth. Besides, he doesn’t have to find her. She’s back.”

“In town?”

She rolled her eyes.

“Yes, that is usually what that means.”

“Jason will be glad to hear it. I’ll call him and let him know.”

She was not impressed.

“Do it now. He needs to come home and get his son.”

Before he could respond to her demand his phone rang. He didn’t recognize the number but his number wasn’t public so he wasn’t overly concerned.

“Hello.”

“Sonny? It’s Elizabeth Webber.”

“Elizabeth? This is a surprise.”

“I know and I wouldn’t call unless it was important.”

“Are you in trouble?”

“No, we’re safe. However, I have some information for you and I don’t think it should wait too long.”

He glanced over at Carly who was listening to every word he said.

“You’re welcome to stop by anytime.”

“Actually, do you think you could come here? I’d have to bring the boys and they’ve crashed from jet lag. We’re renting a house on Albion Way.”

“I can be there in an hour.”

“Okay. Our number is 344.”

“And this is your number?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll see you soon.”

“Thanks, Sonny."

After he hung up he turned to see Carly with her hands on her hips.

“You cannot be seriously thinking of going to see her. She took Jason’s son and disappeared for 7 months!”

“This doesn’t concern you, Carly.”

“You want to bet? As much as I hate her she’s the mother of Jason’s son so I’m going to look out for him.”

“Jake or Jason?”

“Take your pick. I’m going with you.”

He blinked at the sudden change in topics.

“No, you’re not.”

“Yes, I am. I can go with you or I can follow you. Your choice.”

He sighed and motioned for her to go first.

“Might as well keep an eye on you.”

Sonny called his new computer expert to see what he could find out about Elizabeth’s return and then they headed out.

…………

Jason came down the stairs to find Elizabeth staring out the window. He frowned at the tense way she was standing.

“Hey.”

His voice was quiet so as not to startle her. She looked back and tried to smile.

“Hey.”

He reached out towards her and she came willingly wrapping her arms around his torso. His arms encircled her and pulled her close. She seemed to have trouble settling and then she was still.

“What are you—“

She shushed him and tightened her arms around him momentarily to soften the unspoken command. They stood there quietly for several minutes.

“Sorry. Your heartbeat calms me.”

He closed his eyes at her words and after another minute he pulled back just enough to cradle her face in his hands.

“It’s going to be okay.”

“I’m still nervous.”

“I know. I’m not going to leave you alone with him very long. Just for you to get the basics out.”

She nodded.

“Boys okay?”

“Yeah. I put Henry at the top of the stairs. I don’t want one of them waking up and walking in on anything down here.”

“Good idea.” Jason’s hands fell at the flash of headlights bathing the room as a car turned into the driveway. Elizabeth sighed when she saw Carly was with Sonny. “Go on. I’ll talk to them and let you know when to come in.” He hesitated even though this was the plan. She laughed and felt better. “I’m the one who’s supposed to be nervous, not you. Go on now.”

He gave her a quick kiss before making his way back upstairs. She took a couple of deep breaths before heading for the door. She counted to 15 after she heard the knock on the door and then opened it.

“Elizabeth.”

“Hey, Sonny.” She sent a quick glance behind him. “Carly.” She stepped back and motioned for them to enter. “Thanks for meeting me.”

“You’ve got a lot of nerve—“

Sonny’s arm suddenly wrapped around Carly and she stopped mid-sentence.

“Welcome back, Elizabeth.”

“Thank you. I figured we could talk in the kitchen. Maybe have some coffee.” She murmured under her breath. “Or alcohol.”

They followed her through the house to the room in back. There was a table with 6 chairs around it on the right with cabinets and appliances on the left side of the room. Elizabeth reached into a cabinet above the dishwasher and pulled out three mugs. She poured coffee into them while Carly and Sonny sat around the table. She put a mug in front of each of them before heading to the refrigerator for milk. Once there was milk, sugar, and spoons on the table she grabbed her own mug and sat across from them. She took a deep breath and knew she didn’t have long before Carly blew up, considering how she was tapping her fingers on the table.

“Are you back to stay?”

Elizabeth knew she and Jason had discussed many options regarding the future but she knew only one option was realistic. She returned Sonny’s gaze.

“Yes.” She glanced out the terrace door before looking back at Carly and Sonny. “As you probably know I took a job in Chicago after Christmas.”

“And yet you disappeared soon after.”

She could hear the anger in Carly’s voice.

“That’s true. I received a call on New Year’s that changed everything.”

Carly rolled her eyes.

“Must you be dramatic?”

“No one invited you here, Carly.” Elizabeth closed her eyes and ignored them for a moment. When she opened her eyes again she was calmer. “I got a call from Jason. He had his original voice and he knew things only Jason would know.”

Carly snorted.

“You’re delusional.”

Sonny braced his arms on the table.

“What kind of things?”

Elizabeth couldn’t tell what he was thinking or feeling but she continued.

“He referenced a conversation we had that winter he stayed in my studio. Only he would know that.”

“Please, we know he was missing for three years. Anyone could have gotten that out of him.”

Elizabeth ignored Carly and continued her story.

“The call wasn’t clear but he was able to tell me he was in Vienna before we got cut off.” She put her hand out to stop them from cutting in. “Please, let me finish first. I went to Chicago as planned but I spent all my free time trying to find him. It took awhile but I was able to find Anna and enlist her help. My boys and I left Chicago for Europe halfway through January.” Her eyes started to water and she had to pause to work on getting rid of the sudden lump in her throat. She tried to keep her voice from cracking. “It took me.” She blinked back the tears. “It took me three months to find him. With help from Anna and some operatives we searched a clinic where we found him. His hair was long and shaggy and he was thin but it was him.” She implored them with her eyes. “It is him. We’ve spent the last two months trying to figure out who took him and why.”

Sonny’s tone was conversational.

“Did you?”

“Yes.” She glanced over to the doorway and back. “What I’ve told you so far doesn’t even compare to what you still need to know.”

Carly leaned back in her chair.

“This is ridiculous, Sonny. There’s no way—“

“Carly.”

Elizabeth watched as Carly froze at his voice and then as her skin paled. She watched the other woman as she came to terms with who was standing in front of her. Carly’s voice was anguished.

“Jason?”

Jason gave his signature half smile.

“It’s me.”

Carly’s composure crumpled as she rushed him and threw her arms over his shoulders. He wrapped his arms around her and just held her as she cried. Sonny was now standing but never left his spot. His expression was grave at best.

“What kind of trick is this?”

“Sonny-“

Jason signaled Elizabeth with his head and she stopped talking. Jason squeezed Carly one more time before letting go. She stepped back and swiped at her face.

“We can talk in the back.”

Sonny followed Jason through the terrace doors. After the door was shut Elizabeth turned to Carly.

“Would you like to freshen up? Bathroom is the door in the hallway behind you. I’ll start a new pot of coffee.”

Carly headed for the bathroom before turning back around. Her expression was joyful.

“It’s really him, isn’t it?”

Elizabeth smiled in answer. Carly returned her smile before changing direction again and making her way to the bathroom. Elizabeth busied herself with putting the mugs no one used into the sink, getting clean cups and starting a new pot of coffee. She dug around in the cabinet where they’d stuck their travel snacks and pulled out a bag of cookies. She put some on a plate and set it on the table as well. She looked out at Sonny and Jason talking and hoped it wouldn’t take much for Jason to convince his friend. She was about to turn towards Carly when she heard the bathroom door but she stopped when Sonny reached out to shake Jason’s hand and then pull him into a hug. She sighed in relief.

“How did this happen?”

“It’s a crazy story, Carly, and I’m still not sure we know all the details. We’ll tell you what we can.”

The men returned while she was speaking.

“What are we going to do about this imposter?”

“That’s what we need to find out.” Jason moved into the kitchen to grab the coffee pot. He gently turned Elizabeth away. “I can pour coffee.”

She rolled her eyes playfully and went back to the table. She waited for Carly’s snark after witnessing their banter over coffee but she was quiet. She joined them at the table and waited for Jason to put the carafe away after pouring. She ran her right hand down Jason’s back after he sat next to her.

“You good?”

“Good enough.” He looked over at his friends and smiled. “First of all, it’s good to see you again. You don’t know how good it is you believe that I’m me.”

Carly reached across the table to cover Jason’s hands with her own.

“Of course we believe you.” Carly’s faced morphed into confusion and Elizabeth was pretty sure she knew why. Carly turned Jason’s left hand over so she could look at his hand more carefully. “Why?” Carly had almost moved onto anger. “Why are you wearing a ring? Is this a wedding ring?” She glared at Elizabeth. “Did you take advantage of him?”

Elizabeth refused to be cowed by Carly. Her voice dripped with false sweetness.

“That’s exactly what I did, Carly. I barely let him get out of that hospital bed before I was dragging him down the aisle to get married.” She sat up straight and tilted her head the slightest. “I can guess at what you think I did to you but it’s been 17 years. Do you think you could move on?”

Jason put his arm on the top rung of Elizabeth’s chair.

“Yes, we are married and we are going to stay married. You don’t have to like it but you will be polite about it. Elizabeth and the boys are my family, too.”

Sonny smiled.

“Congratulations.”

“Thank you, Sonny.” Elizabeth slid her right hand across the top of the table in Jason’s direction. He wrapped his right hand around hers. “Go ahead.”

“You thought I died in 2012, right?”

“Yes. Faison came out of nowhere and lured you to the pier. You were shot and shoved into the harbor.”

“Actually, I never came home from Mexico.”

“Mexico? When did you go—. Wait, when Michael and Kristina ran away?” Carly’s voice was hoarse. “Jason, that was, what, seven years ago?”

“I know it sounds impossible but the last thing I remembered long-term before calling Elizabeth was being in Mexico. I had been fighting with Jerry Jacks. I was trapped under some rubble and he shot me twice before leaving me to die. I woke up for bits of time but never long enough to make heads or tails of anything. I didn’t know anything until December. I didn’t know it at the time but one of the night nurses broke up with her boyfriend and was quite distraught about it. So distraught that she never left her desk much over a three day period. It was during that time that I was able to wake up enough to be aware and work on a way to escape. They came in twice a day to sedate me through an I.V. As soon as they left the room I was disabling the line so I could stay awake. Then I was able to target one of the other nurses I knew who carried her phone around. I was able to steal her phone by falling out of bed. That’s how I was able to call Elizabeth."

“Why didn’t you call one of us?”

“I didn’t know who took me or why. I was afraid one or both of you might have been watched or bugged. I knew Elizabeth should be safe.”

Carly crossed her arms across her chest in defiance but said nothing about it. Sonny got back to the topic.

“Do you know who took you?”

“Jerry Jacks.”

“Jerry? What would he gain from that?”

“That we don’t know. My best guess is someone paid him for some reason. Our research landed on him.” Jason continued. “Things get weirder.”

Carly muttered.

“I don’t know how.”

“I have a twin. Or had one, I guess. Jerry found out somehow and kept that news to himself until it benefited him.”

Sonny made the connection.

“Which is when he took you in Mexico and left behind the twin.”

“Yeah. He was trained enough that no one became suspicious. Everyone thought he was me until he was shot.”

“So he washed up somewhere to recover and then came back two years ago and ended up with a new face?”

Jason and Elizabeth exchanged glances.

“No, we believe my twin did die the night he ended up in the harbor. Our computer expert found a money trail between the man you believed to be me and Julian Jerome.”

“That doesn’t make sense. Jerome isn’t even in the mob any more.”

“No one can get out of the mob.”

“It seemed legit. He came back to town with only legitimate business dealings, associates, the whole nine yards.” Sonny leaned forward, crossed his arms and leaned on the table. “But he put a Jason Morgan imposter in our organization.”

Jason nodded just once.

“That’s what I’m saying.”

Sonny shifted to one side to pull his phone out. He punched a couple of numbers and waited for the other party to pick up. “Bernie? I need you to do an audit on all of our accounts and holdings. Start with whatever would hurt us the most and then work your way to the legitimate business. I need to know if you find anything out of the ordinary, anything fishy, anything changed.” He listened. “Anything you find you come to me, not Jason. Got it?…Good. As soon as you can. Thanks, Bernie.” He hung up and looked at the others at the table. “There’s no good reason for a mole in our organization.”
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