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Standing beside Jason’s bed, Sam stroked his hair and stared down at him. She could feel the wetness from her tears coating her cheeks and knew she looked like a lovely tragic figure. It was annoying that Jason wouldn’t open his eyes to see her but she knew that all the nurses and doctors would tell him as well as Sonny. He was lying still again, he’d been thrashing around when Robin came in but shortly after she left he’d gone back to being as still as death. Her eyes darted to the door when it opened but she turned back to Jason with indifference when it was just a nurse. She knew that Elizabeth had once known Jason but their acquaintance had fizzled out a long time ago and now they barely knew each other.

The silence in the room was broken when Elizabeth said, “I’m sorry Sam but I need to get to the equipment behind you, I have to ask you to move.”

“Can’t you just go around me or something? I’m the only thing keeping him calm,” she snapped.

Sighing silently Elizabeth explained, “I can’t reach it unless you move out of the way, why don’t you go over to the other side of the bed and you can continue from there okay? I’m sorry but we have to keep a close eye on him.”

Huffing in annoyance, Sam stalked around the bed and glared at Elizabeth muttering, “I don’t know why Robin isn’t in here doing this if it’s so important. If a mere nurse can do it than I would think it isn’t that necessary. The important things are done by the doctors.”

Elizabeth would be shocked by that kind of attitude if not for the fact that she knew a lot of people shared it. Her fingers flew over the IV as she checked it before she settled the blood pressure cup around his arm and started to take his vitals. She noticed that as soon as she stepped in beside him he turned towards her a little but as soon as her hand made contact with his skin his eyes began to move under his eyelids very quickly. Hurrying to finish her work, she recorded his blood pressure and pulse, noting that while she worked it went up.

Pulling out a pen knife, Elizabeth leaned over Jason and pried open one eyelid to shine her light into it and then did it to the other one. As she was balanced there, he suddenly inhaled deeply. When she let go of his face he began to thrash back and forth. Sam swore and glared at her, “This is your fault, what did you do?”

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Frantic, I have to get to her, damn the lock is rusted. Sonny steps back and I pull out my gun to shoot it off. Pulling open the door I see her laying there, what is that smell? No, it can’t be, gas! Grabbing Elizabeth I pull her into my arms and race out into the graveyard, lowering her to the ground so that I can try to get her breathing again. A few puffs and I can feel her chest expand on its own. Just then, she opens her eyes and looks at me, telling me Zander was inside. I can feel Sonny turn to go back to the crypt but all of a sudden there is a powerful explosion, I have to cover Elizabeth, I have to protect her, without her my life isn’t worth living.

***************

He calmed after a moment and Elizabeth glanced over at Sam and tried to stifle the urge to roll her eyes. She knew he was going to be reliving memories, why does she act like this is surprising?

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No, no Elizabeth, please I’m sorry. The words tremble on my lips wanting to be spoken but I can’t let them fall. I’ve done this, I’ve broken her trust in me and she’s going to walk away. Her suitcase by the door is a testimony to my failure. Looking at her, seeing her pain in her eyes I know I have to let her go. I said I would try but I didn’t understand the meaning of that word until I realized that I never had, not enough anyway. My heart is breaking; I’ll never be whole again, not without her. I don’t know how I’m still standing as I watch her walk out the door.

*****************

The rapid rise and fall of Jason’s chest worried Elizabeth and she watched as Sam put her hand on it to try to settle him. It had the opposite effect though and he began to thrash around again. Grabbing her stethoscope, Elizabeth went to lay it on his chest to check his heart rate. As soon as her hand made contact, he settled once more.

*****************

I’m not sure what she wants, canvases are all over the place and she’s looking at me like she’s hungry. My pulse leaps when I hear that she wants me. How did I deny myself her kiss until now? Her lips are so lush and soft, opening to me without protest. Feeling her skin as I skim my fingers over her lower back, oh Elizabeth why did this have to be tonight? I want you, I have for so long but this is revenge for you. No, I can’t think of that, I’m going to take whatever you’ll give me and then I’ll use it to build on and move us forward. I knew Lucky was a fool but the proof of it is here in my arms lighting up my night.

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Seeing that his heart was pounding in his chest but not dangerously so, Elizabeth stood up again and looked him over. Her eyebrows rose when she noticed the slight tenting of the sheet over him and her eyes jerked from him to Sam to see if she had noticed it. No, she was standing there with her arms crossed and tears falling down her face once more. Feeling her heart go out to the other woman she was about to speak to her when Jason moaned.

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She’s right there, right in front of me and I ache to touch her. How can a simple piece of glass make her eyes light up like that? She’s unlike any other woman I’ve ever met and I just want to reach out my hand and touch her, stroke her arm, her hair, feel her against me. I let my eyes trace her features and clench my fist because if I reach out to touch her I know I won’t stop. She’s once again put herself between me and this town, even if they don’t know it, by lying about my presence. The fact that she’s even lying to Lucky means more to me than she’ll ever know. I want to touch her, I need to, it’s only a piece of red glass but she acts like it’s the rarest of rubies.

******************

The women both looked at Jason and then each other as he moaned again but they could both tell it wasn’t in anguish. Sam pushed her hair off her forehead and smiled a little, pretending to be embarrassed that Jason was obviously thinking about her and their relationship. Elizabeth felt a stab of jealousy but she pushed it down, she was with Lucky and she was happy that Jason had found someone to love.

******************

I can’t believe it, gone before she ever had a chance at life. This is so unfair, so wrong, why did a precious little baby get taken like that? Sam will be devastated, Sonny too, but right now, right here, I can’t believe she’s gone. I was going to be her father, my chance at fatherhood once again lost. What a bastard I am, to worry about that when that baby girl doesn’t have a chance, she had it taken away from her before her life began. Elizabeth is here, she’s always here when I need her the most. What I wouldn’t give to wrap my arms around her and hold on tight, hold her forever and try to feel warm again. I need her, I’ve needed her for years but I gave up any right I had to have her. I just want a chance, what’s wrong with wanting a chance.

I let her go, I let go of any hope for real love and I learned to accept whatever was available, but this baby wasn’t just accepting what was available, I came to love her and she was ripped away from me. Is that the way it’s always going to be, losing what I love the most?


*******************

Jason’s breath was coming faster and faster causing Elizabeth and Sam to look at him and then each other. Jason’s head turned back and forth on the bed a few times, a tear leaking from his eyes when he spoke for the first time since he lost consciousness with the drug. Groaning the words like they were ripped from his soul he said, “Elizabeth, I love you.”
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