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Jason looked down at the child in his arms, the way he fit so snuggly and looked at him so trustingly. Shaking his head and wiping a stray tear from his cheek he rocked him slowly, breathing in that sweet baby scent that seemed to be made up of child and powder. Lowering his nose, he tucked it into the crease in the blanket alongside his son’s cheek and breathe deeply, knowing he may not get this chance again for weeks or months.

Elizabeth entered the office in the back of the coffeehouse to get Jake. She stopped suddenly when she saw the look of naked emotion on Jason’s face. Glancing down she could tell that their son was sound asleep so she reached out for him.

“Here, let me take him, I should be getting home. Lucky...” she began to say.

Jason harshly cut her off, “I don’t want to hear about Lucky.”

“I’m sorry Jason, but you should know he’s a wonderful father, he loves Jake so much,” Elizabeth rushed to say.

“Really Elizabeth, is he staying clean because he wants to be a better man or is he using Jake as a crutch? Is he a better father than I would be? Has he ever put a child in danger, not from those around him but from himself? Oh wait, he has, your other son,” Jason said in a hard voice.

“Jason he didn’t do it on purpose he was addicted to drugs. You know the man that Lucky is, he’s a good man, he’s a cop.” Elizabeth pleaded with him, fearing that her carefully construed house of cards was about to come down.

“Oh right, he’s a cop and I’m a thug, a criminal. I do know the man that Lucky Spencer is Elizabeth. He is a man who stole drugs to get money and brought Manny Ruiz to town. What didn’t think we knew about that? He is the man who has worked at controlling you since he came back from the dead, not just when he was brain washed. He is also the man who cheated on you once with your sister and once with a barely legal teen. He isn’t a detective because he earned it, he made the grade because of something I did and he took credit for,” Jason swung away from her after that recitation.

“Come on Jason, all of that is....” Elizabeth began to excuse again.

“All of that is what Elizabeth? All of that is the man you want to raise my son. I have to wonder what kind of things he’s going to teach Jake as he gets older, when you want to get ahead you cheat and lie? Is that what you really want for both of your children? I have to say I find that hard to believe,” Jason yelled.

Pulling out her last card Elizabeth felt her lower lip trembling as she said, “You promised me Jason, you said you’d let Lucky raise the baby as his own.”

“Did it even occur to you that you asked me to do that when my father had just died? Didn't you think for a second that you took advantage of me? Or is everything fair when it comes to Lucky Spencer as long as you make his life easier?” Jason thundered. “Maybe I want my son to grow up to be able to stand on his own two feet and not need to look to a woman to support him so he can function in life.”

“That isn’t fair,” Elizabeth screamed back, “you know what Lucky did for me when I was raped. I owe him, why can’t you get it?”

“Because life isn’t about owing someone Elizabeth. Do you want Jake or Cam to grow up thinking that if one person does something nice for them that they owe that person their life, their happiness?” Jason asked incredulously.

“Of course not, and that isn’t what I’m doing. I love Lucky!” Elizabeth insisted.

Jason looked at her curiously, “Who are you trying to convince, you or me?”

“Don’t be absurd Jason, I’m not trying to convince anyone. I have always said I loved Lucky,” Elizabeth asserted again.

Jason raised an eyebrow, “Yeah you have actually, funny how you don’t say you’re in love with him. That is a huge difference.”

“Go to hell.” Elizabeth screamed, not wanting to examine the truth of that statement.

Jason was about to respond when Jake began to fuss and cry from the tension in the room and Sonny walked in through the door with Carly. Jason walked over and took Jake back from his mother, soothing him easily and quickly.

Carly sneered as she watched all of this, “So the great little mother can’t even calm her own son, a stranger has to do it.”

“Shut up Carly,” Jason barked. “I’m not a stranger, I’m his father.”

Everyone in the room froze and stared at him. Jason closed his eyes and swallowed hard. He hadn’t meant to say that, he was just so angry and frustrated it had come out. He opened his eyes and looked into Elizabeth’s stunned eyes. She was slowly opening and closing her mouth, trying to get the words she wanted to say to come out, only she didn’t know what she wanted to say.

Sonny rubbed his hand across his mouth, “I understood that Lucky was the father.”

“We know Lucky is the father, Elizabeth told us he was!” Carly shrilled.

“No Carly, you and Sonny assumed Lucky was, you didn’t ask for a name you jumped to a conclusion. You told me Lucky was the father, you were a part of denying me my son because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut!” Jason growled.

“You cannot blame me for whatever Elizabeth did. Don’t try to tell me that…” Carly sputtered.

Elizabeth began to reach for her son, she wasn’t sticking around to take Carly’s crap, she didn’t need this. Jason walked over to her and eased Jake into her arms. She began to exit the room when Carly spoke up again.

“We aren’t going to forget what we heard Elizabeth. That is Jason’s son you are holding and he deserves to know him,” she shouted.

Elizabeth came to sudden stop and stared in horror into Lucky’s brown eyes. His were wide and filling rapidly with tears. Shaking his head back and forth he looked past Elizabeth to see Jason standing there, watching them with a stoic face. Glancing between them, he continued to shake his head.

“Tell me that Carly has it wrong Elizabeth,” Lucky said in a low, pain filled voice.

“It isn't Lucky, Elizabeth always knew that there was the possibility that Jason was the father, she just thought you had to be protected from that truth. Makes her life easier if you’re the only cheater in the marriage. She lied after having the paternity test and said you were the father, she can’t handle Jason’s life. She just told the truth now and if you look at Jake its obvious, those eyes are pure Jason,” Carly harped smugly.

All eyes had turned to her and she looked like she was sneering at Elizabeth loving the fact that she was finally off her pedestal. Jason grabbed Carly by the arm and dragged her to the door. Passing through it and moving into the coffeehouse proper he yelled for Max.

“Get her out of here and if you value not only your job but your life then you will keep her away from Elizabeth and her children,” Jason said firmly. Then turning to Carly he said, “I don’t want to see you again until you’re ready to grow up. Oh and for your information I’ve known since the Metro Court that Jake was mine. I just didn’t tell you because I knew you were going to make a hard situation unbearable.”

He let go of her arm and walked away. When Carly started to call out to him he looked at her and shook his head, “You have nothing to say I want to hear. Like I said, grow up and learn to treat Elizabeth with respect, she is the mother of my son.”

Walking back into the office he leaned against the desk and turned to look at Lucky who was now sitting on the couch, his head in his hands. Lucky was still shaking his head and mumbling. Finally he stood up and stared at Elizabeth.

“You slut, you’ve made me out to be the bad guy in our relationship. You slept with Jason, how many times Elizabeth? How long did it last?” Lucky screamed.

“It was one night Lucky, I didn’t have an affair with Jason. It was the night I found you with Maxie,” she cried.

Sam entered the office behind her and sneered, “Yeah and you were so devastated you had to climb fifteen flights of stairs to cry on Jason’s shoulder.”

Jason groaned and looked over at Sam, “Stay out of this Sam. It doesn’t involve you.”

“Oh please, I’ve been trying to get you to tell the truth since Jake was born. I have done everything I could think of to get you to include me in it,” Sam said harshly.

Jason stared at her in surprise, “You’ve been doing what?” he asked.

Sonny cleared his throat and tried to get everyone’s attention. When they continued to ignore him he tried again. No one paid him any mind so he walked around his desk and sat down, not wanting to leave in case things got out of hand and they needed a cool head to prevail. Odd that he was the one with the cool head, usually he was the hot headed one in any situation.

Sam threw her hair over her shoulder and shrugged, “I heard you at the hospital admit that Jake was yours. I mean come on Jacob Martin, talk about obvious. I knew that Elizabeth has been lying. You kept this from me Jason, you were lying too, how could you do that to me?”

“I was protecting my son, or at least that was what I told myself.” Jason said slowly, staring at his girlfriend with narrow eyes. When she continued to look like the injured party he shook his head, “How could you do that? You want to get me to include you, tell me you know, ask me about it. That’s the normal way to do it Sam.”

Sam shrugged again and looked at Elizabeth, “I guess this means you can’t keep Jason or I from his son,” she stated.

Elizabeth opened her mouth but Lucky stepped in, “That criminal will never have my son.”

Elizabeth swung around and looked at Lucky again. She sighed and told him, “Lucky you can’t keep Jason from his son, not if he wants to be a part of his life. Jake will be fortunate enough to have two loving fathers.”

“I will not share a child with that man. Its either him or me, Elizabeth, you can’t have it both ways,” he sneered.

“Lucky, I don’t know what you want. I didn’t do this to hurt you,” Elizabeth pleaded with him.

“You whore!” Lucky screamed, “You didn’t do it to hurt me? You thought that I’d love it, yeah I’m sure that was what you were thinking.”

“That’s enough Lucky!” Jason yelled. “You fell apart, you were a drug addict who got clean for that baby. She didn’t know how to take that crutch away from you. She took care of you, what did you expect from her? She has to support you and carry you. But I will not let you use Jake to prop yourself up any longer. You can stand on your own two feet.”

Elizabeth was staring at the ground with tears running down her cheeks. She hated to see Lucky hurting but she didn’t know how to make it better. Jason was breathing hard, angry that Elizabeth was still trying to protect that jerk even after he had stood there calling her names, forgetting his own sins. Taking a deep breath she looked up to try to talk to him again. Seeing the disgust on his face she suddenly decided to just give up.

“Is sleeping with Jason so much worse than sleeping with Maxie Lucky? I didn't go to him to have sex, contrary to what Sam might think, but I did go to my friend because I thought my marriage was over,” Elizabeth told him quietly, with dignity.

Sam sneered behind Jason and then laughed, “I don’t get it Jason, how can you defend her? She has this holier than thou attitude and she stole your son.”

“This doesn’t concern you Sam,” Jason said loudly.

“How is that, how can it not concern me when you told me that we were going to have a family together, how is this not about me too?” Sam demanded.

“Jake isn’t a part of your life,” Jason said turning to her. “He is Elizabeth’s son and mine, Lucky is involved because he thought he was Jake’s father, but you aren’t one of his parents!”

“How dare you!” Sam screamed, reaching up and slapping Jason. He allowed her to hit him because he knew that he wasn’t being fair. But when she went to do it again he grabbed her hand and shook his head.

“One time Sam, but that’s it. I’m sorry if I’m hurting you, but Jake isn’t a possession you can fight Elizabeth for. He is her son, she is his mother,” Jason said firmly.

“What am I Jason? I thought I was going to be your wife. When that happens I’ll be Jake’s step mother that makes him a part of my life and me a part of his,” Sam told him.

Jason rubbed the back of his neck and looked over at Sonny, who was watching him in sympathy. Finally taking a deep breath Jason said, “I think we should talk about this later, not here.”

“No, answer me, just tell me the truth,” Sam yelled again.

“Fine Sam, no you won’t be a part of his life. I tried, but I can’t let it go, I don’t see us ever being together for life. I’m sorry, but we don’t work anymore,” Jason told her with finality.

Sam’s mouth dropped open and she looked at him with incredulity, “That’s it, we’re over?”

“I’m sorry Sam; I didn’t want to do this here,” Jason said.

Sonny stood up suddenly and took Sam’s arm gently, “Come on Sam; let’s get you out of here. I’m sorry but it’s time for you to leave.”

“So just like that I get thrown out of it Jason’s life? We live together,” Sam said.

“I’ll send some guards to help you pack your things,” Sonny assured her.

“You are as big a bastard as Jason is.” Sam screeched. Sonny shrugged and walked her to the door. He nodded at Marco to take her home.

Lucky looked at Elizabeth and sneered, “I’m not as easy to get rid of as Sam. I want you to get your junk and your bastard kids out of my house. And to answer your question, yeah it is worse. He's a brain damaged thug who kills people for a living. I'd much rather find out Drake was the one you slept with, at least then I could still respect you. You belonged to me Elizabeth and you gave yourself to this worthless criminal.”

Jason raised his head, landing his eyes on Lucky with fury, “You think an awful lot of yourself Lucky, considering you got where you are in the PCPD because of me. Elizabeth doesn't belong to anyone, she's her own person not a possession.”

Lucky huffed and stormed out of the office. Elizabeth sat in a chair and looked at Jason, her eyes full of shock. “How did I convince myself he loved me? Was I ever anything more to him then something to own? What do I do now, where do I go?”

“You let me take care of you, let me help you. You’re my family now Elizabeth, I will always be there for you. Please, let me help,” he almost pleaded with her. Elizabeth looked into his eyes and then nodded and held out her hand. Jason took it in his and pulled her up into his arms. “I promised you that everything will be okay, right?”

He felt her nod her head as he held her close. “I'll keep my promise Elizabeth. You, Cam and this baby will be alright. I'm never going to let anything happen to you, you're my family.”
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