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Jason walked along the docks thinking. Things were quiet out here in the cold winter night, it allowed him the space and time to contemplate what he was doing with his life. He missed Elizabeth, Jake and Cam more then he would ever be able to say. After Jake's second kidnapping it had been hard to walk away from his family, but he told himself he had to. It was the only way to keep them safe, but was it?

Jason had convinced himself in his fear for Elizabeth, Jake and Cam that they would be safer out of his life, but how out of his life could they really be? People knew their secret; too many people knew the secret. Not only friends knew it, but there was no way that his enemies hadn't picked up on the fact that Elizabeth and her children were important to him. He knew the Russians had done so; they had taken Jake after all. It was his fault had happened, but was it his fault because he had them in his life? Or was it his fault because he had them in his life secretly? He hadn't publicly claimed them, therefore when his family needed it the most they had been left unprotected.

Jason swore softly to himself, how in the world had he convinced himself that staying away from them would work? Now if the truth comes out they will be completely unprotected and at the mercy of his enemies. He needed to act; he needed to act quickly to stake his claim on his family once and for all.

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Jason stood out on her porch watching as she gathered the boys to take them upstairs for bed. The snow had started falling about an hour before he’d arrived, and he reveled in the soft cold feel of it as it hit his face. He had decided that this time of night would be perfect to see her; he knew she would be putting the boys to bed so he only had to wait for her to return to the living room before he would knock on the door.

He’d thought long and hard about what he would say to her and he still wasn’t sure. He knew that after everything they had been through together in the last few years that what he was going to tell her now, would anger her, and she probably wouldn't believe him. Who could blame her really, he’d been keeping her at arm’s length for so long now that he knew after their last meeting she would never want to be back in his life again.

He was unaware of the passage of time as he waited on her porch. Had it been hours? Minutes? Mere seconds? He needed to talk to her; he needed to tell her everything that was in his heart and his mind. She needed to understand what an idiot he had been, and how much he needed her to hear him out.

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Elizabeth was aware that Jason was on her front porch. She had known he was there from the moment he’d stepped foot on it. She was curious why he’d come, hadn't he walked away again? Hadn't he been the one this time to end it? Then why was he here now? Why was it that her heart called for her to run out there and ask him?

Elizabeth decided to play it cool. She continued on with her regular bedtime routine with the boys. It wasn't completely lost on her that Jason knew that routine and was well aware of the time that he had chosen to come. She decided that right after she was done with the boys that she was going to intercept him and shake up his plan whatever that may be. If he was trying to stay away, but continuing to stop by the house like this it wasn't going to work.

Elizabeth rushed her boys to bed, actually skipping their bath time altogether. She was full of nervous energy and was glad that the boys went down without a fight. As she exited Cam's room she made her way back down the stairs as quietly as she could. Elizabeth glanced out the window to see if Jason had seen her come down, but like she’d thought, he knew the bedtime routine and wouldn't expect her back down so quickly.

She made her way to the back of the house and grabbed and old coat on a hook near the door. As quietly as she could she slipped it on and left the warm confines of her kitchen. Elizabeth circled the house and stopped just short of her front porch to watch Jason. She could tell he had returned to looking in her window, even though he wouldn't expect to see her anytime soon. With a quiet sigh she moved closer to the porch. He looked so nervous and sad she thought to herself as the snow blanketed in her hair.

Elizabeth brushed her hands through her hair and moved to the steps. As she placed her foot on the first step Jason spun around. She could see his hand reflexively go to his waistband. Holding her hands in the air she said, “It's just me.”

“Elizabeth,” he breathed out. “What are you doing out here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” she replied.

Jason looked down at his feet. He didn't really know where to begin. He didn't want to fight with her, no that was the last thing he wanted to do. Jason knew that she seemed slightly angry that he was there watching her. “I had to see you.”

“Jason, we agreed to not see each other again. You said it was too dangerous. You said we couldn't be a family, and I agreed,” she said in a quiet whisper.

“I know, I know,” he said shaking his head. “I just...”

“What, you just what? Jason this isn't good for any of us. You can't keep coming here someone will eventually see you, and all we have done to protect Jake will have been for nothing,” Elizabeth told him.

“Maybe it already is,” he said quietly.

“What are you talking about?” she asked him.

“I've been doing a lot of thinking. I think that maybe trying to stay away from you to keep you all safe is the wrong thing to do.” Jason looked up and met her eyes. “Too many people already know that Jake is my son. It's really only a matter of time before other people figure it out, and then what happens?”

“What are you saying Jason?”

“I'm saying I want my family. I want you with me all the time. I want to wake up with you in my arms and go to sleep with you every night. I want to make love to you until neither one of us can move,” he declared. “I want to watch my sons grow up into the strong independent men I know they will be. I want my family Elizabeth.”

“Jason, you have said this so many times, why should I believe you now?” she asked in a quiet husky voice. This is something she dreamed about since they had parted ways at the courthouse. She’d wanted him to tell her that giving up and going their separate ways was a mistake. She had longed so much for it that now she was angry, angry that is had taken him this long to say it. She couldn't let herself believe it and let him crush her already crushed heart again. She knew she wouldn't survive if he did that to her again.

“I know this is something that we have agreed on, but I just feel that someone at some point is going to put it together and then you and my family will be unprotected. They will know how much you mean to me and they will come after you to get to me. They will succeed because I left you. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if anything happened to you, Jake or Cam.”

“Jason why? Why now, I just don't understand? I want to believe that what you’re saying is what you mean. I want to believe that you won’t walk away again, but it's hard to. You’ve left me standing in the cold for so long now that I don't even remember what it's like to be warm anymore,” Elizabeth told him.

Jason moved a step down to get closer to her. He watched as the snowflakes continued to gather in her chestnut hair. Hair he longed to tangle his fingers in. His eyes drifted to her mouth and saw her lips quiver with emotion. He knew he had been an ass, he knew he had practically thrown his family away, but he wanted to right those wrongs. “I need you Elizabeth. I need you and my family in my life. I have no direction and nowhere to go from here without you and the boys in it.”

Elizabeth looked down at her feet allowing the tears to flow down her cheeks. She believed him, how could she not, Jason was not someone who showed this side to many people. He was not someone who could typically bare his soul and then walk away. She knew that is exactly what he was doing here.

Jason took two more steps down until he was standing in front of Elizabeth in the falling snow. He looked up into the night sky and closed his eyes letting the cold snow fall on his face and melt. He loved extreme temperatures; they were really the only temperatures he ever felt. Dropping his gaze back to her he reached out a hand and stroked the tears from her cheek.

“Jason... I love you,” she whispered. Elizabeth leaned into his hand and she knew that she had given up the fight.

“I promise you that I will do everything that I can to keep you and the boys safe,” He told her. Jason looked nervously back at her and then knelt down into the soft blanket of snow that covered the ground. “Elizabeth Webber, will you marry me?”

Elizabeth was speechless and that didn't happen often. Her eyes filled with fresh tears that spilled over her cheeks as she stared at him. She watched as he pulled a black box from the depths of his jacket and pulled out a ring for her to see. Smiling at him she dropped down into the snow next to him and threw her arms around his neck.

“Yes I’ll marry you,” she whispered into his ear. “If you back out again there will be no more chances I couldn't handle it.”

“I know, and I won't, I know that my family is safer with me then away from me.” Jason slipped the ring on her finger and helped her stand. Once she was to her feet he embraced her crushing her tiny body to him. He would never get over how small she really was. Jason dropped his face into her hair and smelled her chestnut locks, something he had been longing to do since he’d first seen her standing in the snow. “Mmmm, you smell like snow,” he whispered into her ear.

Smiling at the remembered quote she replied, “Snow doesn't smell.”

“Yes it does. Snow smells like you and you are my snow angel Elizabeth. I promise you this time no bailing,” Jason swore to her. Lifting her chin so their eyes locked he was relieved to see the love, and trust back where it belonged. He lowered his mouth and kissed her gently, reverently.

Neither Jason nor Elizabeth minded as the snow continued to fall around them. They were lost in each other and in the moment, finally happy and willing to put everything on the line and be together.
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