Is it dark, where you are?
Can you count the stars where you are?
Do you feel like you are a thousand miles from home?
Are you lost, where you are?
Can you find your way when you’re so far?
Do you fear, where you are?
A thousand nights alone
– Longest Night, Howie Day
Monday, September 8, 2003
General Hospital: Monica’s Office
Elizabeth shifted in her chair and checked the clock on the wall. It had been at least ten minutes since Monica had gone to get her blood test results. Not that Elizabeth was all that nervous about her two-month checkup — the checkup that would, hopefully, go a long way towards reassuring Jason.
He’d gotten a lot better about her health in the last five weeks and she hadn’t needed the oxygen mask in two weeks, but she still sometimes caught him looking at her closely and hesitating before doing anything more strenuous than walking across the room.
Finally, almost fifteen minutes after Monica had left, Jason’s mother returned, a folder in her hand…and a carefully blank look on her face.
Elizabeth straightened in her chair, watching with trepidation as Monica sat in the empty chair next to her, not behind her desk. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong,” Monica said. “There was…” She pursed her lips. “A result on the initial round of tests that came back that required further testing. The results of that second test just came in…” She looked at Elizabeth. “I had to run a pregnancy test.”
“Pregnancy…” Elizabeth trailed off with a shake of her head. “Well, I’m not pregnant. I mean, it’s too soon after everything that happened, and—” With a slight flush, she lifted her hands in confusion, letting them fall back into her lap. “Jason and I are careful. I mean, I can’t use the pill anymore, but we—Monica, we’re—” She bit her lip. “Did it come back positive?”
“It did. We can run another one if you’re really not convinced. When was your last period?”
“Honestly? Not since before the miscarriage.” Her heart plummeted into her stomach. “Oh, God. Monica. There’s no way I was pregnant before everything happened — I mean, I didn’t…I didn’t sleep with Ric again, but he was drugging me—”
Her stomach lurched as she turned away. Oh, God—
“No, no, of course not. We ran all of these tests at the last appointment and this is the first time this hormone level was elevated. I can assure you, Elizabeth, you were not pregnant when you came in for the overdose. I ran a full toxicology report at the time and pregnancy is just…it’s one of the basic things we test for in our female patients.” Monica exhaled in a huff. “I’m sorry. I never meant to make you worry—it’s not Ric’s child. No chance of it.”
“Okay.” Elizabeth squeezed her eyes shut. “Okay. Well, then, at the most, I couldn’t be more than seven weeks along. Um…” She looked at Monica, her hands clasped tightly in her lap. “You still look concerned. Worried.”
“This isn’t my specialty,” Monica admitted, “but I will admit to being a bit…apprehensive about what a pregnancy means for your health—at this point. Unfortunately, there’s not a terrible lot of information out there about the risks of embolisms in pregnant patients after already having suffered an occurrence. But—”
“Blood clots, specifically pulmonary embolisms, are a risk factor in pregnancy,” Elizabeth finished. She stared down at her hands. “What else?”
“You didn’t just suffer an embolism, Elizabeth. You were in cardiac arrest. You had a mild heart attack when the second clot burst. You’ve struggled to regain your stamina and energy because of how severe the crisis was.” Monica waited a moment. “If you had come to me, asking for a timetable, I would have recommended waiting at least year.”
“We were safe,” Elizabeth repeated, more to herself. “Jason—I mean, after Robin—and you know obsessed he’s been about my health. He never would have—”
“I think—” Monica bit her lip. “It hasn’t hit the news quite yet, and of course, it depends on your brand, but one of ELQ’s subsidiary companies will be issuing a recall on a batch of condoms. For this very reason, apparently. They were…less than effective.”
“Oh, God.” Elizabeth pressed her hands to her face. “Enduro.”
Pregnant. Less than two months after nearly dying from blood clots and cardiac arrest…she looked at her doctor, at Jason’s mother. “What…happens next? What would you recommend? I mean, if I were just any other patient—”
“You mean if you weren’t carrying my grandchild?” Monica asked. When Elizabeth nodded, Monica waited another moment before answering. “This isn’t my area of expertise,” she reminded Elizabeth. “I’m going to make some calls and get a recommendation for the best OB/GYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancy, but make no mistake, Elizabeth—this is a high-risk pregnancy. You’re at an elevated risk for another blood clot already, particularly because yours was hormone induced.”
“And adding a condition that elevates the risk even further…I could have a blood clot tomorrow,” Elizabeth murmured.
“You could. I just…” Monica reached for Elizabeth’s hands. “But I think you have time to make a decision. For you and Jason to talk about what it means, to consult a doctor—”
“We talked about children just…just a few weeks ago. I wanted them. I do. But…” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Can you make those calls? I’ll…talk to Jason. And we’ll see where we are.”
Port Charles Municipal Building: Scott’s Office
Scott glanced up from his paperwork as Taggert entered his office, followed by Kelsey. He exhaled slowly and got to his feet. “Judging by the looks on your faces, the tests came in as scheduled.”
“All fourteen rape kits have been processed. A few of them came back negative, but…” Taggert looked at Kelsey before continuing. “We have results in ten of the cases. Seven of them…linked.”
“Seven.” Scott closed his eyes. “All seven under investigation for the park rapes? Isn’t it unusual for—”
“It is,” Kelsey admitted. “But the lab report…” She set the results on his desk. “Apparently the guy didn’t wear a condom in any case at all. Which…can be a signature on its own. He’s…reckless.”
“He thinks he can’t be caught,” Taggert muttered. “And he’s right. Because Elizabeth Webber’s dress came back positive for semen, and her case matches the other six. Guess who got excluded?”
“Fuck me.” Scott perused the report as his stomach continued to twist and turn. “They covered it up. They made her case go away. Why? Why would they cover for Baker?”
“I don’t think they did.” Kelsey took a seat. “You said you talked to the ADA on the Baker case, right?” she said to Taggert. “To Dara Jensen, about the rape kit results?”
“I did. Why?”
“Remember what she said about the media circus around the trial? Baker was accused of blackmailing and holding Edward Quartermaine’s granddaughter hostage.” Kelsey arched a brow. “Did Edward Quartermaine know about the Webber rape case and the accusation against Baker?”
“I—I don’t know why he would have unless Emily had told him. You don’t think—”
“I think it’s possible Edward Quartermaine leaned on Floyd to make sure Baker went away. Floyd leaned on the commissioner. And, I guess, look at it from the commissioner’s standpoint—if he believes Elizabeth Webber, Tom Baker admitted he raped her. And he’s going to trial on slam dunk charges that will put him away for at least twenty-five years, if not more.”
Taggert exhaled slowly. “Meanwhile, we got a rape kit that may or may not come back positive — and if there’s no DNA, it’s her word against his. The rape case was weaker.” He hesitated. “And to be honest, we hadn’t really talked about the case at the department after Baker was arrested. The evidence was weak. Dara didn’t tell us outright she wouldn’t file rape charges, but I think there was already an atmosphere…Baker was going to jail. We didn’t need to spend the time or resources.”
The lieutenant looked away, cleared his throat. “But that doesn’t explain what happened to her case. The dress in the evidence box, the way her case was pushed off the open list—”
“Exactly.” Kelsey leaned forward. “And look, if that had been the case — if everyone involved had agreed not to prosecute the rape because of its overall weakness, that would have been fine. But that’s not what happened. Without testing the kit, there was no way of knowing the strength of the case. All we know for sure is that in November, you were told to make the case inactive. If you’d run that kit and it had come back negative for Baker, it might have brought Elizabeth Webber’s credibility into question.”
“Because if she’s lying about his confession, the defense could have made her look hysterical and unstable. She’s the one holding the gun…” Scott shook his head. “Doesn’t explain the falsified lab report—”
“You said Elizabeth nearly caused a mistrial with her outcry in the court room,” Kelsey said. “Maybe Edward Quartermaine got cold feet about hurrying the case along.”
“Or, maybe he found out for the first time that the charge existed,” Taggert offered. “And Mac and Floyd had to cover their tracks. I—” He shook his head. “I thought I got a real big win when Mac said he’d sent the kit out for testing. Even though he wanted me to shelve it, he’d said he’d send it over. He never intended to do that.”
“It doesn’t make any of it right,” Kelsey said. “And the fact that the commissioner put her case in the closed archives rather than cold storage—it meant that we didn’t make the link. Think about this — the seven cases we have—the first three are spread out.”
“Yeah.” Scott looked at his list of dates. “February 1998. April 1999. January 2000. And then nothing until February 2003.” He tapped his pencil. “Taggert, I know you’ve been holding off telling Elizabeth that the case is reopened, but I think with these results—”
“Yeah, I know. I should tell her today, but…” Taggert shook his head. “Let me leave it for last. I’ll officially reopen the 1999 and 2000 attacks, take those victim statements.”
“And what does the delay give you?” Kelsey asked. “I mean—”
“It doesn’t give me anything. It just gives Elizabeth Webber a few more days, maybe even a whole week before I have to rip open that wound again.” Taggert held out his hand and Kelsey gave him back his copy of the lab report. “And yeah, I know it’s special treatment and maybe I should start with her first because, chronologically, she is the first known—”
“I think, for once, it won’t kill us to give Elizabeth Webber a break,” Scott told Kelsey. “This is a lot to ask her take on, and she may not want to get involved. I mean, what do we tell her about what happened with her file? She thinks her evidence was tested.”
“I don’t know,” Kelsey admitted. “I mean, we don’t know anything for sure.”
“I’m not going to lie to her.” Taggert shook his head. “She’s had enough of that from this department. And if I didn’t want to be kicked off this case or fired, I’d be calling the papers.”
“We’re not leaking to the papers,” Scott said. “It’s bad enough the papers are digging into the other three victims and dragging Brooke’s case out every time Ned Ashton makes a speech. You want Elizabeth in the middle of another media circus? With Ric Lansing out on bail?”
“Fine. But I’m not letting Floyd or Mac get away with this forever, Baldwin. So figure out how you want to play this.”
Brownstone: Living Room
Bobbie braced Carly’s elbow as her heavily pregnant daughter lowered herself onto the sofa. “I would have come to you in the penthouse,” Bobbie told her as she sat next to her. “You don’t need to drag yourself out when you’re feeling so tired.”
“Does it show?” Carly bit out as she set her purse next to her and leaned back. “And I needed a break from the penthouse. Sonny is…”
“Driving you crazy?”
“I wish.” Carly sighed. “He’s barely talking to me since Elizabeth and I told Scott that we didn’t want a deal.”
“Is he that angry he’s going to have to wait a few more months for Ric to have an accident in jail?” Bobbie said, rolling her eyes. She crossed into the kitchen as Carly remained seated. “I get that he wants it all over—”
“He’s not mad about that, even though he’d prefer it already be over. He’s mad because I told him…I told him no accidents at all.”
Bobbie hesitated behind the counter where she was pulling out her tea kettle. She filled the kettle and placed it on the stove before rejoining her daughter in the living room. “No accidents ever?” she asked.
“I want Ric Lansing to rot away in a small cell for the rest of his life. I want to visit him there and make sure he knows who put him there.” Carly sat up straighter. “Death is too easy. Too quick. I want him to suffer. Is that so goddamn bad?”
“No,” Bobbie admitted. “And now that the image is my head, I have to admit, I like it. Elizabeth…felt the same way?”
“She didn’t talk to you about this?”
“Not really. I knew she didn’t want a deal either, but…”
“Yeah, it’s one of the few things we’ve ever agreed on,” Carly said, with a shrug. “And of course, Jason was on board with it. Whatever she needs, he gives it to her. But I get stuck with Sonny, who’s so goddamn selfish—”
She let her head fall back against the sofa. “I get Sonny’s life, Mama. I get it. And mostly, I don’t give a shit about it. But this happened to me. Not him. And it’s getting really old trying to balance worrying about Sonny’s mental health when I’m just trying to get through my own day.”
“Are you…” Bobbie pursed her lips. “Are you still having nightmares? I thought Kevin’s sessions—”
“I’m not sure the nightmares will ever go away,” Carly admitted. “But Kevin taught me how to avoid the panic attacks, to manage the stress. But I’m tired, Mama. You know when you told me you wanted Sonny to get help, and I told you not to worry?”
“Because you and Jason would handle it?”
“Well, I’m thinking about what you said back then. About how that’s not fair. And I thought—well I’m his wife. That’s the role I agreed to. It’s in the vows. And Jason is his best friend. That’s how this is supposed to work. You stand by each other until the bitter end. The thing is…” Carly sighed. “I think I’m starting to get to the bitter end part of it, and I have a feeling Jason isn’t far away. He wants his own life. To put Elizabeth and her needs first. And what kind of bitch would I have to be to demand he put me and my family first? He has his own.”
“I’m just having a bad day, Mama. So I need…I need a break from Sonny, from that penthouse…because I’m starting to forget why I’m there in the first place.”
Port Charles Hotel: Renaissance Room
Alexis walked away from Elton Herbert as the flamboyant and verbose party planner prattled on about the menu for Ned’s fundraiser later that evening.
She might be Ned’s events coordinator (she still wasn’t sure how that had happened) but there was not enough money on God’s green Earth to make her listen to that man for another second.
“Do whatever you want,” she called over her shoulder as Jax, who had been appointed as Ned’s actual campaign manager, entered the room. “Thank God. Tell him to stop asking me about serving caviar or langoustine. I don’t even know what the second thing is.”
She pursed her lips, spying Jax’s pensive expression. “What’s wrong?”
Jax sighed, then steered her over to an empty table in the corner of the room. “I’m worried.”
“About what?” Alexis drew her glasses out of the purse she’d left on the table and reached for the sheaf of papers in his hands. “Are those the polls Ned commissioned? It looks like he’s neck and neck with Floyd, which is good considering—” She caught Jax’s eye. “It’s not good? Why?”
“Because…” Jax sighed, leaned against the wall of the room and watched as the workers on the far aside continued to assemble the stage. “Because in two months this campaign will be over.”
“Uh huh.” Alexis shook her head and removed her glasses. “I’m still not seeing the problem, Jasper. With two more months, Ned could easily overtake—” She tipped her head. “I thought we were in agreement on this. Floyd is a boil on the butt of humanity and Ned was the perfect choice to not only clean his clock but to take over.”
“And I still think that. I just worry…that we’re not doing the right thing by Ned,” Jax shook his head. “I don’t know if he’s really…grieved yet. He lost his daughter. He lost his fiancée last year—” he grimaced, obviously remember Ned’s fiancée had been her sister. “I’m sorry—”
“It’s been a very difficult year for all of us,” Alexis offered. “But this is how Ned gets through things. You know that. You only got out of bed after Brenda went over that cliff because your family lost its fortune and you had a goal.”
“Yeah, I had a goal to get back what my family had lost. To rebuild my future,” Jax reminded her. “Ned got into this for revenge. I think, even if he beats Floyd, he’s going to wake up and realize how empty that really is.”
“I don’t know. I got my revenge on Luis Alcazar,” Alexis said, pitching her voice slightly lower. “And that felt damn good then and still feels good now.” Even if she hadn’t entirely meant to shove him over the balcony, oh man, it had been sweet. Apparently, she’d inherited something from her ancestors.
Even if she’d immediately locked it right back up after pretending to have her mental breakdown and losing custody of Kristina. Nothing ever went well when she unleashed her inner Cassadine.
“Don’t remind me,” Jax muttered. “I’m just worried about him. About the day after the campaign. What if he loses?”
“Let’s just get to the end of the campaign,” Alexis suggested. “One day a time, isn’t that what we said we’d do?”
“It’s healthy for him to focus on the campaign. To have a reason to get out of bed. I know you don’t disagree that keeping him busy is the best idea.” Alexis patted his shoulder. “This isn’t something we can fix, Jax. All we can do is follow his lead and be there when he falls down.”
Kelsey’s Apartment: Dining Room
Somehow, without Kelsey realizing it, her life had fallen into a routine. Working the serial rapist case full-time had allowed for a regular working schedule for Lucky, which meant they finished their day about the same time. Lucky had started to wait for her outside the Municipal Building, across the street from the department.
She’d driven them back to her place where they both compared notes on their day, on the cases, over dinner. Then they’d go to bed—together. And start over the next day.
They weren’t living together—it was way too soon for that but for right now, they were both eating, breathing, living with this case and somehow, being together made the horrors bearable.
The day the DNA matches came in, they didn’t talk about in the car. Lucky talked about his brother who was coming home in a few days while Kelsey related how much she was looking forward to her mother driving up for dinner again.
But once they got home, spread out their files along with their dinner from Kelly’s, the light banter had ceased. Lucky stared down at his case notes, brooding as Kelsey studied her court docket for the next day.
“You feel guilty,” Kelsey said after a long period of quiet. She pushed her spoon around the bowl of chili. “Because Taggert still doesn’t want to tell Elizabeth.”
“I guess.” Lucky shrugged. “I mean, I get his argument. I understood it back in July. Until we had physical evidence, what was the point of dragging her into this, but we have it now. And Elizabeth would at least sit down with us. She’d give us a statement.”
“Taggert still having issues getting the others to agree to a follow-up?”
“He’s trying to find Logan and Lopez now. They moved out of town, and Taggert’s having trouble finding family members to ask.” He reached for a notebook. “Watson, Norton, and Morris weren’t returning our calls two months ago. What makes anyone think they’ll change their mind now?”
“You don’t think Taggert could persuade them?”
“He could.” Lucky sighed. “I guess I just—I’m not in a hurry to bring that back for her. But waiting for the others to give their statements just delays our progress—”
“I think it’s more that Taggert hasn’t figured out how to tell Elizabeth her case is opened again without explaining why suddenly we have a DNA profile we didn’t have before. Unless he lies to her, she’ll know something happened.” Kelsey shrugged. “He’s taking her case personally. The way you are. And neither one of you wants to let her down. So he’s waiting until he has all the evidence before he has to come clean.”
“And you’re okay with that?” Lucky asked, eyebrows raised.
“I think…” Kelsey looked down at her case notes, at the collection of photographs she kept just inside the top folder—a photo of every single victim prior to their attack. She kept them there to remind herself that they came first, and that everything they did was for them. “I think that after the PCPD screwed up their cases in the first place, the least we can do is avoid further harm. We don’t have a suspect, Lucky. We don’t have a lead. Do you want to tell Elizabeth that we’re reopening her case with nothing more than what we could have had five years ago?”
“I guess. I just don’t want her to fall through the cracks again.”
Port Charles Mall: AMC Movie Theater
It was the first time they’d attempted to have another movie night since Brooke’s rape two months earlier. They’d gone to the mall in the middle of the day, deciding that it would be different enough to keep their minds off that tragedy.
Only Lucas hadn’t really taken into account just how much had changed since that sweltering July night. Maxie had brought Kyle again, but Lucas wasn’t paying that much attention to him. Not since Maxie and Georgie had both suggested he bring Felix.
Lulu had also joined them, sitting with Dillon and looking cozy, which gave Georgie an excuse to glare at the blond who, up until two weeks ago, been one of their closest friends. Lucas didn’t know if his cousin was dating Dillon or not, but Lu liked to cause drama. So she’d hung over him maybe a bit more than she might have otherwise, sharing his popcorn and laughing at any joke, no matter how feeble.
“How long before she goes for the hair?” Felix murmured in his ear as the movie lights dimmed and Georgie got in one more shot about how hard Mac was working that day, which only made Dillon tense more. His cousin really was an idiot, Lucas thought with a grimace.
“Oh, let’s hope we at least get through the movie. I’m not in the mood to get kicked out of another one.”
They managed to get all the way through Maxie’s pick, Intolerable Cruelty, but even she was wrinkling her nose when they filed out of the theater and into the mall at large. “Ugh, that should have been better. It’s a romantic comedy. Why do I not feel flirty and happy?”
“Maybe it’s the company,” Georgie said. “Can we go now?”
Maxie huffed at her younger sister, then turned her back to look at the rest of them. “Wanna go to Kelly’s or the food court?”
“I’m going home,” Georgie announced. “I have work to do. Some of us want to graduate college.” A flick of glance in Lulu’s direction made it clear who she meant.
“Oh, get off it, Jones. We only started classes a week ago,” Lulu said. She rolled her eyes. “You need to get a grip.”
“You need to—”
Lucas stepped in front Georgie as she stepped forward while Kyle edged preemptively in front of Lulu. “Let’s just calm down.”
“Oh, relax,” Georgie said, with a roll of her eyes. “No one is gonna stalk off in a sulk—” she pressed her lips closed as the group stilled and Dillon’s already irritated expression grew more furious. “Whatever. I’m going home.”
She stormed off towards one of the mall entrances, leaving the rest of them to stare after her. “Ironically,” Kyle offered, “she’s storming—”
“We all caught it,” Maxie said, pressing her lips over her boyfriend’s mouth. “Don’t mansplain it.”
“Anyway,” Lulu said, with a dramatic roll of her eyes. “Can we go to back to the part where we get lunch? I’m starving.”
They opted for the food court, then went off in different directions to get their food. Maxie and Lulu headed for Salad Works while Felix and Lucas decided to get Chinese food.
Kyle followed Dillon to the burger stand, and as they waited their turn, he cleared his throat. “Listen, I’m sorry about Georgie.”
“Why are you sorry?” Dillon muttered. “We broke up two months ago. And Lulu is our friend. She’s been Georgie’s friend longer than I’ve known either of them.”
“Who didn’t mind playing up the new girlfriend role,” Kyle offered. “No, I mean, it just…it sucks that she’s taking it this way. I mean, Maxie is messed up about Mac, too. All the crap that’s been in the press. She’s…” he hesitated. “She’s cried a few times about it. Says Mac’s a great guy, but she doesn’t understand why he didn’t tell them. So she could have warned Brooke, too.”
“She gets it then.”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean she likes it.” Kyle jerked a shoulder as they moved up in the line. “And you know it’s been a lot worse with your brother running for mayor. It’s on the news, it’s in the papers. And Georgie’s…she’s always been a…” he trailed off.
Dillon eyed Maxie’s boyfriend, wondering when he’d stopped being annoyed by him. Maybe it had been Kyle’s steadiness in the park that terrible night or later, after Lucas had introduced them to Felix, Kyle had been the first to suggest Felix come to the next group thing.
“Maxie’s made a lot of mistakes in her life,” Dillon said after a moment. “Gotten into trouble. Done dumb things. It’s easier for her to see that other people aren’t perfect.”
“But the thing this—with Mac in the papers all the time, it just means Brooke’s still in the papers. And I know you guys knew that would happen when Ned decided to run, but still—I’m sorry, man, but every time I read another account about how she left us while we were arguing, I get angry at myself all over again. I don’t know what the hell Lucas and I were thinking. Or why it seemed so important.”
“Maxie and I were bickering, too. We were all ignoring Brooke.” Dillon stepped up to the counter and put in his food order. When he and Kyle had moved over to the pick up window, he took a deep breath. “Lucky Spencer told me that it might take a long time to forgive myself. That even though I know, logically, it wasn’t our fault…”
“It still feels like it is,” Kyle finished. “Yeah. Well, I know all about not being able forgive yourself for the dumb stuff you actually do. What happened with Maxie—”
“Is not something anybody but Maxie needs to forgive you for,” Dillon interrupted. He looked back at the table where Maxie and Lulu had returned to. “Can you get Maxie to call Georgie in a few more minutes? Make sure she got home okay?”
“Yeah, but I bet that’s why she’s pulling out her cell phone now.” They picked up their food and headed back to the table.
Condo: Living Room
Elizabeth told herself to put it away for a few hours, to stop thinking about Monica’s announcement, and the implications of it until she could talk to Jason after he got done work.
She had to stop herself several times from going straight to the warehouse and dumping this on him, but truth be told…
She didn’t know what Jason would do when she told him she was pregnant. Because as much as she wanted to be happy—she was terrified. She’d gone to the library and checked out a bunch of pregnancy books, pouring over the side effects and all the possibilities. She’d tried a few Internet searches while there—she still didn’t have a computer of her own—but everything seemed to tell her she was dying.
Instead of calming her down, the fact that pulmonary embolisms were listed as a side effect in every single pregnancy book only worried her more. Did that mean they happened a lot? And apparently, they were more common after birth, which meant her baby might live but Elizabeth would die.
And was that a risk she wanted to take? Was it a risk Jason would be on board for?
She thought about talking to Bobbie or Emily, even calling Nikolas, but she managed to keep the phone on the hook. Jason deserved to get this news first. Even if she didn’t know exactly what to tell him or what he might say.
Finally, around six, Jason walked through the door. He offered a smile as he pulled off his jacket and hung it in the closet next to her door. “Hey.” He joined her in the kitchen where she was perusing the freezer and their selection of frozen pizzas. He kissed her, his hand cupping her jaw. “What’d you do today?”
“Um…” Elizabeth closed the freezer door. “I had my appointment with Monica.”
“Right, the two-month checkup. You said something about it this morning.” Jason followed her out of the kitchen, his brow furrowing. “How did it go?”
“Um, good. I think.” She turned to Jason. “Monica…had to run a secondary test, though. To check out one of my results—” God, why was she stalling?
“Is everything okay?” Jason asked, his voice sharpening. “Elizabeth—”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s just…” She sat on the sofa, to stop herself from pacing. “I guess it’s just…I don’t know. I’m pregnant.”
“Preg—” Jason closed his mouth and sat on the edge of the coffee table in front of her. “How—what—”
“Turns out the condoms we use are from ELQ, and Monica said they’re going to recall them for…you know, not actually doing their job—” Elizabeth twisted her fingers together. “It’s yours—”
“Of course it’s mine,” Jason said with an irritated frown. “Why—” He exhaled slowly. “Right. Because you were drugged and not sure—but they would have known in the hospital in July.” He exhaled slowly. “Okay. What…what does that mean? I remember from Carly’s pregnancy that one of the possible side effects—”
“Long story short is that I’m already at risk for another PE. Pregnancy makes that risk higher, but Monica said she didn’t know exactly how high. And she said there was…other issues. My recovery was long and I had heart issues…” Elizabeth shook her head. “She didn’t say it, but I think she was a lot more concerned than she let on.”
“Yeah.” Jason took a deep breath. “What…does she think—” he swallowed hard. “I mean, what do you think—” He shook his head. “I don’t know what to say.”
“That makes two of us. Monica said we should make an appointment with an OB/GYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.” Elizabeth watched as he pushed himself off the coffee table and started to pace. “She said, um, she—”
“High-risk pregnancy,” Jason repeated. He dragged his hands through his hair before letting his hands, still laced together, rest at the back of his neck. “Elizabeth—”
“She didn’t say it was too soon after what happened,” Elizabeth offered as she got to her feet. “But she also said if we’d wanted to plan it, she’d have recommended a year. Not…two months.” Her eyes burned. “You’re mad.”
“Mad—” Jason’s hands fell at his side as he crossed back to her and drew her into his arms. “I’m sorry. I’m not—I’m not doing this right. I’m not mad. Why would I be mad? We didn’t plan this. We were careful.” He edged away from her slightly, to frame her face with his hands. “Listen. I’m not mad,” he repeated. “I’m…worried.”
“Me, too.” Elizabeth closed her eyes. “We talked about this. We both agreed we wanted children.”
“Yeah, but—” Jason closed his mouth. “Whatever you decide, Elizabeth. I’ll support you.”
“But what do you want?” she asked, covering his hands with her own. “Jason—”
“I want you,” he told her. “And I want you to be happy. At the end of the day…” he swallowed hard. “That’s all that matters.”
“But…” She bit her lip. “I’ll guess we’ll wait for Monica to recommend an OB and see what they say, right?”
She wanted desperately to ask him if he was even a little bit happy about having a baby with her, but she was afraid of what he’d say. Whatever she decided, Jason had told her. She hadn’t even realized a decision was on the table. Did Jason want her to get an abortion?
Did she want an abortion?
But she couldn’t ask him that. He would never tell her what he thought—after all—he’d support whatever decision she made.
But supporting a decision and living with it were two different things.
Elizabeth took a deep breath and tried to smile. “I’m not in the mood to make dinner. How about we order some Chinese?”