Elizabeth entered Jason’s penthouse the next morning a little apprehensively. “Thanks for letting us have the meeting here,” she said.
Jason closed the door. “It’s no problem.”
“I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it a public place, that’s all,” Elizabeth replied. She pulled her coat and gloves and set them on the desk. “I have something to ask you.”
“What?” Jason asked.
“Well, two things,” Elizabeth amended. “Could you stay here, while I’m with Roy? I don’t know if Sonny already asked you, but even if he did, I wanted to do it myself.”
“Sure,” Jason agreed.
“And…um…” she hesitated and shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “We’re kinda having a family dinner tonight…at the lakehouse…you know since my grandparents are in town and Jax and Skye are speaking again…and my grandparents wanted to meet you…”
“They do?” Jason asked, warily.
She smiled. “Yeah. My grandmother practically begged me to last night when she called. So, would you come…tonight…if you’re not doing something else?”
“You want me to meet your family?” Jason asked.
She frowned. “That sounds so stupid, doesn’t it? Never mind. I mean, I understand–”
“Elizabeth–” Jason cut in, a small smile on his face. “I’ll come.”
“Thanks,” Elizabeth said.
“I’m glad…” Jason stopped. “I’m glad you have a family.”
“Even if that family includes Jerry?” Elizabeth asked. “Because he’s going to be part of my life.”
“Even if that family includes Jerry,” Jason said, grudgingly.
“Good,” Elizabeth replied. They were spared from further conversation when someone knocked on the door. “That must be him.”
Jason opened the door. “Roy.”
Roy entered the room. “Hello, Elizabeth.”
“Hi,” Elizabeth greeted, coming face to face with the man who’d sold her and defused a bomb in her studio. Strange coincidence.
Roy turned as Jason closed the door. “You’re going to stay?” he asked. “What for?”
“He’s going to keep you honest,” Elizabeth replied. She raised an eyebrow. “So you’d better tell me the truth.”
Roy looked at Jason another moment and then turned back to Elizabeth. “Man, you look like Beth. It’s eerie.”
Elizabeth couldn’t help the smile that spread on her face. She loved hearing about how much she looked like her mother–she didn’t think she’d ever get tired of it. “Thanks.”
“So, what exactly do you want to know?” Roy asked.
“What happened after Jerry left me with you?” Elizabeth asked.
Roy shifted. “Frank loved Beth–more than anything. He was heartbroken when she died. So, knowing if Jerry would take off to find her killer, he set up some leads that would put him on the wrong track and keep him out of town long enough for Frank to get you.”
“So, Jerry was right,” Elizabeth said. She frowned. “Now, why did you give me to him? And why didn’t Frank keep me?”
“Well, I had a little bit of a gambling problem,” Roy replied. “Not to mention my connections with the mob were getting dangerous. It was around this time that me and Luke were given the Senator job. When Frank offered to take you off my hands and get rid of my debt, I thought it sounded good. I knew he’d take good care of you.”
“How were you able to keep me from Luke and Bobbie?” Elizabeth asked.
Roy shrugged. “It wasn’t as difficult as it looked. Bobbie and Luke didn’t come over my place a lot–I hired baby-sitters. I only had you for about a week before the deal went through. I’m sorry, Elizabeth.”
“Apologies don’t mean very much to me,” Elizabeth said, folding her arms across her chest. “So why didn’t Frank keep me after going to all that trouble to get me?”
“I don’t know for sure–but I think the men who had your mother killed made another threat–on your life. I think Frank was worried that he couldn’t keep you safe. You lived with him for about two years. I was gone by this time, so I don’t know any more than that.”
“Is there anyone who could?” Elizabeth asked.
Roy shifted. “Honestly? His other daughter, Jennifer might know something. She lives in Atlantic City. You could go see her.”
Elizabeth flicked her eyes to Jason who’d kept silent, studying Roy. “Is he telling the truth?”
Jason nodded. “Yeah. He is.”
Roy glared at him. “Why the hell would I lie? It’s ancient history now. If Jerry Jacks hadn’t shown up telling her the truth, she never would have known.”
“That’s refreshing to hear,” Elizabeth replied, wryly. “Is there anything else I should know?”
Roy shook his head. “Nothing that I can think of.”
“You can go.”
Jason opened the door then. Roy looked at Elizabeth for another minute before disappearing out the door. Jason closed the door and turned to her. “You okay?”
“Yeah. Except we don’t know anything more,” Elizabeth said, irritated.
“Well, there is Jennifer Smith,” Jason said. “You could go see her.”
“I’ll let Jerry decide,” Elizabeth replied. “Thanks for staying.” She pulled her gloves on and then her jacket. “You still coming tonight?”
“Yeah. What time?” Jason asked.
“Eight,” Elizabeth replied.
Later that night, the Jacks family was milling about the living room of the lake house. Jane and John were speaking with Jax and Skye while Jerry and Elizabeth were discussing the day’s events near the door.
“Pity he didn’t know more,” Jerry replied. “This Smith girl, do you want to see her?”
“You know what?” Elizabeth said. “I think that it doesn’t matter why I ended up with the Webbers. I mean, if you want to talk to her, that’s fine. But it doesn’t matter to me.”
Jerry nodded and sipped his drink. “All right then. What do you say we leave it until after the holidays?”
Elizabeth smiled. “That’s right. Christmas is next week.”
“Yes and I have some apartment hunting to do,” Jerry reminded her. “So, where’s the thug?”
“Jerry,” Elizabeth warned.
“What?” Jerry asked innocently. Before he could say any more, Jane approached.
“Darling, where’s your young man?” she asked. “I can’t wait to see him.”
Elizabeth flicked her eyes to the door. “He’s late.”
“See, darling, he’s a thug,” Jerry said, putting an arm around her shoulders.
“Jerry, that’s not any help,” Jane scolded.
“It’s okay, I’m getting used to it,” Elizabeth said, glaring at Jerry.
“Jerry,” Jane said, kindly. “Get lost.”
“Mum!” Jerry said, shocked.
“Go talk to your brother.” Jerry rolled his eyes and moved away. Jane just smiled. “Don’t mind your father, dear. He’s still new to this. The last time he saw you…you were a little baby and I think he still thinks of you that way.”
“I don’t really mind,” Elizabeth said. “I know that he only does it because he cares. It’s nice.”
Jane smiled. “He’s a little strange, but he’s a good boy.” She looked at her granddaughter. “Now, have you made any decisions about Jason?”
Elizabeth shifted. “Yeah.”
She smiled. “And?”
“And,” Elizabeth said slowly, “I think I’m going to give it a shot.” She glared at the door. “If he ever gets here.”
As if on cue, a loud knock came at the door. She grinned and walked the few steps to pull open the glass door. “You made it.”
“Yeah,” Jason said, stepping inside. “I’m sorry I’m late.”
“It’s fine,” Elizabeth insisted.
“Hey, Spawn!” Jax greeted from across the room. Skye smacked him in the shoulder, but Jerry started cracking up.
“Hey, Jax,” Jason greeted. He looked down at Elizabeth. “He’s going to call me what when he’s sober, too?”
“I suppose so. Does it really bother you?” Elizabeth asked. “Cause I can smack him around a little, he’ll listen.”
“No, no it’s fine,” Jason replied.
“This must be Jason!” Jane said, approaching them when she couldn’t wait any longer.
“Yeah,” Elizabeth replied. “Jason, this is my grandmother, Lady Jane Jacks, and… Grandma,” Elizabeth said, still hesitating over the name, “this is Jason Morgan.”
“You’re just as cute as I remember!” Jane said, clearly delighted. Elizabeth flushed and Jason shifted his feet a little. “You take good care of our Elizabeth, or you won’t be just answering to her father, you hear?”
“Grandma-” Elizabeth began.
“If she’ll let me,” Jason said. Elizabeth stopped and looked at him. What was it about her family that had him admitting things that he wouldn’t tell her?
“Oh, I think she will,” Jane said, smiling. Elizabeth flushed more deeply
“Grandma!” Elizabeth exclaimed, mortified.
Jane patted Jason’s arm. “I’ll leave the two of you alone, but John might be making his way over soon. And watch out for Jerry–” she broke off and frowned over Jason’s shoulder. “Jerry, you idiot, stop cleaning that shotgun this instant!”
Elizabeth watched her grandmother cross the room to Jerry who’d pulled one of Jax’s shotguns out of the case. She rolled her eyes. “I never should have opened my mouth about shotguns,” she muttered. She looked at back at Jason. “That was slightly embarrassing.”
Jason shrugged. “Not really.”
She smirked. “Nothing embarrasses you. It’s nice a trait.”
Dinner conversation was slightly stilted, but once Jax encouraged them all to call Jason Spawn–and Skye took away Jax’s Scotch, things were a little easier. Jane and John kept the conversation flowing by talking about their travels which Jason was able to contribute a little conversation too. Elizabeth was amazed to see that he was actually trying to get along with Jerry–who wasn’t making it easy. She’d had to kick her father more than once under the table.
Finally, dinner ended and Jane made an obvious comment about how dark it was and wasn’t it too bad Elizabeth had to walk home by herself? Jason offered to walk her home–and while Jerry’s offer of a ride was tempting–she accepted.
Which is why they were walking side by side through the park. She briefly wondered why he didn’t have his bike, but decided not to think about it. Though it would have been nice to have a ride–it’d been nearly two years since their last one.
They were halfway to the gates and a few feet from the spot where she’d turned him down those months ago when it began to snow.
Elizabeth stopped and looked up, smiling. “The first snow of the season.”
He stopped and gave a little half smile. “Yeah.”
She looked back at him. “You know, I used to hate snow. Because…the day I was raped, it was in the snow.” Her eyes grew a little distant. “It was so cold–you know, because my dress was ripped. I couldn’t stand being in the snow for the longest time.” Her eyes warmed a little and she continued talking. “But then Lucky and I spent the next year at that church in the snowstorm and it seemed to give the winter back to me.” She smiled. “I love winter now–I’m weird like that. What’s your favorite season?”
He shrugged. “I don’t really have one.”
“Oh, yes, you do. Come on!” She said, smiling and shoving him playfully.
“If I had to choose…” Jason stopped. “Probably spring.”
She smiled. “See, was that so hard?” She ran her fingers through her to dislodge the snowflakes in her hair. “It’s been a little over three years since that day by the boxcar, you know?”
“Yeah.” He put his hands on his hips and looked down. “I was thinking about that the other day.”
Her eyes narrowed a little. “I’ll never understand why you went there instead of a hospital. You could have died.”
Hesitating only a moment before saying it, he replied, “I think that was the point.”
Elizabeth’s eyebrows shot up and she smacked him in the arm. “Are you crazy? You went there on purpose to die? You big stupid idiot!”
“I wasn’t thinking clearly,” Jason said, defensively.
“Obviously,” Elizabeth said, putting her hands on her hips. She glared at him. “If you had you would have remembered Emily, and Michael and Monica and that you had other friends other than Sonny and Carly, like…oh, I don’t know, me?” She punched him again. “You idiot.”
“Sorry,” Jason apologized.
“No you’re not,” she replied, irritated. She sighed and looked away. “I know how you felt though…that whatever happened was too much and it would be easier if you couldn’t feel it.” She eyed him. “They slept together that night didn’t they?”
“Yeah,” Jason answered.
“I thought so,” Elizabeth murmured. She glared at him again. “Don’t do it again, you hear? The next time you get that urge to take a trip to the boxcar while bleeding, make a pit stop and see me, understood?”
“Understood,” Jason agreed. “So, about what your grandmother said?”
Suddenly uncomfortable, she began walking again and he fell into step beside. “My grandmother’s a little nutty,” Elizabeth said.
“Oh, she is?” Jason replied. Elizabeth stopped and took a deep breath. She turned to him.
“Okay…she’s not. I had a long talk with her and Skye yesterday, not to mention with Nikolas the day before and I’ve come to realize that I could continue pushing you away so I don’t get hurt again but in the end, I’d probably regret it.” She bit her lip. “So, if you want to try again…I wouldn’t object.”
“You wouldn’t object?” Jason repeated.
She glared at him. “You just can’t be content on making this easy for me can you?” she asked, irritated. “Fine. I love you and I want to be with you. Is that still true for you?”