Elizabeth bit her lip and slid her hands into her back pockets. Jason was still silent–going on his third minute. She shifted her weight from one foot to another and looked down. She probably could have come up with a better way to break the news.
“Jerry Jacks is your father,” Jason repeated slowly.
“How long have you known this?”
Elizabeth thought for a moment. “About forty-eight hours, give or take a few minutes. He came to my studio the day before yesterday and told me. I went to dinner tonight with him and his brother and his wife.”
“Which makes Jax…your uncle.”
“Yes,” Elizabeth said, slightly defensive. She was already slightly protective of the confused blond who’d put her own love life into perspective. “So?”
Jason studied her for a few moments. “What else aren’t you telling me?”
“Well…” Elizabeth stopped and tried to think of the best way to explain it. “Jerry wasn’t married to my mother. When she was nine months along, she died in a car accident. They managed to save me and Jerry took me home. He found out the brake lines had been cut deliberately. He left me with a friend and set out to find her killer. He came home two years later to find out I’d been sold to the Webbers. Or something like that.”
“You believe this?” Jason asked, the skepticism clear in his voice.
“Not everyone lies to me,” Elizabeth said, crossing her arms and raising her eyebrows. “Besides, he has no reason to lie to me and tell me things like my mother’s name or that I look like her. I don’t think he’s lying, but hey, I’ve never been real good at telling the difference.” She turned and headed for the door.
“Wait,” Jason called. “I didn’t mean for it to come out that way.”
Elizabeth stopped but didn’t turn around. “Well, how did you mean it?”
“I just…I’ve had experience with Jerry Jacks,” Jason said. “And he’s not the most…reliable person. I’d hate to see you get hurt.”
Elizabeth turned around and forced down the angry comeback about her being hurt. “Like I said, I don’t think he’s lying. He’d have no reason to tell me anything about my mother, or introduce me to his brother or have his parents fly down to meet me. There’s no reason for him to make up elaborate story like that–there’s not a person in the world who’d want to be part of my family enough to do that.”
“So, what are you going to do?” Jason asked, crossing his arms.
“Well, Jerry’s pretty adamant about finding out how I exactly ended up with the Webbers, etc. I’m going to help him.” She shrugged. “I figure this way, I get to know him. I find out who sold me and I get a family out of the process.” She bit her lip.
“The Jacks family?” Jason said.
“As opposed to the family I have now?” Elizabeth asked. “Let’s see, the Webbers whom I haven’t seen since moving to Port Charles. Steven, who hasn’t acknowledged me since going to college and Sarah who slept with Lucky. And then we come to the people I know in Port Charles. My grandmother, who disapproved of me living here so much that she stopped speaking to me. Zander–who took off to Florida. Emily’s in rehab. Gia’s out of town, Lucky’s in London, I don’t exist on Sonny and Carly’s radar…and then there’s you. So, excuse me if I’m a little happy about the prospect of a family who might actually care about me.”
“Yeah, I know. You didn’t mean it that way,” Elizabeth finished. “Look, I have to go. I’ve got something to do tomorrow–I should probably get some sleep.”
“Elizabeth,” Jason caught her arm as she turned back towards the door. “Will you let me help if I can?”
She hesitated but finally nodded. “All right.”
Elizabeth could tell that Skye was fuming by the way she shuffled through the racks at Wyndams. She shoved perfectly good dresses out of the way, muttering about idiots under breath the whole time.
“Skye?” Elizabeth hesitantly. Skye looked at her. “Are…are you okay?”
“Okay?” Skye repeated. “I’m not okay. I’ve been married for less than four months and it’s already headed to divorce court.” She glared at a red dress as if it were Jax. “Should have known better.”
Elizabeth bit her lip. “We don’t have to do this.”
Skye ignored her comment. “And I’ve been so good, too. I’ve been honest, I’ve been understanding, damn it, I’ve even been compassionate. I’ve treated the Brenda twit with respect when all I’ve wanted to do is rip her into shreds. I entertained his brother and I’m being nice to his niece–”
“You don’t have to be nice to me to earn points with Jax,” Elizabeth cut in. “I’d rather you’d do it because you want to.”
Skye stopped and sighed. “I’m sorry. It’s just…I’ve been trying so hard and it’s like he’s not trying at all.”
“Been there,” Elizabeth replied absently. She fingered a suede skirt. “The guy agrees to try, but you end up making all the sacrifices.”
Skye looked at her oddly. “How did…you’re an intelligent girl. How old are you again?”
“I’m twenty-one,” Elizabeth replied. “And I just got out of relationship like that.”
“With Jason, right?” Skye said. “I heard Jerry and Jax talking in the living room last night.”
“They were talking about that?” Elizabeth asked, surprised. “What did they say?”
Skye looked at a price tag on a red sweater. “Jax said you’d forgive him eventually and Jerry said you shouldn’t pin your hopes on that thug. Jerry’s words, not mine.”
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose. “I think I forgave him–not positive. Have you ever met someone who talks in circles? Who says things that can be taken about a hundred ways, but usually the most obvious way sounds like an insult?”
Skye smirked. “No. But it sounds interesting. So, you and Jason aren’t back together?”
“No,” Elizabeth replied. She pulled a black top off the rack and examined it. “I learned my lesson the hard way. Besides, I have other things to worry about–my life doesn’t revolve around him.”
“Your father will be glad to hear that,” Skye murmured. “How did you do it?”
“Let go of the idea,” Skye replied. She wandered over to a few chairs and sat down. Elizabeth followed. “I just know I’m going to lose Jax. Brenda’s dying–I can’t exactly compete with that. I need to get used to the idea–how did you let go?”
Elizabeth rubbed her eyes. “I didn’t,” she said quietly. “Do you know how easy it would be for me to tell him I love him? I want him as a friend if I can keep him, but…a relationship…no. I need things that he can’t give me.”
Skye rested her chin on her hand. “What things?”
“He shuts me out,” Elizabeth said, looking at her feet. “He didn’t come home for weeks and he didn’t talk to me. He said he’d try but like I said I’m the one who ended up trying to be understanding and not ask questions.”
Skye shrugged. “I can’t tell you anything–I think I have worst luck in love than you do.”
“You know, I’m not sure that’s possible.”
Jerry entered the lakehouse. “You still on the couch?”
Jax glared at him. “Where have you been all day?”
“Chasing a lead,” Jerry said heading for the bar. He poured himself bourbon. “It didn’t pan out.”
“You’re not going to let Elizabeth help are you?”
“Not if her help involves Morgan or Corinthos,” Jerry replied.
“Will you at least tell me what you’re up to?”
Jerry shrugged. “Where’s Skye?”
“Shopping with Elizabeth. What’s going on?” Jax asked. He leaned back on the couch.
“You don’t think Skye will give her any advice that involves forgiving that boyfriend of hers?” Jerry asked.
“I don’t know–but I don’t think Elizabeth will do anything she doesn’t want to. What’s going on?”
“You’re like dog. You latch onto one thing and you never let go.”
“His name was Roy DiLucca,” Jerry said finally. “I met him while he was working undercover, but he had a horrid gambling–”
“Roy?” Jax said, lunging to his feet. “He’s still alive.”
“Yeah, I figured as much,” Jerry said. “I managed to find that out when Felicia Jones said something at Kelly’s today. But he’s left town and my lead today was where he was. It didn’t work.”
“Roy DiLucca sold Elizabeth,” Jax said, trying to work the information out in his brain. “Roy.”
Jerry nodded. “He was dating Bobbie Spencer back then–but I didn’t meet her at the time.”
“Have you seen her since you’ve been back?” Jax asked. “Wait, how did Roy keep a child and Bobbie not know?”
Jerry shrugged. “How the hell should I know? I didn’t ask him–hell, I can’t find him.”
Jax ran a hand through his hair. “Maybe Spencer would know something.”
“Probably–and no, I haven’t seen her,” Jerry said. “I’m not going to seek her out–we didn’t part on the best of terms.”
“Yeah, you getting arrested the day of your wedding didn’t go over very well.”
“Well, Bobbie knew I was a little…” Jerry paused, searching for the right words.
“Stupid?” Jax offered.
Jerry glared at him. “You know, you’re not very supportive, little brother.”
“It’s hard to be supportive when you shoot down perfectly good suggestions because of a personal bias,” Jax pointed out.
“You don’t want Elizabeth near those thugs either, so don’t go playing the white knight with me,” Jerry replied, irritated.
“And keeping information like this from her isn’t going to help,” Jax reminded her. “I don’t think you want to take that chance this early in the relationship.”
Jerry shrugged. “I’ll tell her the next time I see her.”
“And you’ll let her ask Corinthos and Morgan if she wants to?” Jax asked.
“Why are you so hot to trot about their helping?” Jerry asked. He finished off his drink. “You’re not Sonny’s biggest fan.”
Jax shrugged. “Well, some people would say the same about you.”
“Some people would be wrong.”
“You know that you’re infuriating?”
“I thought we established that infuriating you was the reason I exist?”