Elizabeth was debating on whether to call it a night or continue painting when someone knocked on her door. Grateful to have a distraction, she pulled it open.
“Jason.” Elizabeth shifted from one foot to the other. “What brings you by?”
Jason held up a file. “Benny got the report on your mother.”
Elizabeth’s eyes lit up and she snatched the folder out of his hands. “That was so fast!”
“Benny’s good–” Jason hesitated and stuck his hands in his pockets. “Can I come in?”
Elizabeth nodded and moved away from the door to let him in. He closed the door behind him as she opened the file.
“There’s a picture,” Jason began but she pulled it out before he’d finished. She set the folder down and stared at the picture, her mouth open a little. “You look like her.”
Elizabeth looked up, her eyes shining. “You really think so?” she asked softly. He traced her mother’s face. “I thought you couldn’t see pictures that well.”
Jason shrugged a shoulder. “I know what you look like and you look like the woman in the picture. The brown hair, the eyes, the skin. If you ever had any doubt Jerry wasn’t telling the truth, this pretty much wipes it out.”
“I always wanted to look like someone,” Elizabeth said, studying her mother.
“You do,” Jason said. She looked up and frowned. “You look like you.”
She smiled briefly and looked back down. “It’s different for you–you didn’t grow up as the odd person out–the only person with dark hair, light skin and blue eyes.” She smiled wistfully. “I finally belong somewhere.” She flushed a little. “I’m sorry–I didn’t mean to go on like that.”
Jason shrugged. “It’s all right.” He scratched at the side of his forehead. “I’m sure if this is in there or not, but Sonny told me he found that Roy met with Smith a few days after Jerry left.”
Elizabeth frowned and set the picture down. She flipped the file open. “It’s pretty bare.”
“Yeah,” Jason agreed. “She was only twenty-one when she died.”
“Same age as me,” Elizabeth murmured. The folder contained only the basic information–but it was more than Jerry had, she suspected. But the picture–that was the important thing. She picked the picture back up. “I can’t stop looking at it.” Her eyes darted around the room before settling on a picture frame that she hadn’t taken down yet–of she and Lucky. She frowned a second, wondering why it was still up there, but she took it off, took out the picture and put the picture of Elizabeth Robinson in there. She snapped the back on and put the picture on top of a book about Egypt that was still in her studio.
Jason smiled slightly when he saw the book–it’d been the one he’d gotten three years ago. She’d taken it from him when he’d tried to use it as a piece of exercise equipment.
Elizabeth stepped back and smiled. “There. A picture of my mother where I can look at her for inspiration.” She looked back to Jason. “She was beautiful wasn’t she?”
“Yeah,” Jason agreed. “She was.”
“I know…I know I wasn’t born when she actually died,” Elizabeth said, “but do you think she loved me anyway?”
Jason shifted, not sure how to answer. Somehow the answer that it was impossible not to love her didn’t seem right at this point. “I think she probably did.”
Elizabeth seemed satisfied with the answer. “I’d better call Jerry.” She headed for the phone and quickly dialed Jax’s number. Jason waited–not sure if she wanted him to leave or not.
“Jerry? It’s me…Jason just dropped off the file on my mother–yeah, he said that Roy had a meeting with Frank Smith just after you left town. Uh, huh. Sure, I’ll bring it over.” Elizabeth eyed Jason and grinned. “I’m bringing Jason.” She frowned. “No. Jerry–don’t make me have to tell you again. I thought we discussed this–you know, you’ve been my father for three days, Jason’s been in my life for three years, yeah, well, don’t argue with me, it doesn’t work. Is Jax still drinking? He’s mumbling about spawns and Lucifer? Yeah, he’s still pretty smashed–tell him I’m bringing Spawn with me, but I promise to leave Lucifer at home. Uh huh. And that Denial Land is a great place to visit, but he should remember not to move there. Try to put him to bed–because I don’t think a drunk Jax gets along with Jason anymore than a sober Jax. Jerry…Jerry–don’t argue with me. I said–Jerry, you’re being an idiot, do you know that?” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Yes. Yes, I know. Yes, I know. Jason’s a bad man, uh huh. Just so we’re clear–who got arrested on their wedding day? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ll be over in about twenty minutes.” Elizabeth hung up the phone and smiled at Jason. “You know, I think he’s growing on me.”
Jason raised his eyebrows. “Spawn?”
Elizabeth flushed. “It’s Jax’s name for you. He’s a little…he’s in a weird place.” She picked up the folder and headed for the door.
Jason closed it behind him them as they headed down the hall. “So I guess Sonny’s Lucifer?”
Elizabeth held the stairwell door open. “Yep.”
Jason shrugged. “I’ve heard worse.”
Jerry was an unhappy man. He’d thought the girl was smarter than this–he’d thought she understood that Morgan was no good. But she was bringing the thug to Jax’s house and he was supposed to be civil to him. Good grief.
He shot his inebriated brother a dirty look. Jax would be no help. He was currently half lying, half sitting on the couch, still clutching an empty shot glass. “You’d better put that away and try and act sober when Skye gets home from the club.”
Jax opened his eyes. “Why are you upside down?”
Jerry rolled his eyes and shook his head. “She’s bringing him.”
“Who?” Jax asked, blinking his eyes and attempting to sit.
“I believe you call him Spawn.”
Jax’s eyes brightened. “So she forgave the boy. Good, she’s no fun when she’s depressed.”
“You’d rather her be fun and with that…that thug?”
Jax swung his legs to the ground in an effort to sit straight but only pitched himself to the other side. Swearing slightly, he said, “I’d rather her be happy. If you didn’t have such a bias against the kid.”
“Kid? Will you stop calling him that? He’s Sonny’s enforcer–he’s a thug. Can we please keep this in perspective?”
“We’re here!” Elizabeth called opening the front door. She entered, Jason trailing behind her. She immediately made a beeline for the blonde on the couch. “Hey, you feeling any better?”
Jax frowned. “You’re upside down, too.”
Elizabeth giggled and helped to push him into a sitting position. “Is that better?”
“Much.” Jax grinned. “Hey Spawn.”
“Hello,” Jason said.
“Ah!” Jerry said, taking a few steps towards Jason. “It speaks.”
Elizabeth rose from her seat. “Jerry–”
“You hurt my daughter, we’re going to have a problem.”
“You hurt your daughter and you’re going to have a problem,” Jason replied calmly.
“Jason, don’t you start-”
“How old are you?” Jerry cut in swiftly. This was his moment–he was going to make this thug understood exactly who he was dealing with.
“You realize you’re seven years older than my daughter.”
“How long have you known her?”
“About four years.”
“Have you slept with her?”
“But you’ve lived with her?”
“Jerry, so help me God–”
“Yes. But she moved out.”
“Do you love her?”
“For Christ’s sake, Jerry–”
“Uh huh. And how long have you been in love with her?”
“Jerry, you’re going to be speaking from your ass if you don’t–”
“About three years.”
“Wait what?” Elizabeth asked, stopping her threats long enough to hear Jason’s response.
Jason shifted. “He asked, I told him.”
“Three years?” Elizabeth asked momentarily forgetting Jerry. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Could we have this discussion some other time?” Jason asked.
Elizabeth looked at her father, who was still glaring at Jason and then at her uncle who seemed to be enjoying the entire scene. “Sure,” she said. “Besides, we should…finish what we came to do.” She turned to Jerry. “I’ve already read through most of it. You read it and I’ll make some coffee for Jax. He needs to be slightly sober when Skye comes home.” She eyed the two of them warily before adding a warning. “Jerry, you’ve been my father for three days and so far, you’re doing a good job. Don’t screw that up. And Jason? You’ve been on my good side for like a day, so don’t…don’t hurt him.”
“I can’t make any promises, princess,” Jerry said, grinning at her. She arched her eyebrow. “All right. The thug will be alive when you get back.”
“That’s not what I was worried about,” Elizabeth said. She looked to Jax. “Jax…just…just stay there.”
“Will do,” Jax said cheerfully.
True to their word, all three men were more or less still standing when Elizabeth emerged from the kitchen with a cup of black coffee. Jax had fallen asleep and was snoring lightly but he woke the second Elizabeth shoved the cup under his nose. He drank it noisily as if knowing Skye would be home in a half hour and didn’t need to see him drunk off his ass.
Jerry was reading the file Elizabeth had given him while Jason was standing in the place she’d left him, hands in his pockets.
“Anything you didn’t know?” Elizabeth asked.
Jerry paused a moment to look up at her. “I’d say so. First of all, her death being a mob hit. Thought it had something to do with me–so I didn’t think of another angle. Second, her whole childhood. Smith loved her–more than Jennifer. Gives me a whole new theory of why Roy sold you.”
“Possible Smith sent me a goose chase, knowing I’d leave you with my close friend. The second he could, he called a marker in on Roy. Death or handing you over. Probably wanted you because how much he loved Beth.”
“Smith wasn’t really a family man,” Jason said. “Sonny said–”
“Sonny said,” Jerry said, mockingly. “Do you ever have an independent thought?”
“Sorry, princess.” Jerry cleared his throat. “Smith was a family man–at least then he was. He blackmailed Luke into almost marrying Jennifer because that’s what she wanted, Damien went to the best schools and would have taken over the business if Corinthos hadn’t stepped in. And if Beth was the one he loved best, it’s possible that if he thought he could still have her around by raising her child, he’d do whatever it took to get her.”
“But then why turn around and give me or sell me to the Webbers?” Elizabeth asked.
Jerry shrugged. “It’s possible Roy can fill us in on that. When did Corinthos say he’d be checking in?” he asked Jason.
“Sometime this week,” Jason replied. “He checks in once a week and he’s still due.”
“All right then,” Jerry said. “Well, we have a new theory–I guess it’s just matter of waiting until he calls.” Jerry closed the folder and turned to Elizabeth. “Your grandparents called–they’re coming in day after tomorrow.”
Elizabeth smiled. “I can’t wait to meet them.”
Jax, who seemed to have returned to the world slightly. “They’ll love you, don’t worry.” He moaned. “My head.”
“That’s what happens when you drink too much,” Elizabeth said, sympathetically. “You and Skye should talk tomorrow.”
“Yeah, if she doesn’t lock herself in the bedroom again,” Jax groaned.
“I think I liked him better drunk,” Jerry said thoughtfully.