Chapter Ninteen

This entry is part 20 of 34 in the I Shall Believe

November 27, 2003

Wyndemere: Elizabeth’s Bedroom

Nikolas knocked on the open door and peered in as Elizabeth sat silently on the bed, brushing her hair out. “I have to tell you something.”

“What?” Elizabeth asked. She set the brush on her nightstand and stood, slipping her feet into the one inch pair of heels.

“When Bobbie and I were setting up dinner last night–she told me she wanted to eat dinner with Carly. You know–she told her mother she’s filing for divorce and Bobbie just wants to be with her.”

“Oh. Well, then I guess dinner won’t be as edible since you’ve been cooking for yourself,” Elizabeth said with a smile. “Maybe we should take a tip from the Quartermaines and do pizza.”

“Well…I suggested we all eat here–in the big dining room,” Nikolas said. “Bobbie’s already here actually–Emily’s downstairs helping her with the turkey and I think Alexis volunteered to help too.”

Elizabeth hesitated. “That means Carly’s eating here.”

“Yeah…she’s bringing the boys–and Sage Alcazar,” Nikolas reported. He managed a weak smile. “She’s leaving Lorenzo at home. Thanksgiving isn’t really his thing or something.”

“Right,” Elizabeth said slowly. “And I get the feeling that’s not the end of the story–although having me, Carly and Alexis all in the same room should be interesting enough.”

“Well, apparently Michael had made Jason promise he’d come for dinner since he’s been so busy lately–”

Elizabeth hesitated. “Why would you think that would bother me?”

“Well…I just thought…” Nikolas shrugged. “Have you seen Carly since she found out the baby? Or do you know if Jason’s told Michael? And let’s not forget who else is on the guest list. Emily, Luke, Lucky, Lulu–” he shook his head. “It just seems like there’s a lot of people that aren’t in on the happy news.”

“Well, eventually everyone will know. And like I said–not a big deal.” She walked past him and headed down stairs.


“Hey, Liz,” Emily greeted with a smile as she struggled with the electric mixer and a bowl of potatoes.

“Hey.” She reached for an apron and tied it over her dress. “Bobbie–what do you need me to do?”

Bobbie checked the timer on the oven. “Fruit salad–can you cut up that pile over there?” she asked, pointing to a section of the counter piled with assorted fruit. Elizabeth washed her hands and got started.

“So, Elizabeth, Nikolas told me the, ah, happy news,” Alexis began conversationally as she regarded the can opener warily.

“Well it’s news–but I don’t know about happy.” She peeled a banana and tossed the peel.

“Well, Elizabeth, I hope you’re prepared for the backlash,” Bobbie sighed. “I really wish you girls would learn to think before you act.”

“I did think,” Elizabeth said defensively. Her cheeks flushed. “I just didn’t care what happened.”

“Besides, Bobbie,” Emily said, finally getting the mixer to switch on. She raised her voice over the loud noise. “My brother’s a good man.”

“A good married man,” Bobbie sighed.

“If you could call it a marriage,” Alexis muttered. She jumped as the can opener whirled to life and started to cut open the can of yams.

Elizabeth popped a piece of banana in her mouth. “What do you mean by that?” she asked.

“Well, they got married in early October and a week later, she was in that little town with the boys. I don’t think they’ve even had a chance to live together since then. And anyway–Liz is due.”

“Due what?” Elizabeth asked.

“Well, he was yours first,” Alexis reminded her.

“He doesn’t belong to anyone,” Emily cut in crossly. She shrieked a huge glob of mashed potatoes flew up from the bowl and landed in her hair.

Elizabeth laughed and abandoned the fruit salad to help her clean it off. After just a few moments, the smell of the potatoes turned her stomach and she felt ill. “I’ll be right back,” she managed to blurt out before running out the kitchen.

“Morning sickness is a bitch,” Alexis said decisively. She wrenched the yams from the can opener.

Nikolas was just leading Carly, Jason and the boys in when Elizabeth pushed past them and ran into the bathroom, slamming the door behind them.

Alarmed, Jason went to go after her but Carly stopped him. “No, she’s probably just getting sick. It’s normal.”

“I still want to make sure,” Jason said.

Michael nodded. “That’s why you make a good daddy,” he said firmly. Jason frowned, unaware that Michael knew about the pregnancy and Sage clasped her hands behind her back, letting an innocent whistle out of her mouth.

“Sage?” Carly prompted.

“Okay, so I kind of let it slip,” Sage admitted. Bristling under Jason’s annoyed glare, she glared right back. “Hey, if someone had told me it was supposed to be this huge secret maybe I would have been more careful.”

Emily emerged from the kitchen, still cleaning the potatoes out of her hair. “Did Elizabeth run past you guys?” she asked.

“Yeah. What happened to you?” Nikolas asked, fighting a smile.

“Minor disagreement with a mixer,” Emily replied. She tousled Michael’s hair, kissed her brother on the cheek, smiled politely at Carly, pinched Morgan’s cheek and went towards the bathroom. “Liz, you finished puking yet?” she called through the door.

“No matter how old she gets, she’s still as weird as the day I met her,” Lucky said with a grin. “Hey, guys. There’s snacks in the living room. I got the game on in there but you can change it to the parade. I gotta go call in real quick.” He was taking his cell phone out as he headed into the study.

“The living room is through there,” Nikolas said with a sigh. “Just a warning–Luke’s there too and he’s in a mood.”

“Ooh…Uncle Luke,” Michael said cheerfully. He looked up at Sage. “C’mon, you gotta meet him, he’s the coolest.” He took her hand and yanked in that direction.

“Okay, okay, deep breaths!”

“Is there some place quiet I could put Morgan?” Carly asked Nikolas. “He’s due for a nap.”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll show you the nursery. Kristina’s taking her nap, too.” He took Carly’s elbow and led her to the stairs.

Left to his own devices, Jason joined Emily at the bathroom door. “Is she okay?”

She crooked her finger at him and drew him away from the door and out of Elizabeth’s earshot. “She’s been a little sad but Nikolas talked to her the night before last and I don’t know–she was better the next morning. Even made fun of Lucky.” Emily’s eyes softened. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine,” Jason said. He slid his hands into his jeans pockets. “Really. I–everything’s fine.”

“Emily!” Alexis called from the kitchen. “I’m admitting defeat. Come open this corn!”

Emily shook her head and laughed. “I guess the can opener kicked her ass. Coming, Alexis!” She touched her brother’s arm. “Don’t let Liz back into the kitchen. She’ll just get sick again.”

She moved into the kitchen and Jason went back to the bathroom door. A few moments later, a pale Elizabeth pulled open the door and stepped out. She stopped short at the sight of Jason. “Hey.”

“Hey. You…you okay?”

“Mmmm hmm. Just the smell of the potatoes, I think.” Elizabeth cleared her throat and looked away.

Maybe it’s time you asked him.

Forcing Lucky’s words from her mind, she took a deep breath. “I should get back to the kitchen.”

“Emily said not to let you,” Jason called after her as she started back. “Says you’ll just get sick again.”

“Oh…really?” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “She just hates the thought of someone getting sick. She’s such a weakling How she thinks she’s going to make a credible doctor…”

Michael came running out of the living room. “Uncle Jason, Uncle Jason!” he called. Jason picked him up–even though he was way too old for such measures and the redhead giggled. “They’ve got a Charlie Brown float!” he told him, excitedly.

Not having a clue who Charlie Brown was, Jason just nodded. “That’s great, buddy.”

Michael seemed to notice Elizabeth’s presence then. “Oh, hey, Elizabeth.”

“Hey, Michael.”

Michael scrutinized her carefully. “You don’t look pregnant.”

Jason immediately lowered the boy to the floor and took a deep breath. “Michael, I think we need to have a talk.”

“I’m sorry–I thought it would be rude to ask her why she wasn’t fat,” Michael said dejectedly. He looked back at Elizabeth. “Right?”

“Yeah, but I don’t think that’s what Jason wants to talk to you about,” Elizabeth replied with a smile. “I’ll just–”

“It’s okay, though ’cause Sage told me all about it,” Michael said. “I was confused because Mommy told me that only married people make babies and I thought that meant you had to be married to each other but I guess not.”

Elizabeth flushed and really wished she could die on the spot. “I–um.”

“What exactly did Sage tell you?” Jason cut in.

“That you and Elizabeth dated before you liked Aunt Courtney,” Michael began with great relish, eager to show off his memorizing skills. “And that even though you wasn’t together no more, you still loved her ’cause it’s not black and white.”

“What’s–what’s not black and white?” Jason asked, wishing he had Sage Alcazar in front of him to throttle.

“Adult stuff,” Michael said seriously. “See, when I found you was gonna be a daddy, I thought that meant Aunt Courtney was pregnant but Sage said that wasn’t it at all and I figured that because I thought she would have told me if she was pregnant, you know?”

“Yeah.” Jason crouched down. “Michael–”

“So, I asked Sage how come you made a baby with someone that’s not Aunt Courtney and she told me that breaking up isn’t black and white. I don’t know what that really meant–but like…you didn’t wake up and decide you didn’t love Elizabeth, anymore.” He frowned. “Right?”

Jason took a deep breath. “Well–essentially–”

“Okay and then Sage said that you love Aunt Courtney, too and that making a baby with someone else doesn’t make anyone a bad person…” he hesitated. “I think–what did she say?”

“Sage is right,” Elizabeth said unexpectedly. She kneeled down. “None of this makes anyone a bad person. And it’s really important that you always remember that.”

Michael nodded. “But I know Aunt Courtney is sad, but I talked to Brian yesterday and he taught to her ice skate and that she’d fallen and laughed so I think she’s going to be okay.”

Elizabeth frowned slightly but nodded. “Well, that’s good news because we don’t want anyone to be sad.”

“Yeah, ’cause a baby is good news. I remember that my mommy and daddy were really excited about Morgan but you don’t smile like they did,” Michael told his uncle seriously. He looked at Elizabeth. “And you’re not smiling either. So if you don’t want to be sad, why don’t you want to be happy?”

“It’s really complicated, Michael,” Elizabeth said softly. “My grandmother isn’t exactly as happy as you are and it makes me sad.”

“Well, that’s not fair. Because your baby is going to be my cousin since Uncle Jason is my uncle, right?”

“If–if that’s okay with your mother and with Jason and everyone,” Elizabeth replied.

“It’s fine with me,” Jason confirmed. “And I am happy about it,” he told the boy who’d once been his son. “I’ve just been worried about Aunt Courtney, your mom and everything else. But I’m real glad you’re okay with this.”

“Okay, then come watch the parade with me,” Michael said, ending the conversation. “Sage is making googly-eyes at Lucas and that’s no fun.”

“We’ll be right in,” Jason promised. As Michael went back into the living room, they both straightened.

“Well, that was only mildly mortifying,” Elizabeth muttered, folding her arms tightly. “But I guess Sage couldn’t tell a seven-year-old boy the truth.”

“Especially if Sage doesn’t know the truth.”

“Well, what is the truth?” Elizabeth demanded. “What do you want people to say?”

“I don’t care what people say,” Jason said, irritated. “Why do you?”

“Because those people are people who know my grandmother–work with her–and I’m sorry if I don’t want my grandmother to think I’m some kind of whore,” Elizabeth retorted.

“If she knew anything about you, she’d know that’s not true,” Jason protested. “And no one is saying that–”

“You’re not the one who has to listen to it–no one’s going to say it to your face or when you’re in earshot–” Elizabeth broke off suddenly and shook her head. “I don’t want to argue anymore. Not with you, not with anyone. Nothing we say to each other is going to make a difference. It happened, it’s over–now we just have to deal with the consequences.”

Maybe it’s time you ask her why.

Forcing Carly’s words out of his mind and focusing on Elizabeth’s, he narrowed his eyes. “Is that all this baby is to you? A consequence?” he demanded.

The scorn in his voice made her take a step back. Her eyes filled with tears as they searched his own. “I–I just meant…the things around us,” she said softly. “The…people that–of course I don’t –excuse me.” She pushed past him and ran towards the steps, passing a descending Nikolas and Carly.

It took Jason less than five seconds to start after her but Nikolas blocked his path, alongside a distressed Carly. “Oh, no you don’t,” he said darkly.

Living Room

“Sage, I don’t think my uncle is too happy with you,” Michael announced gleefully, flopping in between Sage and Lucas on the couch.

“You didn’t tell him what I told you on Tuesday, did you?” Sage asked apprehensively.

Amused, Lucas sat up. “What did you say on Tuesday?”

“I made some assumptions about his relationship with Elizabeth Webber,” Sage admitted, sheepishly. “Well, I couldn’t just tell him–” she pressed her hands against Michael’s ears. “You know–that guys get horny and any woman will do in that mood.”

“You know…secrets are impolite,” Michael said crossly.

“Well, that’s true,” Lucas agreed. “So, Michael, what did he tell you?”

“Well, not much more than I already knew but did you know that Elizabeth’s grandmother isn’t happy about it? She almost looked ready to cry when she told me that,” Michael said sadly.

“Go watch the parade,” Sage directed, shoving Michael towards the big-screen television and a napping Luke.

“Must be nice to be a kid when every thing is as simple as people being happy or sad,” Lucas observed.

“Yeah. I should probably apologize to Jason but really–Michael had questions and no one else was going to give him a straight answer,” Sage sighed.

“He trusts you though. Looks up to you,” Lucas told her. “He listens when you tell him to do something.”

“Well…I guess it’s because I don’t bullshit with him. I treat him like he’s seven and not three and I don’t ignore him. He respects that and he’s a great kid. Makes me wish I had a little brother,” Sage sighed wistfully.

“Looks like you do now.”


“Look–I said something that upset her and I want–”

“I don’t give a damn what you want,” Nikolas interrupted. “You don’t get to hurt her.”

“Hey, we don’t even know what was said,” Carly protested. “Maybe it was accidental–her hormones–”

“No–I know exactly what I said,” Jason interrupted. “I need to apologize–”

“She’s already going through enough hell without you making it worse,” Nikolas cut in.

“I know–”

“He deserves the chance to apologize,” Carly argued. “I’ll ream him out,” she promised Nikolas. “Can you go check on Michael and Sage for me?”

Nikolas hesitated but went down the stairs and disappeared into the living room. When she was sure he was gone, Carly took a deep breath. “Jason, you need to talk to her.”

“I know, so let me–”

“No, I mean you really need to talk to her.” She pressed a hand against his chest. “Jason–you two have enough to deal without fighting each other.”

“I know–”

“Did you ask her?” Carly pushed. “I think you need to. For yourself and for her.”

“Carly, don’t–don’t do this. I don’t–I can’t do this right now.”

“Then what are you going to say up there?” Carly demanded. “Apologize for saying whatever you said, she’ll forgive you…then what? Where does that get you? How does that make anything better?”

Nothing is going to make this better,” Jason argued. “Nothing I do or say is going to erase what happened–what I’ve done to the people I’m supposed to love–”

“Supposed to love,” Carly interrupted softly. “Since when did you care about things like that? You used to be all about what was–not what wasn’t or should be. C’mon, Jase.”

He took an angry harsh breath. “Carly–”

“Jason, I am way more stubborn than you are. I will win this fight and you know it.”

He exhaled slowly and dropped his chin to his chest. “Yeah. Yeah, I know.”

“So, you’ll talk to her?”

“Yeah…I’ll talk to her.”


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