Chapter Nineteen

This entry is part 20 of 33 in the For the Broken Girl: Reflections of You

All alone, I came into the world
All alone, I will someday die
Solid stone is just sand and water, baby
Sand and water, and a million years gone by
Sand and Water, Beth Neilsen Chapman

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Lucky & Elizabeth’s Apartment: Living Room

It was just past midnight when a knock came at her door. Elizabeth, who hadn’t been able to sleep after putting Cameron down for the night, went to the door and looked through the peephole. Then she pressed her forehead against the door for a long moment before unlocking it.

“Why?” she asked as Jason looked at her at the other side of the threshold. “What’s left to say?”

“I—” He swallowed hard. “I don’t know. I just didn’t want to leave it that way.”

She stepped back to let him in, feeling secure at least that her grandmother wouldn’t be stopping by in the middle of the night, and that Lucky was still unconscious at General Hospital.

“This has to stop,” she told Jason. “I mean it.”

“I know. And it will. I just—I was worried when I left. And then I ran into Bobbie when I was checking on Cody—”

Elizabeth looked at him sharply as she switched on a lamp behind the sofa, casting the room into uneven shadows. “What did Bobbie say?”

“She wouldn’t say anything, just that I shouldn’t try to talk to you again until you’d left the hospital.” Jason hesitated. “I’m sorry. I never should have gone there. I shouldn’t be here—”

“But you were worried.” Elizabeth bit her lip, folded her arms. “And that matters more than what I need? What I want?” She laughed, the sound harsh and low. “Story of my life.”

“No. You’re right. This is me being selfish. And—” Jason just looked at her. “I wanted to tell you that you were right.”

“About what?” Elizabeth asked, exhausted from it all. Wishing that she had just left the door locked.

“About what you said earlier. About not ever letting you in.” He swallowed hard. “Except in the beginning. You were the only person I let get close. After losing Robin and Michael. But I didn’t know how to do it again. Or maybe I just didn’t want to.”

“I’m sorry—” Elizabeth looked away. “I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t even really mean it. I know that it’s not true. I’m just—” She exhaled slowly. “Maybe we were closer back then. Before it got complicated. That last summer—” She hesitated, rubbed the side of her head. “I don’t know. I think we just kept getting in our own way. Or maybe we missed our chance a long time ago.”

Jason shook his head. “No—”

“No?” She arched her brows. “Then explain Brenda and Courtney to me, Jason. Explain Sam. You’ve been married, Jason. Twice. Even if Brenda didn’t count, at least she got—” Her voice trembled. “She got more than I did. And you asked Sam to marry you. You never even told me you loved me. So why are you here right now? Why aren’t you at home with her?”


“If you’re here because you feel guilty, then don’t. Because I don’t have room in my life right now to deal with any of this anymore. I just—” Her eyes felt swollen from all the crying she’d done, and she just wanted it to be over. “My entire life is destroyed. This can’t matter anymore. So can you just—” She exhaled on a shaky breath. “What do you want from me?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted painfully. “I—I just—for years, I thought I knew why I’d lost you. I thought I’d accepted it. But I didn’t have any idea how much I hurt you. And it kills me that you didn’t know how I felt.”

“How you felt. Past tense. It was four years ago, Jason.”

“It’s not—” He pressed his lips together. “Okay.”

Elizabeth blinked, then tipped her head to the side as something insane began to whisper in the back of her head. She stepped towards him. “No. Finish what you were going to say. Because until you get this out of your head, you’re going to keep coming up with reasons to see me, and I would just rather we get this done—”

“It’s not past tense,” Jason bit out. “I know it is for you, but it’s not for me—”

She put her hands up in front of her as if to protect herself. “Wait. What? What are you saying?”

“You don’t need this now. This is just selfish,” he muttered as he turned to go.

“No, don’t you dare—” Elizabeth dashed around him and flattened herself against the door as he tried to reach for the doorknob. “You’re never selfish.” Elizabeth tried to look into his eyes, tried to read them, but the room was still too dark for that. “The entire time I’ve known you—you’ve never been selfish. So what’s going on?”

“Sam asked me today if I still loved you.”

Elizabeth drew in a sharp breath, her hands falling to her sides uselessly. “And what did you say to her?”

“I told her I didn’t know.” Jason scowled. “But that was a lie. I knew it when I said it.”

She swallowed hard. Her brain was buzzing as if it had exploded into a million pieces inside her skull. She couldn’t find a single thing to say in response to that.

“And then she asked me if—” Jason shook his head. “If you still loved me. I told her I didn’t know. I never asked you.”

Their eyes met again, and Elizabeth felt it down to the tips of her toes. This was insane. This was the absolute last conversation she should be having right now while the entire world was on fire outside.

This was the moment. This was the chance she’d never believed could come again. All she had to do was tell him yes. Because, of course, the answer was yes. It had always been yes.

But Elizabeth couldn’t force the words past her lips. Her eyes burned. “If you ask me, I’ll answer.”

“I know.” He reached up to cup her cheek, gently wiping away her tears. “But I can’t ask you. Not tonight. Because this isn’t fair to you.”

“I decide what’s fair to me,” she told him, putting her hand over his, leaning into his touch. Just for a moment. She just wanted to have this fantasy for a little while.

But reality set in as a police siren wailed somewhere outside of the apartment. She pulled her hand away, and Jason stepped back.

“I won’t come back,” Jason told her in a low, raspy voice. “Because I don’t think I trust either one of us if I did.”

“Me either.” Elizabeth stepped back, folding her arms again. “And we still made promises to other people.”

“But if you need me…” He pulled open the door, then turned to look at her, his face all but impossible to make out in the dark hall. “For anything…”

“I know where to call.” And even though she knew it was wrong, that it was a mistake, Elizabeth leaned up on her toes and pressed her lips to his. For just a moment.

Because a moment was all they were ever allowed. Their lips brushed, and she felt his hand gently on her shoulder, at first curling around as if it to draw her in closer…then gently pushing her away.

“I need to go.”

“I know.”

But they stood there another moment, in the shadows of her doorway, and Elizabeth just wanted desperately to be brave. To answer the question he’d left unasked. She closed her eyes as his lips touched her forehead.

“I’ll see you later,” he murmured against her hair.

“See you later,” she said softly as Jason finally pulled away and left.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

When Jason walked through the door around two that morning, he went straight for the stairs. The light next to the sofa switched on just as he stepped onto the bottom step. He spun around, surprised to find Sam on the sofa.

Waiting for him.

He blinked, then stepped towards her. “What—What are you doing up? I thought you’d gone to bed—”

“Yeah. I did. And then I heard your door close. So I decided to wait up. Your phone didn’t ring, and you don’t normally leave in the middle of the night unless it’s planned.” Sam unfolded her legs and got to her feet. She didn’t turn on any other lights—most of the room was still plunged in shadows.

He didn’t know what to say to her. Didn’t know how to stop any of this. He knew that what he’d done tonight—the conversations, the words he’d said to Elizabeth—the kiss they’d shared as he left—all of it was wrong.

They both knew it. And they knew it had to stop.

“Did you go to the warehouse?” Sam asked.

“No,” he answered. But he didn’t volunteer anything else. He didn’t want to hurt her. If she didn’t ask—maybe they could both push this conversation away—

And that thought—the idea that he was leaving it up to Sam to make this choice—it suddenly struck him as wrong, and he didn’t feel comfortable with it. He didn’t know how to navigate this situation—he was sure Emily would tell him this was like Carly and Robin, but it didn’t feel that way.

He’d always loved Robin more than Carly, had always preferred a future with Robin. But Carly had had Michael, and he’d been swept away by the idea of a family with her. To keep Michael, he thought he’d have to take on Carly. And he knew that he’d bungled things badly with Robin, that he’d hurt her by not being what she needed him to be. By pretending long past their expiration date that there was a future for them.

That wasn’t happening here. Was it?

“I went to Elizabeth’s.”

Sam closed her eyes, nodded. “Yeah. I figured.” She took a deep breath as if bracing herself for whatever came next. She opened her eyes and looked at him. “Are you having an affair with her? Are you sleeping with her?”

Jason hesitated. He couldn’t answer the first question. He thought anything he might say would be a lie. The answer wasn’t yes, but it definitely wasn’t no. “No, we’re not sleeping together.”

She waited, but he said nothing more. “Okay.” Sam curled her fingers into a fist, pressed into her abdomen. “I asked you a question earlier. But I think you lied to me. Or maybe you’re lying to yourself. I don’t really don’t care which. It has to stop. I don’t deserve this.”

“I know—”

“I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m still the same woman I was when you asked me to marry you. Two months ago, I found out my entire life was a lie. And the only family that isn’t you—it doesn’t belong to me. I don’t understand how you can just stop…” Sam shook her head. “How can you tell me you love me and hurt me like this?”

“I—” Jason swallowed hard. “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s changed, Sam. I know it’s not you—”

“Is it because I couldn’t let go of what happened with Alexis? Or because I wanted to go back to my old work?” Sam stepped closer to him, her dark eyes wet with tears, darting back and forth, searching his expression. “Or is it what your sister said? About how we started? Because I know I said I conned you at the beginning, but it wasn’t all about that.”

“Sam—” He curled his fingers around her forearms, just below the elbow. “I know that—”

“But you don’t look at me the way you used to, and I don’t know why. It can’t just be Elizabeth. It can’t. Because we were happy.”

“I know we were—”

“If you just—” She sniffled, sucking in a choking sob. “If you just promise to stay away from her, I’ll turn down the job with Paulie, okay? We can—we can go to the island. Or to Hawaii—”

Her fingers clung to his black T-shirt, and he dipped his forehead down to rest against hers. Part of him wanted to say yes. To do what he could to get back the life she talked about. They had been happy. He had been satisfied with their life—and he didn’t know if Elizabeth was planning to leave Lucky. Even after all Lucky had put her through. He’d done worse, and she’d stayed. Hadn’t Jason learned his lesson a thousand times where they were concerned?

“Just tell me you don’t love her. That you still love me. And we can just pretend this never happened.”

Jason exhaled slowly, then gently lifted his head, pressing a kiss to her forehead as he did so. Then he took a step back. “I can’t tell you any of that, Sam. I’m sorry. I don’t want to lie to you. Or to myself. Not anymore.”

Her shoulders jerked as if she’d been slapped, and she also took a step back. “So, what? After everything we’ve been through? You’re leaving me? For Elizabeth Spencer?”

“No.” Jason rubbed his chest. “That’s not an option for me. I don’t—” And oh, man, it hurt to admit, but — “I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.”

“Fine.” With a careful nod, Sam drew in a breath. “So, where does that leave us?”

“I don’t know.”

“I guess I have to decide if I want to keep sharing space in your head with another woman.” She dragged her hands through her hair and heaved a heavy sigh. “I’m going to bed.”

“Sam—” Jason caught her elbow as she walked past him. “This isn’t what I want—”

“Yeah, well—” She turned slightly to face him, then arched his brow. “Tell me this, Jason. If Elizabeth showed up at your door tonight and asked you to run away with her, would you even hesitate?”

“I—Sam—” Jason shook his head.

“The truth. I can take it.”

“I don’t know,” he admitted. “I…” He might take some time to think about it, but—

“Yeah. That’s what I thought. I’m going to bed,” Sam repeated. And this time, Jason didn’t stop her.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Brownstone: Kitchen

Bobbie poured coffee into her brother’s mug and just sighed. “I’m not looking forward to seeing Lucky today,” she admitted. “Elizabeth asked me not to be there when Patrick was going to tell him.”

Luke frowned as he sipped his coffee, black. “She asked me to stay away, too. Why?”

“I think…” Bobbie sat on the stool at the island and sipped her own coffee. “I think she’s afraid his reaction is going to be humiliating for her. I told her that she shouldn’t go. She’s only there because of what everyone is saying.”

“Yeah.” Luke looked away. “What happens to my boy when she leaves him, Barbara Jean? What’s he gonna have to fight for when he loses his career and family all at once?”

“Luke.” Bobbie set her coffee down with a thud of the porcelain against the granite counter. “Don’t you dare ask that girl to stay—”

“I know they hit a rough patch—”

“A rough patch—” Bobbie scowled. “Lucas Lorenzo Spencer, is that you’re going to call it? You and I both know he hit Elizabeth—”

“We don’t know anything—”

“Don’t we?” Bobbie asked, pointedly.

Luke dipped his head, looked away. “Barbara—”

“Why should Elizabeth stay with a man who has been verbally and physically abusive?” Bobbie challenged. “Because he needs her? That’s what Mama used to say—”

“Now, don’t start any of that—” Luke got off the stool and started to pace. “That’s not fair. This isn’t about us—”

“No, because you never wanted Mama to stay, and you’re asking Elizabeth to do the one thing we both know got our mother killed.” Bobbie scowled. “Why is it her job to save him, Luke? Why did we ever put that on her?”

“What? When? What are you talking about? All I’m saying is maybe asking her to give him a chance to turn it around—”

“And I’m asking you why the hell she should have to. Should I have waited for D.L. to turn it around?” Bobbie snapped. “Maybe he could have been a better man with a better wife, right?”

“You know that’s not the same thing. Barbara Jean! Lucky isn’t Pop, and he sure as hell isn’t the asshole who went after you. How can you even compare them?”

“Do you think I want to admit that this is what’s happened to him? That I wanted his marriage to Elizabeth to fall apart like this?” Bobbie’s lip trembled. “I love that boy, Luke. Like he was my own. When we lost him, it was like losing BJ all over again. And Elizabeth grieved. She broke apart. That’s what I saw yesterday when Audrey was berating her about Jason. Elizabeth has been betrayed by the man who promised to love her, and you think she should stay?”

Luke dipped his head. “No. I don’t think she should,” he admitted, the words forced out from small deep, dark, place inside. “I think maybe she should take her boy and run. But I can’t—I can’t put her first. Because Lucky’s my son. And I have to fight dirty if we’re gonna fix this—”

“You can ask Elizabeth to do whatever you want, but I won’t be apart of it.” Bobbie lifted her chin. “I called Nikolas. I tried to get him to come home. But he refused. He’s not ready. He’s still too much in pain, but Lulu agreed to come. Do you want Lulu to be alone with Lucky? Knowing that he put bruises on Elizabeth?”

Luke hesitated. “Barbara—” He just shook his head. “Elizabeth can’t be my priority. I’m sorry. I wish I were a better man—”

“So do I. Laura would be…” Bobbie pressed her lips together. “You know what? I’d like to think Laura would be on my side, but I already know what the two of you have done to Elizabeth. You’re still looking for the boy we lost in the fire, Luke. He’s dead. He’s never coming home.”

“I know that—”

“Then stop pretending this can be fixed—”

“I am never going to give up on my son, and there’s no way I’m going to let his family walk away from him without at least trying to fight for them.” Luke scowled at her. “You handle this your way, Barbara Jean. And I’ll do it mine.”

General Hospital: Hallway

Patrick stopped Elizabeth before she reached for the handle of Lucky’s door. “I’m telling you. You probably shouldn’t go in here.”

Elizabeth sighed and nodded. “I know it’s going to be terrible. I know that he’s going to be angry. He’s going to say terrible things.” She folded her arms tightly, wishing she could disappear into herself. “But I need to do this.”

“Why?” her friend demanded. “After everything he’s put you through—”

“Don’t—” Elizabeth looked around, put a hand on his arm. “Can we just—look, right now the PCPD thinks I’m a garbage whore and that this—” She gestured to the door. “This is my fault. And they believe that so much that Justus told me they’re thinking of filing charges against Jason for murder.”

“I—” Patrick pressed his lips together. “So, what, you’re going to perform the part of the devoted wife to…get rid of suspicions?”

“If I stick to my story, if I can get past this and get Lucky to calm down, I might be able to get him to back down on the rest of it. I can explain everything to Lucky. I know I—” She chewed on her bottom lip. “I think I can convince him Jason and I weren’t having an affair. That’s why he’s so mad—”

“That might be why he’s mad. It’s not why he’s an abusive dick hole,” Patrick muttered. “Stop blaming yourself—”

“I’m not—” She was, and she wasn’t sure how to stop it. “I’m just—I’m just trying to find a way out of this mess that doesn’t mean I have to keep listening to people point and stare. Whispering behind my back—” She grimaced. “It’s—I don’t like it.”

“Ignore it—”

“I can’t. It’s like—” Elizabeth shook her head. “I…was raped when I was a teenager, and for months, I felt like everyone knew. Everyone was staring. I couldn’t stand for anyone to even look at me. Make eye contact. It made my skin crawl—”

“Elizabeth.” Patrick dragged a hand through his hair. “Shit. I’m sorry. Okay. Okay.” He squared his shoulders. “So, your plan is to do whatever you can to make the gossip stop.”

“It won’t ever stop,” Elizabeth admitted. “But if I can just…make it less obvious. If I can make it less interesting—if I don’t give them anything to talk about…they’ll move on. And then you and Robin will have a fight or Epiphany will slap the crap out of the orderly that keeps pinching the nurses—”

“Who?” Patrick demanded, distracted.

A smile touched her lips. “Never mind. She’s got a plan. I’m just—I just need to get through this right now. That means doing what people expect from a wife who doesn’t know what the hell her idiot husband is talking about.”

“Uh-huh.” Patrick shook his head. “Okay. It’s your life. I’m just here to keep him from throwing things.”

She shot him a dark look as he opened the door for her, but didn’t say anything else. They went inside the room where Lucky had woken up about an hour before and was finally fully conscious.

She hadn’t really been able to see the extent of Lucky’s injuries before, but his face was cut and bruised badly from whatever beating Manny had given him. Her stomach pitched — she never wanted him to be in the middle of any of this. No matter how she felt about what had happened between them.

“Lucky.” Patrick picked up his chart and looked over the notes. “How you feeling?”

“Like everything is on fire.” Lucky licked his dry lips, looked at Elizabeth with a bit of confusion. “Why are you here?” he demanded flatly.

“Lucky, I know things were confusing at the warehouse. And we’ll talk about all of it—” Elizabeth looked at Patrick, who just shrugged as if to say, I told you so. “It wasn’t true. None of it.”

Sure,” Lucky snarled. “Jason’s number wasn’t in your phone, and you weren’t cuddling up to him five seconds after he shot a man—whatever helps you sleep at night.” He turned to Patrick. “When can I get out of here? When can I go back to work?”

Patrick looked at Elizabeth again, giving her another opportunity to leave, but Elizabeth just lifted her chin. She knew the only way to get through any of this was to forge ahead with her plan to make it like nothing had changed.

“Lucky,” Patrick said after a long moment, “while you’ll be able to walk again with some therapy—”

“Walk again?” Lucky sputtered. He tried to sit up, crying out in pain. “What the hell—”

“You injured the spinal cord. I can get technical if you want, but I thought you might want the bottom line. You’re not going back on active duty.”

Patrick’s blunt words hung in the room like a thunder cloud as Lucky just stared at the surgeon, his eyes bulging, his face cherry red. “What does that mean?”

“It means unless you decide to go on desk duty permanently, you’re finished as a cop. No doctor will ever clear you to go back on the job,” Patrick told him. “I’m sorry. We did everything we could, but with the injury from February still not fully healed, the existing damage from November—”

“You did this,” Lucky hissed to Elizabeth, his fists clenched at his sides, the knuckles so white they nearly matched the sheets. “You fucking whore.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No—No, I never meant for any of this to happen—”

“No? You got yourself kidnapped by one of Jason’s enemies, Elizabeth. What the fuck did you think would happen?” Lucky demanded. “How long have you been fucking him? Did you ever even stop? Has it been all this time?”

“No, we never—”

Stop lying to me!” Lucky screamed, his voice bouncing off the walls and surely carrying out to the hallway. “You’re always lying to me!”


“Elizabeth, go,” Patrick muttered to her, obviously alarmed by the quick rise in fury in his patient. Elizabeth was suddenly convinced if Lucky could have stood—

“Why are you protecting her? What do you think I’ll do?” Lucky’s rage continued to boil over. “Do you think I’ll hurt her? She can’t be hurt. There’s nothing inside her. Nothing but lies! You’ve always been a liar!”

“I—” Her voice faltered. She’d known it would be bad—that it would hurt—but she realized now what a terrible decision this had been. This wasn’t worth it. Nothing was worth this. “I never—”

“What happened to you?” Lucky continued, his words slashing at her like knives. “To the girl who crawled out of the snow? Where did she go?”

“Out of the snow…” Bile rose in her throat. “You mean…after the rape…” Oh, God. “What are you—” Tears stung her eyes, and her hands slid to her sides as she tried to fight what his words meant. He couldn’t—no—

“That’s my Elizabeth. You’ve killed her. She’s gone. Get out of here! Whore!”

“Go,” Patrick ordered, but Elizabeth had already turned, fumbling with the latch on the door before fleeing.

“Whore,” Lucky muttered, laying back against his bed. “The nerve of that bitch coming in here—”

Patrick quietly hung Lucky’s chart on the bed again. “You can go to hell,” he told his patient. “They can suspend me. They can fire me. But I am done.”

Then he left, deciding he needed to hunt down Emily or Robin—a woman who would know how to convince Elizabeth to get out. Because he was pretty close to just locking her in a room until she came to her damn senses.

General Hospital: Nurse’s Station

Sam had just stepped off the elevator when Elizabeth came barreling down one of the hallways, almost slamming right into her.

“Whoa, are you okay?” Sam put out her hands to steady Elizabeth’s trembling shoulders. She winced at the bruises on Elizabeth’s face. Even though she wasn’t overly fond of the other woman, she could take a step back and understand that Elizabeth wasn’t even really the enemy.

“Sam—” Elizabeth’s face paled. “Oh, God. Why are you here? Why can’t this just stop—” She put her hands against her face, pressing them to her cheeks. “I just want it to stop.”

“What? What are you even running from?” Sam demanded. “And why shouldn’t I be here?”

“What?” Elizabeth blinked at her, trying to focus on her. “No, I just mean—” She sighed. “I’m sorry. I can’t seem to get my thoughts straight. I just—” She swallowed hard. “Lucky just found out he won’t be able to go back to active duty.”

“Uh-huh, that sucks.” Sam tipped her head. “And…I’m guessing he blames you. I’ve heard the gossip. I know he’s where most of it got started.”

“I just— I don’t understand how any of this—I was just minding my own business, and now I can’t get anyone to leave me alone—Why won’t they just leave me alone?” Elizabeth delivered the last part at the top of her lungs to a pair of nurses who were giggling behind the nurse’s desk.

Sam narrowed her eyes. “You can’t get anyone to leave you alone? What does that mean? Are you talking about Jason? Because I know—” She bit off her words, realizing she’d nearly confronted Elizabeth about the midnight visit in the middle of the hospital.

Because that wouldn’t make any of this go away.

“Oh, God, that’s why you’re here? He told you?” A startled flush was the only color on Elizabeth’s chalk-white face. “Why would he do that?”

Later, Sam would decide this was the moment she should have walked away. She could see Elizabeth was in distress, and she knew that the other woman had been terrorized by Manny. She could see the evidence of it on her face, in the bruises and cuts, in the brace on her wrist.

But she couldn’t. Because Jason kept everything close to his chest. Talked around the problem—absolutely refused to just tell her what was going on—

And Sam knew how to push someone’s buttons. If she wanted to know what Jason was telling Elizabeth—

Well, there was one way to find out.

“I guess because he feels guilty,” Sam said slowly. “You both do, don’t you? You should.”

With a low moan, Elizabeth started to walk away, to jab at the elevator buttons. Sam’s stomach sank. She hadn’t denied it. They felt guilty. It was just about the words. That’s all.

Because it was one thing for them to talk about emotions—but if—if there was more—if there was more—

Sam didn’t even know why it was worse, somehow. If Jason had put his hands on this woman and still come home to her—she didn’t know how to deal with that. She’d always been the other woman.

Is this how those women had felt when Sam had slipped into their lives, stolen their husbands, convinced them to leave? This stinging sense of betrayal? Maybe she could accept she didn’t own Jason’s heart, but the least the bastard could do was keep his body to himself—

“It’s—I can’t do this. I can’t do this right now—”

“Can’t do what? I’m so sick of you and Jason pretending you’re some epic romance,” Sam hissed. “You’re nothing. You know you’re nothing. He came home to me last night—”

“I—” Elizabeth nodded. “I know. I know. I told him we had to stop. That we promised people things, and I don’t break promises. I can’t be that person. I’m not a liar—” her voice climbed unsteadily. “I don’t care what anyone says. I can’t be a liar—”

“Then stop lying to me,” Sam snapped. “Stop lying to Lucky. Stop letting Jason lie to me. You two aren’t just damn friends, are you? Something happened while I was gone—”

And the guilt in Elizabeth’s face, the wince, the helpless flutter of her hands as she tried to stop crying—Sam’s world stopped spinning. “I didn’t—It’s not like that. I won’t let it be like that. I’m not that person. I don’t want to be that person.”

“What happened?” Sam pushed, and Elizabeth shook her head, obviously forgetting that Sam had said she already knew. “Damn it. You tell me you’re not a liar. Well, stop lying to me!”

“It was just—” Her voice faltered. “Just a kiss. That’s it. I never—it never would have—I’m sorry. I stopped it. And then he stopped it—”

“Twice? He kissed you twice?” Once, maybe, Sam could deal with that—but twice—Christ. “What, three times, and you’ll just jump into bed? How the hell am I supposed to trust you? Trust him? How do I know you’re not lying to me now? What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just stay away!”

Elizabeth sucked in a nasty sob that sounded like her entire body was curling up and dying. “I tried,” she managed.

“What the hell is going on here?” Epiphany demanded as she stalked over and put herself between the two women.

“Stay out of this,” Sam ordered. “This is between me and this lying bitch! You kept coming to him! I saw you! You called him!”

“Epiphany, get her out of here!” Patrick all but skidded to a stop as he slid between the two women. “Now! Elizabeth, go home!”

“I—” Elizabeth looked around, and now Sam did, too. As if just realizing that it wasn’t just the two nurses from earlier. Several people were staring at them. Almost a dozen had stopped. “I did stay away,” she managed faintly. “It didn’t work.”

And Sam knew then. Knew that Elizabeth was telling the truth. That, at some point, it hadn’t been Elizabeth doing the seeking. After all, hadn’t Jason made the midnight visit? Her face felt hot and itchy as she really saw Elizabeth for the first time, the fragility in the other woman’s posture, the bloodshot eyes, the trembling body—

Elizabeth had been on the edge of a breakdown, and Sam had just shoved her right over. She stepped back. “I’m sorry,” she said faintly. “I didn’t mean—”

“Let’s go,” Epiphany said as she put an arm around Elizabeth’s shoulders and hustled her away. “Don’t come near her again.”

Feeling sick, Sam nodded as Epiphany took the devastated woman away. She looked at Patrick, who looked as if he might cheerfully murder her. “I shouldn’t have—”

“She’s not your friend. Or your sister. She owes you nothing. Get out,” Patrick said flatly. “Before I have security remove you.”

Numb, Sam nodded and pressed the elevator button. Mercifully, this time, the doors opened, and she stepped inside.

What the hell had she just done?


  • Wow! What a chapter!You’re bringing out all kinds of emotions in me. I can’t stand that I feel bad about Sam and I can’t stand her but what she did to a woman that’s so close to losing it all was mean. She should be angry with Jason. Elizabeth and Jason need to tell themselves and each other their truth. Elizabeth was wrong to go to the hospital. She wasn’t thinking how cruel and vile Lucky would be to her. Luke would fight for his son but don’t understand how he would use Elizabeth to help her abuser. I’m so proud of Patrick and Epiphany. I’m even pleased with Bobbie trying to help. I have to read more.

    According to arcoiris0502 on June 12, 2020
  • Add Luke and Sam to the people on my list. I knew Lucky would take it bad and blame Elizabeth. I just hope she starts to get her backbone back and don’t go back to Lucky.

    According to Carla P on June 12, 2020
  • UGh what a heart wrenching chapter!

    According to Tania on June 13, 2020
  • Jason is mixed up and love sick. I actually feel sorry for Sam, she thinks it’s Elizabeth but nope, it’s Jason. I truly despise Luke, yes, be there for your son but to try and force Elizabeth. At least she has Epiphany, Patrick and Bobbie. Patrick was phenomenal. How could Lucky use her rape against her. Thanks

    According to Sandra on June 13, 2020
  • Again Thank God for Bobbie being staunchly in Elizabeth’s corner and pointing out some truths to Luke, not that he will listen. Can Elizabeth see now that no matter what she needs to leave Lucky? Sam got her truth, now can she shut up?

    According to nanci on June 13, 2020