I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
– Demons, Imagine Dragons
Friday, May 12, 2006
General Hospital: Locker Room
“Hey, I was hoping to catch you.”
Elizabeth blinked up at her best friend as Emily took a seat next to her. “Hey. I thought your shift wasn’t for another hour.” She stifled a yawn. She hated the night shift and was grateful this had been the last one.
“It’s not, but I always have paperwork.” Emily unlocked her locker and pulled open the door. “I need to talk to you.”
“Is something wrong?” Elizabeth tossed her flats on the floor and slid her feet out of the sneakers she’d worn for her shift.
Emily bit her lip. “You told me Lucky has anger management twice a week.”
“Yeah.” Elizabeth sighed. “I don’t think it’s helping, but maybe in a few more weeks—”
“He’s not going.”
Emily’s words tumbled out over Elizabeth’s own, cutting her off in mid-statement. Elizabeth pressed her lips together and just stared at her friend. “What? What are you talking about?”
“I went to Jake’s last night with Robin and the others. And—Lucky was there.”
“So he went after his session—”
“Elizabeth—it was only nine. I thought you said his group therapy was from eight to ten?” Emily sighed. “I called some friends at Mercy. I know they’re not supposed to know these things, but well, Lucky’s face was in the paper. The guy who leads the meeting said Lucky went to the first one and never went back.”
“I don’t—” Elizabeth just stared at her. “This doesn’t make sense. He—he promised. He was going. Twice a week—are you telling me—”
“I asked Coleman. He told Lucky’s a new regular. Every Tuesday and Thursday. The same nights you told me he was at counseling.” Emily tilted her head. “You really didn’t suspect?”
“No, I—” Her throat closed as Elizabeth struggled to take a deep breath. “No, I just—I trusted him. I shouldn’t have. Obviously.” Why had she trusted him? After everything he’d done, how could she have trusted his word? Had she felt that guilty over her plans to leave?
“Elizabeth—” Emily didn’t say anything right away, but when it was clear Elizabeth wasn’t going to speak, Emily continued. “What are you going to do?”
“Do?” Elizabeth blinked at her blankly. “Oh.” She shoved her hair behind her ears. “I—I don’t know. I just—He promised,” she repeated. And did it matter? She was leaving.
So what if he hadn’t kept his promise to go to counseling? Was it more of a betrayal than hers?
“You know, Lucky’s been my friend longer than anyone else in Port Charles, but I just—” Emily shook her head. “I didn’t think you should stay before, Elizabeth. You asked Lucky for this one thing, and he couldn’t follow through.” She bit her lip. “Are things okay at home? I mean, are you guys still arguing the way you were? I know you had a bad night at Luke’s, but—””
“No.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “No,” she repeated. “Not like before. And yeah, he…he broke his promise.”
So did I.
And maybe that was why Elizabeth couldn’t quite push herself to be angry, to be anything more than slightly stunned. She’d asked Lucky to deal with his anger so that he wouldn’t abuse her.
He hadn’t touched her. Maybe he’d lied about counseling, but he’d kept that part of the promise.
And Elizabeth hadn’t kept her promise to keep Jason out of her life even a little bit. Both times she’d run into him had been an accident, but it didn’t change the fact that she’d been happy to see him. That she hadn’t wanted to walk away from him—she hadn’t been able to keep Jason out of her heart or her mind.
How was she any better than Lucky? He’d lied to her, but how was she any better?
“It’s not that simple, Em,” Elizabeth said finally. “I’ll—I’ll talk to him. He wanted to put it off until after the first round of rehab—”
“He lied to you—”
“I-I know. But—” She got to her feet. “I’ll talk to him,” she repeated. “Thank you for telling me. I’ll deal with it.”
“Okay,” Emily said warily. She sighed. “We still good for the carnival tomorrow?”
“Oh. Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. I’ll see you at the park.” Elizabeth picked up her purse. “Cameron is looking forward to it. Leticia’s going to bring Michael and Morgan, and I told Cam Morgan could spend the night with us for a change.”
Emily wrinkled her nose. “Does Lucky have a problem with it?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t ask him,” Elizabeth said flatly. “Cam’s been begging to have Morgan overnight, and it’s Sonny’s weekend with the boys, so he didn’t mind.” She pursed her lips. “ Don’t mention it to Lucky? I mean, about Sonny. He’s mostly okay with Cam being friends with Morgan when Carly is the only contact. If he thinks I’m talking to Sonny—”
“He’ll think you’re talking to Jason,” Emily finished. “Yeah, got it.” She raised her brows. “Have you? Talked to Jason, I mean.”
“I—” She was too tired for this, her head still swirling from Emily’s earlier reveal. “Not really. I have to go. I’ll see you later, Em.”
But Elizabeth had already pulled open the door to the locker room and left.
Corinthos-Morgan Warehouse: Sonny’s Office
Sonny grimaced as he stalked in from his morning meeting, tugging at his tie. He turned back to glare at Jason. “This is why you don’t let family in the business. Eventually, you get a fucking Fredo.”
Jason rubbed the back of his neck. “Mateo sounded like he wouldn’t mind if we took care of the problem—”
“Oh sure,” Sonny muttered. He eyed his mini bar but decided ten in the morning was too early for alcohol. “Do his dirty work, so when his sister complains about her son going missing, it’ll be on us, not him. Oldest trick in the book—”
“If Santiago insists on selling outside the Escobar’s boundaries,” Jason said, with a shake of his head, “then he’s got it coming. We could just send a warning, Sonny, but it might not be enough. The Escobars are pushing their luck. They’re trying to get at Kelly’s, there were those kids at the high school and Luke’s. They never stay where you put them. This is the same crap Moreno pulled.”
“And Sorel. Why don’t they ever learn?” Sonny scowled. “Start with a warning. Call Dougie. Find Santiago Escobar and make it worth his while to leave town.”
“Won’t someone else just take over for him?” Jason asked as the door opened, and Max came in with the tray of coffees he’d brought back from Kelly’s.
“Hey, Mr. C. Jase.” Max held out Jason’s coffee. Once Jason had it in his hand, Max tossed the container in the nearby trash, but didn’t leave. “Uh, Jase, not that I comment on your personal life—”
Jason frowned. “What?”
“I don’t listen to gossip either, but while I was picking up the order at Kelly’s…” Max shifted, looked at the two men, “I heard Maxie Jones talking with her boyfriend, that cop kid. They were talking about you and Miss Webber. On the docks.”
Jason winced. “When?” he asked. “I mean—what exactly did they say?”
“Uh,” Max hesitated, his nervous eyes darting back and forth between his bosses. “The cop saw you guys, but he didn’t know what you said. He thought that Lucky Spencer was gonna tear the roof off the place when his wife got home from work—”
“Beaudry thinks Lucky knows?” Sonny cut in. “Max—”
“Yeah, I think so. He called him this morning. Or left a voice mail last night. I don’t know. I couldn’t really tell. I just—” Max shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I don’t know, I just thought it was something you should know, Jase. In case Miss Webber should know.”
“Thanks,” Jason said as he pulled out his phone and contemplated his list of contacts.
“Jason—” Sonny said as Max left. “This isn’t your fault—”
“I know that. We ran into each other by accident,” Jason murmured. But they hadn’t walked away. She’d called after him—
And he’d answered.
His thumb hovered over her name, but he didn’t press it. Instead, he scrolled one name down. “Em? Yeah. Is Elizabeth still at work—Damn it. When did she leave? Okay.” He sighed. “Can you meet me—no? Okay. I’ll come to you. Yeah, it’s important. I don’t want to get into it on the phone.”
“You’re not even going to tell her yourself?” Sonny asked, his brows raised in surprise as Jason slid his cell phone into his pocket. “You’re wasting your time—”
“I’m not going to make it worse. Elizabeth worked the night shift. She’s already home. What if I call her now, with Lucky at home? It’s already too late to warn her. And I don’t know who’s at the hospital around Emily—”
“I’ll send Dougie to take care of Santiago,” Jason promised. “But first, I need to go talk to Emily. Maybe Max misunderstood. Maybe—”
But he couldn’t stop himself from remembering Sonny’s warning the day before, and the anger he’d seen for himself the day Elizabeth had been kidnapped—
He didn’t want to make it worse, but he needed to do something.
Lucky & Elizabeth’s Apartment: Hallway
Elizabeth stifled a yawn as she shoved her key into the lock, but the door was jerked open before she was able to turn it. Stunned, she stared at the angry, red face of her husband as he grabbed her arm and yanked her inside, his fingers latching onto her wrist like a clamp.
Lucky released her just as quickly as he’d grabbed her. He flung her past him into the apartment. Elizabeth stumbled, dropping her purse. It fell to the ground, upending her wallet, cosmetics, and other random things she kept in the bag.
Her mind scrambled to adjust, trying to think through her exhaustion and confusion.
“Lucky—What the hell is going on—”
“I should ask you that, you goddamn bitch!” Lucky slammed the door shut. “I just got a call from Jesse—”
Elizabeth blinked, took a step back. “What are you talking about—”
“He saw you, Elizabeth,” Lucky said, drawing out her name like it was a condemnation. “On the docks. With Jason.”
She put up her hands, still trying to clear her head. She was so tired—she just wanted to make this go away. “Okay. I should have told you. I—I ran into him yesterday before work. It wasn’t planned, but I just—he gave Cameron a birthday present—” Damn it. She bit her tongue, wishing she could pull the words back. Why had she said that? His eyes went flat.
“Where?” He spun on his heel and stalked towards Cameron’s room, shoving the door open. He started to fling things around.
Stunned, her heart racing, Elizabeth followed him. She wanted him out of her son’s bedroom. “It’s not here—I didn’t bring it here. I left it at Carly’s—” She gasped as he took Cameron’s toy organizer and flipped it over, the bright yellow storage bins spilling out across the carpet.
“Is that where you’ve been meeting him?” Lucky demanded. He turned again, so suddenly that Elizabeth stumbled backward into the door frame.
Get out, get out. He had that light in his eyes again. Damn it. Get out.
But she couldn’t quite make her feet move as Lucky’s blue eyes glared at her, the veins in his neck bulging. “N-No, that was the first time I’ve seen him since the hospital last month—”
“Liar! You’re always lying!” Lucky screamed, his voice nearly shrill. Elizabeth managed to slide just slightly to the left and through the doorway back into the living room. She hurried over to where her purse was still on the ground.
Shaking, she bent down to shove things back inside. “Stop—”
He grabbed her, jerking her to feet, knocking the purse out of her hand again. Lucky gripped both her shoulders and shook her hard.
“Stop! You promised!” Elizabeth cried. She shoved him back as hard she could, and Lucky, already off balance, fell backward to the floor. He glared to her, rolling to his side and sitting up. He shook his head as if to clear it.
Taking advantage of the moment, Elizabeth shoved her keys and wallet back into her purse, leaving the rest of her purse’s contents on the ground. Her hands shaking, she gripped her keys in her hands. “I know you’re not going to anger management!” she cried. “Emily saw you! You’ve been drinking at a bar the last two weeks!”
“So what?” Lucky snarled. “You lied to me!” He stood up and advanced on her. Elizabeth hastily moved away, trying to move around the sofa so she could circle him and get to the front door.
She never should have come back. Never should have given him a second chance.
“It’s not the same! I talked to Jason for five minutes! You’ve been lying for two weeks! I asked you for one thing, Lucky! One!” Tears streaming down her face, she shook her head. “You promised you wouldn’t hurt me—”
“I tried to go to the stupid meeting! But it wouldn’t work! It was never going to work!” Lucky’s chest was heaving as he screamed at her. “I’m tired of being the only one who’s wrong! It’s never your fault!”
Elizabeth made a dash for the door, trying to get around him —
Lucky grabbed her around the waist, wrapping one arm around her hips, and the other around her shoulders. Her mind froze for a second and then she started desperately clawing at his hands, screaming—
“Shut up, shut up!” Lucky shoved her away from him hard, and Elizabeth went flying toward the kitchen—
Slamming into the same doorway that had started all of this terror—
She hit it face first again, then slumped to the ground, dazed.
She closed her eyes, let her head rest back against the wooden door frame, and just waited for whatever would come next.
“Why do you make me do this?” Lucky cried. She could only dimly make out his voice from behind her as her vision wavered. “Why do you make me hurt you? You said you loved me! I know you don’t! You made me like this!”
She heard him sobbing behind her, but Elizabeth couldn’t quite gather herself. Couldn’t quite summon the energy to get up. She just wanted it over.
She heard the door slam.
Minutes passed before Elizabeth finally managed to get to her feet. She made her way into the bathroom where she looked at her face—and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she realized that she hadn’t hurt herself as badly as the first time. There was no red mark—she might not even bruise. There was no evidence
Her cheeks were tear-stained, her eyes were bloodshot. She’d known she was going to leave—
She should have never come back.
Her phone was ringing. Elizabeth blinked at the sound, then took a deep breath. She was starting to come back to herself, beginning to adjust again. She went into the living room and found her phone in her purse.
“Hey, it’s Em. I just wanted—” Emily paused. “You okay, Elizabeth?”
“Yeah.” Elizabeth pressed her other hand to her cheek, took another breath. She cleared her throat. “Just tired. What’s up?”
“Jason is here. He said he wanted to tell you that Jesse Beaudry saw you talking to him on the docks. He thinks he told Lucky—he didn’t want to warn you himself—”
Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Yeah, I know. He just left.”
“Oh.” There was a long pause. “You’re sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, we—” Her voice caught as she looked around the living room, at the contents of her purse, still mostly on the floor. At the mess in Cameron’s room, the toys strewn across the floor. The pillows from the sofa on the floor. The missing lamp, shattered the month before and never replaced.
“We had a fight. He left.”
“I can get someone to cover my shift—”
“No.” Elizabeth sighed, rubbed her forehead. “No. That’s okay. I’m okay.”
As she said the words, she knew they were a lie. But it was a lie she needed right now. She’d returned to an abusive marriage with a man who she didn’t love.
Maybe she did deserve what she’d gotten.
She was done with all of that. She was done blaming herself, pretending that everything that had just happened was her fault.
She was just done. It was time to stop. It was time to think about what she needed.
What she wanted.
“Can you—” Elizabeth paused. “Can you ask Jason if—is he still there? Can I talk to him?”
“Uh, yeah, yeah—” She heard a muffled voice, then some rustling before Jason’s voice was on the line.
Some of the chill left her bones as she listened to him say her name. She’d always loved the way he said it. She didn’t even think about what she said next—for once, she just acted. “Can I see you?”
“Can I see you?” Elizabeth repeated. She closed her eyes. “I understand if you don’t want—”
“No, no—I mean, yeah. Yes. When? Where?”
“It doesn’t matter anymore. Now, if you can. Just not—” She looked around the apartment, at the place she’d thought was supposed to be safe. “Just not at my place. Can I come see you? At the penthouse?”
“Yeah. I can be there in twenty minutes. Elizabeth—”
“I’ll see you then.”
She didn’t wait for him to respond, just closed the phone and shoved it in her bag. She looked around at the apartment for the third time, left everything exactly as it was, and left.
Lucky was practically vibrating with rage, his hands shaking as he shoved open his car door and stalked towards the alley where Santiago could be found this time of day. His body felt like it was on fire, his heart racing.
Everything was burning—his brain, his arms, his back—he just wanted it to stop—he wanted to the pain to stop—the screaming in his head that he’d ruined his life—that Elizabeth would never ever come back to him now—that he’d thrown it all way—
Fuck her! Fuck her! She was the one who cheated! She’d broken her promise before she’d even known he was lying! And he didn’t need any fucking help. If she’d just keep her goddamn legs closed and stay away from fucking Jason Morgan, Lucky wouldn’t be so damn angry all the time—
“Yo, Spencer, you better not be here for a refill,” Santiago offered with a smirk as he nodded to the woman—probably a hooker—who sauntered down towards the other opening in the alley. “I just gave you enough for a week! And you still owe—”
“Shut the fuck up, asshole—” Lucky grabbed the dealer by the collar and shoved him against the wall. “If I wanted to, I could shut your ass down tonight!”
“Big talk from a junkie—” But Santiago’s flat eyes were a bit more nervous now, jumping back and forth. “What do you want, man?”
“The good stuff. I need more. The pills aren’t enough.” Lucky flung him away. “And stop giving me that shit about owing you. I told you, you’ll get paid—”
“I keep giving away the product, my uncle is gonna be bitchy.” Santiago climbed to his feet, brushing off his jacket. “You gotta pay up—”
“The fuck did I just say, asshole?” Lucky shoved him backward again. He needed this to go away. He needed it to all disappear now. “Give me my shit!”
“Fine, fine, fine.” Santiago dug into his pocket and pulled out a bag. He shoved it at Lucky. “But you don’t pay this time, I’m not responsible for what happens. I gotta break even with my uncle—”
“Just get the fuck away from me,” Lucky muttered as he shoved the bag into his pocket and lurched unevenly away from him, back towards the street and his car.
When he was out of earshot, Santiago scowled and pulled out his phone. “Yo, Hector. It’s time to send that cop a message.”
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason hadn’t reached the Towers yet when Elizabeth arrived, so she had expected to wait down in the lobby. Instead, one of the guards told her she’d been cleared for the top floor and went upstairs with her to let her into the penthouse alone.
She hadn’t been inside the penthouse since the day after Emily’s fever broke, and she’d rushed to tell Jason, sure that the night of comfort and closeness they’d shared in the chapel was a sign…of something. Instead, she’d found a belligerent Courtney jumping down her throat. And only weeks before, Sam hadn’t let her over the threshold, deciding to scream at her in the hallway.
Elizabeth had never expected to set foot in this apartment again, especially not alone. She was too nervous, too upset to sit down, so she just paced the penthouse from the balcony windows to the door, then back.
The same path she’d often tread during those long nights she’d spent in the penthouse alone nearly four years ago.
Just when Elizabeth had made up her mind to leave, convinced she’d made a terrible mistake, she heard Jason’s key in the door.
Fidgeting, Elizabeth checked her sleeves to make sure they were down to her wrists, then wrapped her arms around her waist.
“Hey, I’m sorry—” Jason closed the door as he stepped inside, tossing his keys on the desk. Then he just stood there, several feet away from her. “I ran into traffic—”
“It’s okay. Um, one of the guys said I should wait inside. I hope that’s okay—”
“I called ahead,” Jason cut in, with a shake of his head. “I didn’t want you to—” He cleared his throat. “I didn’t want you to sit in the lobby. In case anyone—I mean, I don’t know if it matters if anyone sees you—”
He sounded flustered Unsure. She could count on one hand how often she’d heard him sound that way. But he was looking at her, and he didn’t seem irritated to see her.
Elizabeth licked her lips. “Um, I don’t even know why I—I wasn’t going to call you, I mean. It wasn’t my plan. But Emily called me, and she said you were with her, and I just—” Her voice faltered as she swallowed hard. “I don’t know. I thought if I could hear your voice, it would be okay.”
Her lip trembled, and she bit down. She didn’t want to fall apart. It wasn’t fair to Jason for her to walk away from him, then bring Lucky to his doorstep. Not again. “I’m sorry—”
“Don’t be sorry—” He took a step towards her. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t know,” Elizabeth admitted. “I just—I’m sorry,” she repeated. “I know you hate when I say that, but I just—I’m standing here, and this is all so unfair to you, you know? Because I—I know what was going on with us, and I stopped it. I said it had to stop. And I know you think I always choose Lucky—I do, but—” She pressed her hands to her face. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t do this to you.” Her shoulders started to tremble, but still—she fought the tears.
She just was so damn tired of crying.
“Hey.” Then he was in front of her, touching her shoulder and gently tugging her forward, pulling her into his arms. Elizabeth didn’t fight it—let herself fall against him, her face pressed into his chest, against the clean, smooth cotton of his t-shirt.
She felt his hand in her hair, his arms winding around her. She drank in his scent, in the warmth of his embrace—
Then the tears fell. It wasn’t a storm—she didn’t rage. Just a quiet release of sorrow—trickles of tears down her cheeks, dripping from her chin, sinking into his chest.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Jason asked after a long while when the tears had passed.
Elizabeth sighed, then drew back, using the heels of her hands to wipe at her eyes. “No. Not really. You probably already know it. You were with Emily—” She backed up a few steps to lean against the arm of the sofa. Her breath was shaky, but she was through the worst of it. At least for now.
“Emily told me this morning that she saw Lucky at Jake’s last night. He’d—he’d lied to me. I told him—I made him promise me that if I stayed, he had to go to anger management. He tried to put it off, but I told him—he knew it was a big deal to me.” Elizabeth looked away. Jason didn’t need to know why it was a big deal. “I mean, you know how bad it was after the kidnapping, how he blamed me. He’s been angry for months—and I—I just—it had to stop. Or there was no point in pretending.”
“But he didn’t go last night?”
“No. Emily found out he’d gone to a meeting, but then didn’t go back.” Elizabeth sighed. “I don’t know what I was going to say to him. I guess—I mean, Emily told me he’d been lying to me, and all I could think—” Elizabeth looked at him, saw that he understood where she was going. “I broke my promise to him, too.”
Jason exhaled slowly. “Elizabeth—”
“I nearly forgave him. In my own head, before I even asked him about it,” Elizabeth said. She laughed a bit, startled at her own realization. “Because I saw you yesterday, and I didn’t walk away. And in my head, it felt like it was the same thing.” She dragged her hands through her hair. “God, how pathetic am I? Patrick was right. I did this to myself.”
She looked at Jason again, who hadn’t said anything, just listened to her patiently. “I thought—I broke my promise to him, so maybe he deserves a chance to explain himself, you know? Maybe there’s a reason. I thought—God, I thought—But I didn’t think about it. I didn’t even really want to think about why I broke it. I—” She squeezed her eyes shut. “I just—I saw you. And I missed you. And I was tired of missing you, and I hate myself for it—”
“Don’t—” Jason broke off in the middle of what he was going to say. “Why?”
“Because I promised.” Her voice broke. She opened her eyes again to find his. “I’m not—I can’t—I married him, Jason. I meant my promises then. They have to mean something.”
“Do they mean anything to him?” Jason asked, his voice low and a bit raspy. “Was he killing himself to keep them? “
“No,” Elizabeth admitted. A tear slid down her cheek, and she shoved it away. “No, but I’m tired of making promises that no one else seems to give a damn about.” She shoved away from the sofa and stalked across the room to stare out over the harbor. “Maybe I just wanted to make it a whole year. My second marriage and it barely hit six months. I think I always knew Ric was a mistake. But Lucky—that wasn’t supposed to end up like this.”
“And it’s stupid, I know it, to kill myself over this. Because I don’t love him anymore.” Some of the tightness in her chest eased as she admitted it finally. “I knew that weeks ago. I knew I was going to leave. But I needed to keep my promise. I did try. I did everything. I stayed away from you. I tried to be nice to his friends, even the ones I know hate me. I tried so hard, and it just never mattered to him—and I just—he didn’t love me. Not really. Not who I really am.” She pressed her hands to her mouth. “Why is it so hard to love me?”
She hadn’t heard him cross the room, but Jason was behind her. He turned her to face him and, again, pulled her against him, more roughly this time as if it was painful to listen to her. It probably was. How many times had she tortured him with Lucky over the years?
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I can’t keep doing this to you. You deserve better than this—”
“Don’t tell me what I deserve—”
“But you do.” She drew away from him again. “And I’m done putting you through it. You were right. I wasn’t choosing him last month. I didn’t even really choose him all those years ago. I chose being safe. Because I’m a coward—”
“I am. When it matters. I put myself right back in a terrible marriage with a man who hates me most of the time, who doesn’t love my son, instead of—” Elizabeth shook her head. “Instead of just …once…reaching out for something I want. For something that terrifies me.”
Jason’s mouth tightened. “I terrify you—?”
“Not you—” Elizabeth winced. “Not you,” she repeated, more softly. “But the last time—when we almost—I didn’t know. I didn’t know where I stood with you. And the not knowing, the feeling that I wasn’t good enough, it drove me insane. And I did stupid things. I think I sabotaged it before we ever got started,” she added, thinking of that blackout mistake with Zander.
“I’ve been in love with my best friend before,” Elizabeth continued softly, her eyes locked on his. “And when it fell apart, I broke into a million pieces. I think maybe I knew letting it happen again—I wouldn’t come back from it. Not again.” A wobbly smile slid across her lips. “It was safer to be unhappy with someone else than to go through that a second time.”
“You weren’t the only one who messed up,” Jason said roughly. “I’ve been in love with my best friend before, too. And when it was over, my life was empty. There was nothing. I know what that feels like.”
“Because that’s pretty much where you were living, too,” she breathed. “Jason, it was never you I was running away from. Or him I was going towards. It was just—I couldn’t live with myself. I still don’t know if I can. I’ve hurt so many people. You, Cameron, myself, and Lucky, too. He didn’t deserve to be my obligation, my punishment for myself. I just—I want it to stop. I just don’t know how.”
He pressed his lips to her forehead, a lingering kiss that she felt to the tips of her toes. His hands were in her hair, just like they had been that long ago day they’d sat on the docks and he’d told her he’d had to go.
She’d been devastated then, so sure that she’d never see him again. She’d had to leave him first, knowing she might beg if she stayed. He’d kissed her forehead, and she’d touched his arm—briefly entertaining the insanity of lifting her head, pressing her lips to his—to just see once if what’d she’d dreamt about was real.
Elizabeth hadn’t kissed him then, not the shy eighteen-year-old who was just accepting there might be men out there who weren’t Lucky Spencer who’d make her heart race.
But today, Elizabeth did what she’d wanted to do seven years earlier. She leaned up and met his mouth with hers. The kiss was long, soft, and sweet—what it would have been then, she knew.
When Jason drew back, he rested his forehead against hers. “Are you going back to him?” he asked quietly. He kept his hand on her chain, his thumb brushing the soft skin under her bottom lip.
“No,” Elizabeth said finally. “I can’t. Not after today.”
Something in her voice must have sounded wrong, because Jason stepped back, his hand falling to his side. “Elizabeth, do you want to talk about it?”
“No,” she repeated. Feeling better, stronger, she shook her head. “No. It’s—it’s not important. I just—I have to stop lying to myself. To Lucky, to everyone. My marriage is over, and it’s been over for a long time.” She paused. “And it’s a relief,” she admitted. “To say that out loud. Carly said it would be like this.”
“Carly?” Jason lifted his brows.
“She said the day she gave up on Sonny ended up being the best day of her life.” Elizabeth smiled. “She was right. I don’t even understand why I was fighting so hard. I just—I’m done. And I’m glad to be done.”
And it was better this way. She’d leave Lucky, and everyone would think it was because of Jason and anger management—no one would even have to know he’d hurt her again. And Jason didn’t need to know at all.
He tucked her hair behind her ear, a slight smile on his lips. “You can’t tell Carly she was right. She’ll never let you forget it.”
Elizabeth laughed, some the tension breaking between. “Oh, God, I know. Right? She’s insufferable enough as it is.” She sighed.
“I should go, though. Cameron’s been at Carly’s since yesterday, and I miss him. I want to get a few things and go to my grandmother’s.” She grimaced. “I also worked the night shift and haven’t been able to sleep yet.”
“Okay. Can—” Jason hesitated. “Can I drive you? If you’re that tired—I can have someone take your car back to your grandmother’s.”
She hesitated, then looked at her watch. Lucky was supposed to be at work, then rehab, but she didn’t know if he’d keep either of those appointments. “Yeah, but if his car is outside the building, can you stay downstairs? I just—”
“I don’t want to make anything harder—”
“It’s fine.” She smiled. “Cameron will be happy to see you. And I—” She hesitated. “I don’t know what’s next,” she admitted. “I’m not—I’m not ready to make anyone any promises.”
“I’m not asking for any,” he told her. “I just want you to be okay. Whatever I need to do to make it happen.”
“Okay.” Her smile was even brighter this time as she followed him out of the penthouse. She was making the right decision.
Everything would be easier after this.
I’m glad Jason and Elizabeth are on the same page now. I’m afraid Lucky is going to be hurt or dead because of the Escobars and Elizabeth or Jason will be blamed.
Wow!Another great chapter. You can just feel her pain. At this point I’m not feeling bad about Lucky. I just hope that Santiago doesn’t hurt Elizabeth to send Lucky a message. I think things are going to get worse. I can’t stand Jesse at all in this story.
I hope she means it this time and Audrey better have some common sense to give her grand daughter some support.
Lucky is such a piece of poop. I’m really happy Elizabeth finally left
In a lot of ways this was the best Elizabeth chapter. She finally decided she had enough and chose what her heart told her. Oh the new gossip to come but kiss my grits. Thanks
I must have forgotten about Jesse being that mean. The way he speaks about her like she had done it to him somehow. I hope this will bring some closure for Jason and Liz.