July 26, 2003
Sonny and Carly emerged from the elevators to find Jason pacing outside of Elizabeth’s hospital room. “Hey, any news?” Sonny asked.
Jason shook his head. “We were in the emergency room for about a half hour and she still—she still couldn’t catch her breath. Dr. Meadows had her admitted and they’ve been in there for twenty minutes and no one’s telling me anything.”
“Well, what the hell happened? You said something about a social worker?” Carly asked. She crossed her arms. “What did she say?”
“The social worker told us that in addition to not recommending me for adoption, she’s going to make a note that Elizabeth should be investigated for her fitness as a mother.” Jason shook his head. “Elizabeth just exploded.”
“Well, of course. She defends you to everyone, even me.” Carly sighed. “People just don’t know any better. Never argue with a pregnant woman.”
“We can get it pushed through,” Sonny told him quietly. “Cut through the red tape so to speak.”
“That’s fine. Whatever gets this over with and causes her the least amount of stress.”
Elizabeth’s door slid open and Dr. Meadows stepped out. “Mr. Morgan?”
“How is she?” Jason asked immediately. “Is she okay?”
“Her blood pressure sky rocketed which concerns me because we only just got it back under control. She cannot have stress,” Dr. Meadows said firmly. “She’s stabilized now and the baby’s all right. I want to keep her overnight for observation but she can go home in the morning.”
“Well, that’s good news,” Carly nodded.
“She needs to avoid stress at all costs,” Dr. Meadows reminded Jason. “No arguments, no fighting, nothing. I don’t want her to develop hypertension.”
“She won’t have any more stress,” Jason promised. “Can I see her?”
“Sure. Oh, Mr. Morgan, Elizabeth mentioned that you weren’t planning on attending her next doctor’s appointment and I just wanted to let you know that I’m performing the first ultrasound in case that changes your mind.” She patted his arm and walked away.
“Why don’t you guys go home?” Jason said before Sonny could once again tell him to talk to Elizabeth about custody. “There’s really nothing you can do here.”
“Okay, look I’ll get started on the adoption. Let Elizabeth know about it in case she has issues or whatever.” Sonny patted him on the shoulder and Carly kissed him goodbye.
When they were on the elevator, Jason turned and entered Elizabeth’s hospital room. Though it was still day light outside, the shades were drawn and the room was dark.
Elizabeth was lying on the bed, her arms wrapped around herself, her face pale. “I’m sorry.”
“What for?” he asked, taking a seat next to the bed.
“You told me to calm down and I didn’t. I just kept going…” she shook her head.
“Hey, that woman was attacking you, questioning your ability to be a mother purely because you married me.” He pushed her hair off her forehead, rubbing his thumb over the skin. “It’s not your fault.”
“What if I’d lost the baby?” Elizabeth whispered. Tears slid silently down her cheeks.
“You didn’t. Your blood pressure just went up too high and I’m going to do anything I can to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore. Sonny’s going to pull some strings and cut through the red tape so you don’t want to worry about the petition or the adoption anymore, okay?”
“Are you sure?”
“Positive. All he has to do is make a few calls and it’ll be over in a matter of weeks,” Jason promised her. “Dr. Meadows told you she’s keeping overnight for observation, right?”
“Yeah.” She shifted. “When are you going down to the island?” Elizabeth asked.
Jason hesitated. He couldn’t leave her right now. Not while Sonny was pulling strings to get the adoption to go through and with Elizabeth’s health so precarious. But how much longer could he put off telling Courtney the changes to the plan? He’d wanted to discuss with her the possibility of him really adopting the baby—to get her view on it before he broached the subject to Elizabeth. He had to know if she’d support him.
Finally, he sighed. “I’m not going. I’ll call her instead.”
“Jason—you have to go down there. You can’t tell her this over the phone,” Elizabeth protested.
He shook his head. “She won’t react well whether I tell her in person or on the phone. I’ll save time this way. And I can’t leave you alone right now.”
“I’m not an obligation,” she told him softly. “I’ll be fine for a few days.”
“I know. There are guards and we’ve taken every security precaution we can think of. But—” Jason hesitated. “You’re not an obligation, Elizabeth. I just—I’d feel better if I were here with you instead of trusting someone else.”
She stared at him for a long moment before looking away. “Okay,” she said finally.
He stood and leaned down to kiss her forehead. “Why don’t you get some sleep? I’ll be back in a little while.”
She nodded, fully expecting not to see him again until the next morning.
Quartermaine Mansion: Emily’s Bedroom
“Is she okay?” Emily asked softly, twining the phone cord in her fingers.
On the other end of the line, Zander sighed. “Yeah. As far as Lucky said. He got it second hand from Bobbie who heard it from Elizabeth’s doctor. They were in a meeting with the social worker and the woman said something to Liz and she started arguing. Bobbie thought it might have been about Jason, you know she’s always defending him—”
“Why were they meeting with a social worker?” Emily asked curiously.
“Oh. You don’t know. Jason—he’s adopting the baby,” Zander informed her. “Now, don’t get angry—”
Emily closed her eyes. “Why is he doing that?” she asked carefully.
“Because the families threatened Elizabeth again. Once the kid’s born, since it’s not Jason’s biological child, and therefore not under his protection, it’s open season. Jason’s going to adopt the baby so that it can be protected.”
“So it’s not like he’s going to play daddy?” Emily asked. “I mean—Elizabeth is not Carly, I know that much. But I also know that Jason is going to feel responsible—”
“Emily, why can’t you just respect that what goes on between them is their own business?” Zander asked. “Elizabeth cares about him. She’s not going to do anything to hurt him and if you knew her at all, you’d know that. She’s in the hospital overnight for observation. Dr. Meadows is worried about the blood pressure. It’s twice now that’s it’s spiked so high. You should go visit her.”
Emily opened her mouth to reply but was left with the sound of a dial tone in her ear. She gently placed it on the receiver and sighed. It was unfair for her to be holding the night with Zander against Elizabeth without even telling her so. And maybe Elizabeth had an explanation.
And Zander was right. Elizabeth wouldn’t set out to hurt Jason. But she’d do it without meaning to, Emily knew that, too. Because Jason still had a soft spot for her. More than soft spot. If Emily didn’t know any better, she’d say her brother was still in love with her and that was all the more dangerous. Because Elizabeth would leave him again and Jason would be crushed.
How did she protect her brother from being hurt without losing her best friend?
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason set the overnight bag on the desk and stared at the phone. The sooner he got this over with, the better off they would all be.
He picked it up and dialed the number for Courtney’s cottage.
“Hello?” a slightly-out-of-breath voice answered.
“Hey, it’s me,” Jason said hesitantly.
“Jason!” Courtney exclaimed. “Hey, I thought you were coming down this week, Sonny called and told me—”
“There’s been a change in plans. I can’t come right now.” He exhaled slowly. “Elizabeth’s in the hospital and I can’t leave her.”
“Oh.” In a small voice, she asked, “Why haven’t you called before now?”
“A lot’s been happening,” Jason told her. “Listen—there’s some things I need to tell you—and something I have to ask you about.”
“Okay.” She took a deep breath. “What’s going on?”
“The day of the wedding, the families threatened the baby after it’s born and in order to ensure protection until Ric and Faith are found…I’m adopting the baby so it’ll have my name.”
There was complete silence on the other end of the phone for a long while. But he could hear her breathing.
Finally, “Adopting?” Courtney echoed. “That’s—that’s impossible, Jason. You can’t do it. I won’t let you.”
“It’s already done,” he informed her. “Courtney—”
“No,” she interrupted. “For once, you’re going to let me talk. I think I’ve been very supportive. I barely batted an eyelash when you told me you had to marry Elizabeth. Even though she’s an old girlfriend—even though I think you might be still in love with her a little. I trusted you, I let it go. But I have to draw the line now, Jason. You cannot adopt that baby. Even if it’s name only. Because it won’t always be that way. You aren’t the kind of person who does things in name only. And I think part of you wanted all of this.”
He blinked. “Excuse me?” he demanded. “What the hell does that mean?”
“I think you were looking for an excuse to get her back and now that you’ve got her, you’re thinking of ways to keep her in your life. Well, damn it, Jason, wake up. She doesn’t want you anymore. She walked out on you. And as soon as this is all over, she’ll walk out again. And if you want to adopt her baby, then fine. But I won’t be waiting for you come back. If you do this, we are through.”
He only hesitated a moment. “I’m sorry, Courtney.”
Jason hung up the phone quietly and picked up the bag to return to the hospital.
July 27, 2003
General Hospital: Elizabeth’s Room
Elizabeth blinked her eyes blearily and looked over at the nurse who was taking her vitals. “What time is it?” she asked.
“It’s seven,” the nurse whispered. She finished taking her blood pressure. “Will you be wanting breakfast?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “No. How soon can I be discharged? I need to call my husband and let him know.”
The nurse frowned. “Well—your husband is here. He returned around nine last night, but you were already asleep. Around two, we finally convinced him to let us bring in a cot.”
She gestured towards the other end of the room and Elizabeth turned to see Jason was, indeed, sleeping on a cot. “He stayed all night?” she asked, surprised.
“He’s a very devoted husband,” the nurse smiled. “I’ll see if Dr. Meadows in yet and she’ll be able to discharge you.”
The click of the door when she left woke Jason and he sat up. “Hey—what time is it?”
“It’s seven.” Elizabeth sat up and ran her hands through her hair. “You didn’t have to stay.”
“Yeah…yeah, I did.” Jason stood and crossed to the chair next to her bed. “You feel better?”
She nodded. “I’ll probably feel better once I’m in my own bed,” she laughed. “Was there any news about the petition or anything?”
Jason shook his head. “Not yet.”
Dr. Meadows entered the room, Elizabeth’s file in her hand. “Good morning, Elizabeth, Mr. Morgan. I’ve just taken a look at your recent vitals and I’m pleased to let you know that everything looks normal again.”
“Thank God,” Elizabeth replied, exhaling in relief. “The baby’s okay?”
“Baby’s perfect,” Dr. Meadows assured her with a smile. “However…you need to take it easy. I’m ordering you to take two weeks bed rest. You can move around—you don’t have to stay in bed all the time but the majority of the time, I’d like you to take it easy.” She looked at Jason. “Mr. Morgan, I know you haven’t taken an active role in the pregnancy but I’m depending on you to make sure Elizabeth doesn’t exert herself for a while.”
Jason nodded. “You have my word.”
“Did you give any more thought about attending the ultrasound next month?” Dr. Meadows asked. “A lot of first time fathers find it one of the most exciting moments in the pregnancy. It’s the first time you can actually visualize the idea of the baby.”
Elizabeth looked at her doctor curiously. “I thought I already told you Jason wouldn’t be able to come.”
“I just think it’s a shame,” Dr. Meadows sighed. “Well it’s up to you—”
“I’ll be there,” Jason blurted out. He looked at Elizabeth. “If that’s okay with you.”
She stared at him. “If—if that’s what you want. Okay, sure.”
“Great,” Dr. Meadows said, smiling brightly. “Well, I’ll just sign your discharge papers and you can be out of here.”
Quartermaine Estate: Pool House
Emily slid the door open hesitantly and stepped inside the cavernous room. “I’m here.”
A woman stepped out of the corner and smiled coldly. “Well, it’s about time, Emmie,” she cooed. “The accommodations are less than stellar.”
“I want you out of town by the end of the day,” Emily said firmly. “I’ve done my part and I want you out of here and not to come back or I’ll tell my brother—”
“Oh, you’ll tell no one, sweet pea. You wouldn’t want anyone to know you were involved.” Faith Roscoe slid a long red fingernail down Emily’s cheek. “You just remember our deal, brat.”
“Oh, I’ll remember,” Emily said coolly. “But you remember your end of it, too. Elizabeth and Jason are not to be harmed, do you understand? I don’t care what you have to do to separate them but I don’t want them hurt.”
“Whatever you say, baby.” Faith smiled again. “I think this is the beginning of a very beautiful friendship.”