Jason was on the phone the next morning when Elizabeth padded down the stairs. She was already dressed for the day in a blue tank top and blue jeans. Her feet were bare and made no sound as she headed for the kitchen.
When she emerged with a cup of tea in her hands, Jason was standing, leaning against the desk. “I just got off the phone with Sonny. He contacted Dara Jensen and she’s agreed to petition to revoke Ric’s parental rights.”
“Thanks.” She stood in front of him awkwardly. “I know you don’t really understand why I don’t want—”
“I do understand,” Jason cut her off. “And I even agree with you. The idea of putting my name on your child’s birth certificate and then just…not being in the baby’s life, it doesn’t sit well with me either.” He slid his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “I promised you that I would protect you and the baby and that’s all I’m trying to do.”
“I just…” Elizabeth sighed. “I’m afraid that if I do this, one day I’m going to have to explain why a piece of paper says she has a father when she doesn’t.” She shrugged. “Or if I’m still in Port Charles when that day comes and she’s heard of you…that she’ll come to you for answers.” She bit her lip. “I don’t want to have to put you in that situation.”
“I understand that and I really don’t want to have to answer those questions either.” Jason took a deep breath. “Elizabeth, I just…I’m trying so hard to do the right thing but I don’t know what to do.”
“I promised myself when we came up with this marriage thing that I wasn’t going to do what Carly did,” Elizabeth admitted, deciding to come partially clean with him. “I was going to do everything possible to keep this pregnancy separate from what was going on. That I wasn’t going to let you in about…” She hesitated. “I know it sounds…egotistical…but—”
“I made the same decision myself,” Jason confessed. “Sonny thought…” he shook his head. “Elizabeth, I just want to be able to keep this promise and this is the only way that I can think of.”
“Have you talked to Courtney about this?” Elizabeth asked softly. “How does she feel about it?”
Jason shook his head. “She wouldn’t like it. She had enough problems with the marriage…I know she’d hate this.”
“And her opinion doesn’t matter?” Elizabeth asked, a little surprised.
“It’s not that it doesn’t matter…” Jason hesitated. “She doesn’t understand why I’m doing any of this.”
“Jason…” Elizabeth sighed and sat down on the arm of the couch, setting her untouched tea down. “It does…it means a lot that you’d even offer to do this but—”
“I don’t like making promises and breaking them,” Jason told her. “And I don’t like letting people down.”
Elizabeth nodded. “I understand that, but—” she closed her eyes. “Jason, this would tie us together for a very long time. I mean, if something were to happen to me, you would automatically be looked at to take care of her because you’d be the next of kin and I don’t—”
“Elizabeth, you’re doing what ifs now and right now, we should just be concentrating on getting your child through the next year,” Jason interrupted. “Once Ric and Faith are taken care of, we can talk about this. We can make those kinds of decisions then. All I want to do is to ensure your safety and the baby’s. Once we do that, we can worry about everything else.”
It was beginning to make sense to her—and after all, she promised herself that she was going to put the baby first—that her life didn’t matter as much as the baby. And if Jason and Sonny thought this was the only way, then who was she not to trust them?
She could worry about Courtney, Emily and Carly’s reactions later. This was her child and it about time she started thinking like a mother rather than a pathetic girl who was in love with someone else’s boyfriend.
She straightened and crossed her arms. “Okay.”
Jason hesitated. “Okay, what?”
“Okay, we’ll do this. If this is what it’s going to take to protect my baby, then this is what we’ll do. Where do we start?”
Not expecting her to agree so easily, Jason hesitated. “I’m not sure. I’ll have to call Dara back and find out. Are you sure?”
She nodded. “If you are.”
“It was my idea,” Jason reminded her.
Elizabeth nodded. “Okay. I’m going to go and get something to eat before my doctor’s appointment.”
“I didn’t know you had one today,” Jason frowned.
She nodded. “I go once a month until November or so when I have to go more because I’m due in January. Dr. Meadows wanted me to come in after the wedding—because I had that panic attack after the kidnapping last month, she was worried about my blood pressure—” Elizabeth broke off abruptly. “Anyway, I told Andrew about it last night just like I was supposed to.”
“Is your blood pressure okay?” he asked.
“It’s fine. It was just a little higher than she liked last time and she wanted me to come as soon as the wedding was over—” Elizabeth flushed. “She, ah, doesn’t know it wasn’t…real and…anyway, I should eat before I have to go.” She moved into the kitchen quickly.
Jason turned to the phone.
“Hey, Lucky, thanks for meeting me here,” Elizabeth sighed. “I’m actually a little early for the appointment so I was hoping we could talk.”
“Sure.” Lucky sat next to her. “What’s up?”
Elizabeth sat back and took a deep breath. “The families renegotiated the deal.”
Lucky exhaled slowly. Years of growing up on the run had schooled him to know that the five families were a bunch of assholes and he was worried about what this deal entailed. “And?”
“I’ll spare you a lot of the details but suffice to say Jason has to adopt the baby,” she sighed. “God, Emily’s going to hate me even more now.”
“Aw, Elizabeth…don’t worry about Em right now. Nikolas and I are working on her. Worry about yourself and the baby. Is this adoption the best thing for you or for the baby?” he asked.
“The baby and long term, it’s good for me because I still get to raise my child.” She shook her head. “But right now, being married to Jason—having him adopt the baby, it just feels…it feels off. I can’t…I don’t know if I can do this Lucky, you know? I just—I want so badly to do the right thing but no one is letting me.”
“Elizabeth, I’m sure this will work out in the long run,” Lucky told her. “Ric and Faith will get caught, the marriage will be annulled and the adoption rescinded. No big deal.”
“It is a big deal, it’s a very big deal to me,” Elizabeth protested. “Look, yesterday…it was both the worst and best day of my life and now I get to have Jason be the legal father of my child but of course he wants nothing to do with either of us wants it’s over—”
“Did he say that?” Lucky demanded, going into over-protective mode.
“No, but it’s obvious,” she muttered. She sniffled. “I just want to be careful. I’ve been reading on pregnancy and I’m going to be going through all these emotional and hormonal changes and what if I accidentally blurt out how I feel?”
Lucky frowned. “How do you feel?”
Elizabeth peeked over at him. “Do we have to talk about that?” she asked.
“I don’t think we have to.”
“Elizabeth Morgan,” the receptionist called out.
Elizabeth stood. “I will never get used to hearing that,” she grumbled.
“She agreed?” Sonny asked surprised. “After your call last night, I thought—”
“Yeah, I did too but we talked about it this morning and she agreed.” Jason crossed his arms. “It’s a good thing too because I was out of ideas.”
“I can understand her reluctance,” Sonny said. “It can’t be easy for her to be in this situation, depending on us for just about everything. She’s always been one of the most independent people I’ve known.”
“She understands that we’re not doing this to control her,” Jason assured him. “Her number one priority is the baby and for right now, that’s mine, too. We gotta make sure none of this touches her, y’know? She needs to be calm during this whole thing.”
Sonny nodded. “I understand that. Why do you think Carly’s protection has nearly tripled since we announced the pregnancy? It’s hard enough on women to have babies without the added stress of our business.” He scratched his chin. “I got another call from Johnny and Francis today. They’re over in France but the trail is cold. I figure they’ve got someone here keeping an eye on things but for right now, they’re going lay low.”
Jason nodded. “Things got too hot for them here. They’ll strike when they think our guard is down.”
“Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. I’m just not sure where they’ll strike first. The families are expecting him to go at Elizabeth because he did last month but he’s gotta know they suspect that so we need to make sure everything is locked up tight. Security, our holdings—everyone has one guard with them and another following.”
“What about Courtney’s security on the island?” Jason asked. “How tight is it down there?”
“Well, it got better once she went down there. I sent some guys with her but I’ll be calling down and telling Rico to do more background checks and hire some more people. Lansing and Faith aren’t gonna be able to find a way in, I guarantee it. If they’ve got someone on the inside, we’re gonna find them.”
Quartermaine Mansion: Terrace
Emily rolled her eyes. “I am not overreacting,” she scowled. She glared at her boyfriend. “Whose side are you on?”
“I’m not on any sides,” Zander replied. “I’m just saying that you’re being unfair to her. Yes, she’s made mistakes and she’s the first to admit it but you’re making both of you miserable. She needs her best friend right now, not another person judging her.”
“Zander, you don’t…” Emily exhaled, frustrated. “You don’t understand.”
“Elizabeth’s grandmother is already not talking to her. Do you think she needs to lose someone else?” Zander asked pointedly.
“You’re not going to make me apologize,” Emily said scathingly. “There are things you don’t know.”
“Do you even remember all that Elizabeth’s done for you?” he demanded. “All I ever hear about is the four musketeers. Your adventures, the good times. She’s your best friend, Emily. She’s been in your life longer than most people. Don’t you think that friendship deserves to survive?”
“Look, I’ll think about talking to her but that doesn’t mean I’m going to bow down and praise her like the rest of you.” Emily tossed her hair back. “Too many things have happened.”
“I wish you’d tell me,” Zander said, a little annoyed. “This little vague game we’ve got going on is really pissing me off.”
“Well, excuse me for wanting to keep a few things to myself,” Emily said crossly.
Zander stood. “Whatever. I gotta get back to ELQ. My lunch break is over.”
Dr. Meadow’s Office
“Things look great,” Dr. Meadows told her. She smiled. “Your blood pressure is right where it should be, all tests are normal. How’s your morning sickness?”
“It’s tapering off a little,” Elizabeth said. “But I’m almost at the end of my first trimester so that’s supposed to happen right?”
“Right. Just be careful, the second trimester is a little bit better than the first. Your body is still adjusting to pregnancy and expect your hormones to get a little whacky. It’s not uncommon to just burst into tears for no reason at all.” She glanced down at the chart. “Now, will your husband be coming the next time?”
“I…” Elizabeth hesitated. “Probably not, why?”
“Well, I was planning on doing the ultrasound next month. You’ll be showing, we can see the baby and a lot of fathers generally like to be present for that.” She smiled.
“Oh…” Elizabeth took a deep breath and put her hand over her abdomen. “Well, Jason…he’s got a really demanding job. He can’t always…you know what I mean.”
“Well, Sonny Corinthos makes it to all of Carly’s appointments and don’t they work together?” Dr. Meadows asked, frowning slightly.
“Yeah. Well…we’re not Sonny and Carly,” Elizabeth said faintly. “Is that everything?”
“Yes. I’ll see you next month, Elizabeth. Take care of yourself.”