Chapter Seven

July 24, 2003

The Morgan Penthouse

Elizabeth set a cup of coffee in front of Laura and took a seat next to her on the couch. “And then Dr. Meadows asked if Jason would be coming next month,” she sighed.

“Aw…” Laura sipped the hot liquid and shook her head. “There’s really no easy way to tell her that the marriage is fake and Jason won’t be coming ever, huh?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth stared into her tea. “Is it wrong to want it to be different?” she asked softly. “For us to be married…and having a family for real?”

“Oh, honey…” Laura reached out and her free hand squeezed Elizabeth’s wrist. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting the fantasy to become a reality. You just…you have to be careful.”

“I know.” Elizabeth sighed again. “I’m just…I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, Laura. I haven’t felt like myself in so long. How can I possibly provide for a child when I’ve never been any good at taking care of myself?”

“Being a mother gives you this…this feeling like you can do anything,” Laura told her. “It’s a feeling of power, of peace. There are going to be times when you feel like you’re drowning—when you haven’t had a shower in three days or when your baby is so sick you’re scared he’s going to die and you wonder how you ever got yourself in this situation to begin with.” She smiled. “And then there are times when it’s all perfect. When you look at this life…this beautiful creature that’s part of you and you just think…how could I have ever been blessed like that?”

“I don’t have a place to live, I don’t have a job,” Elizabeth began to tick things off on her fingers. “I don’t even have a crib for the baby to sleep in. What if this thing goes on longer than we think? Ric and Faith could stay under the radar for years. And Sonny isn’t going to go after them—he wants to keep the status quo. You know…as long as I’m safe.”

“Well, isn’t that what matters?” Laura pressed. “What does it matter if they’re never found? You and the baby are safe. From the families, from Ric. From Faith. From everyone.”

Elizabeth stood and wrapped her arms around her abdomen protectively. “So my child and I are left in this limbo for who knows how long. I get raise my child but at what cost? An indefinite marriage to a man who doesn’t want me, who doesn’t want my child?”

Laura rose and put her hands on Elizabeth’s shoulders. “When I was your age, I was living with Stavros Cassadine and forced into a marriage with him. There were days when I wanted to die. When the only thing I wanted to just throw myself off a cliff. They told me Luke was dead and I didn’t think there was anything else for me. So I had made up my mind to do it. To just…end it. End the misery. Because…then Luke and I would be together.”

“And you found out you were pregnant with Nikolas?” Elizabeth asked.

Laura nodded. “At first…I hated the idea. Of giving birth to a child that was the product of a rape. But Nikolas was such a sweet and beautiful baby—it broke my heart to leave him. But I knew Stefan would care for him. Nikolas made the time worth it.”

“And you think my child will make this worth it?” Elizabeth asked.

“I agree that it’s not fair situation. To be deprived of love…to live in an environment with a man who isn’t in love with you and isn’t interested in being a father to your child…but it’s what you make of it.” Laura kissed Elizabeth’s cheek. “You stopped being your top priority the moment you found out you had a life growing inside of you.”

“You’re right,” Elizabeth agreed. She smiled and swiped her tears away with a swipe of her sleeve. “I just…it’s so hard.”

“You call me if you need me,” Laura instructed her. “It’s going to take some time until Audrey can accept this decision but until then I’m here. Any time, day or night…Luke and I are here. Nikolas and Lucky, too. You are not alone, Elizabeth. And if at any time this gets to be too much…you come home with me okay?”

“What about this arrangement and…” Elizabeth sighed. “I can do this, Laura. I just…one day at a time, right?”

“Right.”

The Corinthos Penthouse

Carly thumbed through yet another catalogue of baby furniture. “You know what would be cute?” she asked as she sipped a strawberry smoothie she’d talked Sonny into making her.

“Yeah?” Sonny asked absently mindedly from his desk where he was filling out some paperwork for the office.

“If I had a boy and Elizabeth had a girl, we could get matching nursery furniture. You know…pink and blue, whatever. They’re going to be cousins and I’ve decided that I’m going to be nice to her because of that.” Carly flipped to another page. “We need all the family we can get.”

“Right.”

“And since I’m ordering this set today, maybe I’ll order the matching in a pink…you know, like a baby present for Elizabeth?”

“Uh huh.”

“What room in the penthouse do you think they’ll use for the nursery?” Carly pondered. “I mean…do you think she’ll even want to set one up?”

“Right.”

Carly narrowed her eyes. “You’re not even listening to me.”

“Right.”

“So when I say I’m going to grab Elizabeth and we’re going to pig out on all the unhealthy food we can find and then we’re going skinny dipping at the lake…?”

That got Sonny’s attention and he turned to look at her on the couch. “What are you talking about over there?”

Carly rolled her eyes. “I’m talking about a baby present for Elizabeth. A matching nursery set—mine blue and hers pink.”

“That’s a very good idea but what if you have a boy and she has a boy, too? Or you both have girls? Or—”

“So, we’ll fix it later.” Carly glared at him. “I’m trying to be nice to her for Jason’s sake and for her pregnancy’s sake. But now I’m debating on whether furniture would be a good idea because I don’t even know if she’d set up a nursery at the penthouse.”

Sonny frowned at that. “That’s a good point. I mean we’re all treating this like a temporary situation but I have to admit…I don’t know where Ric and Faith are, they’re not making any waves and I don’t want to disrupt the peace. I don’t really care to find them—as long as they stay away from here. Let the families hunt him down.”

“So this marriage could last…indefinitely?” Carly asked, troubled. She stood and crossed over to him to lean against the desk. “That hardly seems fair to either of them. Jason might be adopting this baby but you’re just planning on that to be safety measure. How is he going to be around a baby that’s legally his for so long and have to give her up?”

“And Elizabeth and Jason both have to get ready for the possibility that they might be raising this child together after all.”

“So should I order the matching furniture?” Carly asked.

Warehouse

“Yeah. Yeah, that shipment will arrive sometime today,” Jason hesitated when Laura Spencer appeared in his doorway. “Okay…so call if there are any problems. Bye.”

“Hey, Jason, the receptionist told me I should just come on back,” Laura told him. “I’ sorry if I’m interrupting anything.”

“No, it’s fine. Can I help you with something?” Remembering that Laura was supposed to have lunch with Elizabeth at the penthouse today, he frowned. “Is Elizabeth okay?”

Laura hesitated. “Yes and no. Do you have a moment?”

Resigned, Jason nodded and Laura closed the door. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve extended an offer for Elizabeth to stay with Luke and myself…whenever and however long she wants.”

“Did…she take you up on that?” Jason asked. “Because it’s not part of the arrangement—”

“With the pregnancy…the arrangement might be causing her a little bit of undue stress,” Laura told him. “And I just…I want her to be safe and I want the baby to be safe.”

“She had a doctor’s appointment yesterday,” Jason said. “Was her blood pressure still high?”

“No, it was back to normal, but the longer this goes on…the more it’s going to wear on her. She’s just in a delicate place right now and I want it understood that I really don’t agree with the route you all took,” Laura said. “If I’d been home a little earlier, I would have argued against it. Pregnant women do not need to be in false marriages with death threats over their heads.”

“I agree but my first priority was keeping Elizabeth alive and we couldn’t see any other way to keep the families away from her,” Jason answered. “Laura…we’ve been over it all before. I don’t mean any disrespect but Elizabeth can’t go and stay with you. Not if we want to keep her safe.”

Laura narrowed her eyes. “Jason, she’s in a marriage with a man who doesn’t love her and who’s adopting a child he doesn’t intend to raise with her. She’s got the fear of Ric and Faith popping out at any turn and not to mention the idiotic five families out for blood and did I mention that she lives across the hall from my bloodsucker of a niece? If Elizabeth wants a break from that situation, she’s welcome at my home. And I don’t mean any disrespect,” she added with a touch of sarcasm.

Feeling uncomfortable, Jason shifted. “The adoption is…look…I would—” he took a deep breath. “I know how much it means to Elizabeth to have your support—and for you to be home. Especially since Mrs. Hardy isn’t being very supportive herself so I want you to know that I will do whatever Elizabeth wants me to do. If she decides against the adoption, we’ll come up with another solution. I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of putting my name on a birth certificate for a baby I’ll never get to see grow up or be a father too but I promised her that she and the baby would be safe.”

“Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you could be a father to the baby?” Laura pressed. “That you could adopt her? Be her father? You don’t even have to be married to Elizabeth to have that.”

Jason shook his head. “I would have no right to ask Elizabeth for joint custody.”

“So…it has occurred to you,” Laura replied.

“Yeah,” Jason allowed. “But it’s not an option. Elizabeth doesn’t want to be married to me—she’s not going to want me to be her baby’s father. She walked away from my life a year ago—she won’t want her child in it.”

“It’s a little late for that don’t you think?” Laura asked. “For the rest of this child’s life, she will either be the daughter of Ric Lansing or Jason Morgan. The baby is already in your life whether you ask for the responsibility or not.” She flushed. “I really shouldn’t be meddling. This isn’t any of my business. I’m just letting you know that if I think this is too much for her, I will take her back home with me. Whether she wants it or not.”

“Agreed. And I will do everything in my power to see that she doesn’t have to feel that way.” Jason stood. “Was there anything else?”

“You’re a good man, Jason and I know what a good father you were to Michael,” Laura told him. “You deserve that chance again.” She left then, leaving Jason with a lot to think about.

Comments

  • Love Laura… great conversation between Laura and Jason. Elizabeth and Jason were never good at talking to each other— each noble b/c of the other with no true idea how each other felt….

    can’t wait to read the next chapter

    According to Tish on May 10, 2014