Elizabeth sifted through a pile of clothes and winced when she heard something crash from the living room. “What was that?” she called.
“A picture frame fell from the table that was already broken!” Jason called back. He appeared in the doorway. “This place is a wreck.”
“Yeah.” She sighed and stood. “There’s so much to clean up.” She glanced at him. “It’s good thing I wasn’t home. They didn’t take anything so I can’t imagine what they were looking for.”
Jason stepped around some of knick knacks that had fallen from the shelf and peered out the window. She lived adjacent to the docks and he’d always been uncomfortable with her so close. It was a dangerous neighborhood and now her apartment had been broken into and ransacked. She’d been out with him at the time but if she’d been home…
“I think I’m going to stay with Lucky and Gia for a few more nights,” Elizabeth broke into his thoughts. She slid a sideways glance at her boyfriend of eight months. She’d been a little irritated when he hadn’t offered to let her stay at his penthouse but after eight months, they hadn’t even managed to make into the bedroom. Hell, she’d spent a total of ten minutes at his place.
“That’s probably a good idea,” Jason told her. “Actually…” he hesitated. “I think you should get rid of this place.”
“Oh?” Elizabeth’s heart leapt into her throat. Was he actually going to ask her to move in with him?
“Yeah. It’s in a bad location and I…I worry about you here.” He took a deep breath. “If it’s a matter of rent, I could help you out.”
Her heart slammed to her feet and she turned away to start shoving clothes into her dresser. God damn it. Eight months and all they’d done is go out on dates. They hadn’t talked about the future, they hadn’t talked about feelings, the idiot wouldn’t even put a hand down her pants. Had she really expected he’d jump over eight different steps and ask her to move in with him?
Yeah, she had and that made her the idiot. It was clear that this relationship was going nowhere fast and she could either move it along or end it.
And in no frame of mind to do either at that moment, she just shrugged and kept her eyes downcast so he couldn’t see the hurt in them. “I don’t want your money,” she mumbled. “I’ll clean this place up and get a better lock for the door.”
“Elizabeth, I want you safe.”
You want me safe, but you don’t want to sleep with me. Elizabeth closed her eyes and blocked the bitter thoughts. “I’ll be fine, Jase. This kind of thing happen to everyone sooner or later.”
“They didn’t take anything–they might come back.”
“I’m not going to move out of my apartment that I pay for by myself into some place I have to depend on charity to live in.”
“It’s not charity,” Jason scoffed. “Okay, you won’t accept money from me. Will you stay with me then?”
Her head snapped around and she looked at him with wide eyes. “You want me to move in with you?”
He nodded. “I want you safe, Elizabeth. And this apartment isn’t going to cut it.” He shrugged. “I’ve got an extra room at the penthouse.”
She blinked. “An extra room.”
“Yeah, it’s actually the master bedroom but it’s too big for me.” He frowned. “Elizabeth, I–”
She exhaled slowly and looked away. He was willing to ask her to move in but not into his bedroom.
A conversation from the night of the break in came to mind and she closed her eyes. They’d been walking on the docks–probably at the very same her apartment was being ransacked. It’d been an unusually October warm night, the stars were out, the moon was reflecting off the water in the harbor. It was the perfect moment she’d thought to tell Jason how she felt.
“Jason?” she stopped their forward movements and stepped in front of him. “I–I want to tell you something.”
She bit her lip and took a deep breath. “I love you.”
The three words hung between them and he swallowed hard. “T-that’s nice.”
She blinked. Stepped back. “Okay.” Elizabeth bit her lip and started to walk, fighting back tears.
He’d never brought it up and she’d prefer to forget it. He didn’t want the same things, didn’t feel the same way. That was fine. She could deal with that.
And not only did he apparently not love her, he didn’t want to sleep with her either so what was she supposed to do? Move into his guest room while she decided on whether or not to stay with him?
“Elizabeth?” Jason pressed.
She turned and sighed. “I’ll think about it.”
“You know what? I’m late for lunch with Lucky.” She stepped up to him and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “And I think your lunch break is over.”
“Are you gonna be at the warehouse in an hour?” she asked. “Because I’ll stop by and let you know what I decided.”
“Yeah, I’ll be there. Just come in and go to my office, okay?”
She nodded and she left the apartment without him.
After her enlightening conversation with Lucky after which he’d provided inspiration for what she was going to call her VS attack, she had a bounce in her step when she came the door of Jason’s office.
It was open slightly and he was sitting at the desk, looking kind of uncomfortable with his boss/business partner Sonny Corinthos.
She knocked. “Hey. It’s been an hour.”
Jason looked up. “Hey. What’d you decide?”
Elizabeth frowned and glanced at Sonny. “We can’t talk about this alone?”
“I’m kind of in the middle of something,” Jason told her.
“No, no,” Sonny stood. “We were pretty much done anyway. Good to see you, Elizabeth.”
“Yeah, uh huh.” She closed the door when he was gone and glared at Jason. “I want to pay half the rent.”
“I don’t pay rent. I own the place,” Jason told her, a little confused about her reaction to the entire question and to Sonny.
“Okay, half of all the utilities,” Elizabeth pressed. “Or I stay in my crappy docks apartment.”
He stood and rounded the desk. “Elizabeth, you don’t–”
“It’s a deal breaker.”
He nodded, not intending to actually use her money for the bills. He’d pay them and put her contribution into some sort of account. After what he’d put her through last week with his very disappointing response to her admission of love, the least he could do was move this relationship along.
Besides, he had something planned for Valentine’s Day.
“You’re going to let me pay?” she asked skeptically.
“If that’s what you want.”
She smiled brightly. “Great. I’ll go pack and do some shopping…to, ah, replace some of my stuff. Pick me up at Lucky and Gia’s around six?”
“Sure.” He kissed her softly. “I’m glad you’re moving in.”
“Me too,” Elizabeth said decisively, already picturing the Victoria’s Secret catalog and picking out her different torture pieces.
Jason Morgan was going to be sorry he’d ever put her in a separate bedroom.