Chapter 13

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the Signs of Life

Now that I’ve tried to
Talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands and touch me

Hold me close, don’t ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know

More Than Words, Extreme

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

St. Timothy’s Church: Chapel

Ten minutes earlier

Jason tugged at the collar of his shirt, then glanced at Sonny standing next to him without a care in the world. Of course not. He wasn’t the one getting married, Jason thought, then returned his attention to the set of double doors at the end of the aisle, separating the chapel from the anteroom.

Father Coates emerged from a room off the front of the chapel, clad in the elaborate white and gold robes that he wore during Sunday services. He nodded to a woman sitting at the organ off to the side who began to play.

He swallowed hard as the first notes of the wedding march wafted through the church. This was really happening. He was really getting married, and any second, the doors at the end of the aisle would open and—

Alexis pushed both of the doors open, flashed them both a harried smile, then went back around a corner, disappearing for a minute. Jason’s collar felt tight again. Was Elizabeth having second thoughts? Third thoughts? She’d be insane to go through with this—

Then Alexis returned and came down the aisle to stand across from Jason, leaving an empty space for Elizabeth to stand.

“We’re good,” Alexis told them both in a voice barely above a whisper. “Don’t worry.”

That was easier said than done. All Jason could do was worry. Would he hurt Elizabeth? Would their friendship be ruined by this? Would anything that had grown between them survive this crazy plan? Six months earlier, she’d barely been a blip on his radar, and now it was as if she consumed his every waking thought—

Elizabeth appeared then, walking from around the corner, pausing at the threshold of the chapel. The tulips he’d given her clutched in her hands, the blooms on on the flowers wavering slightly as her hands trembled.

Her face was pale, her eyes were wide, her chaotic curls spilling around her face, over her shoulders, brushing the wide straps of the dress she wore. Jason’s breath caught at the sight of her, in wedding white, the bodice curving and clinging tightly, then exploding into a fluff of soft, floating fabric that fell just below her knees.

Her eyes locked on his and she offered a smile, even as the tulips continued to tremble. She was as nervous as he was, Jason realized. And she wasn’t moving. The wedding march continued, but she hadn’t taken another step.

He thought about how beautiful she looked, and how much better she deserved on her wedding day than an empty church with only his lawyer and best friend as witnesses. There was no one to walk her down the aisle or to stand up with her.

Without thinking, Jason started moving. He went down the aisle, their eyes holding each other’s until he reached her. He held out his arm, and she smiled at him again, but it was more genuine now and reached her eyes, the sparkle he enjoyed so much lighting them up.

“We’re in this together, remember?” he promised her.

“I remember.” Elizabeth took his arm and then he led her down the aisle to stand in front of Father Coates. She handed the tulips to Alexis, then turned back to take Jason’s hands so that Father Coates could begin the ceremony.

Jason only half listened to the words the priest said, talking about the importance of marriage, the sanctity of the promises they were about to make, and the commitment that was being undertaken. He knew all the reasons they’d agreed to do this, and all the reasons why it might be a mistake.

He hadn’t proposed to her, and she had no engagement ring. There’d been no celebration, no whispered words of love and forever. And yet, for all that he knew this was not a real marriage—

It didn’t feel false. It didn’t feel like a lie. When Father Coates asked Jason if he’d promise to love and to cherish Elizabeth, and he said, “I do”, every word of it felt like a promise he meant to keep.

Elizabeth’s soft, but firm voice repeated the same vow he’d taken seconds earlier, and then the priest asked them about rings. Elizabeth blinked in surprise, but Jason was already turning to Sonny.

His partner handed him the box from the store they’d visited that morning, and Jason turned back to her, opening it and removing a gold band with diamonds inset. He reached for her hand even as she was lifting it to him.

Father Coates prompted her with the vows for the exchange of rings, her voice wavering slightly as he slid the band onto her hand. Then Jason turned back to Sonny who handed him a second gold band, this one plainer and wider to fit his own hand. “I didn’t get a chance to give this to you earlier,” he told her.

Elizabeth exhaled slowly, but then took the ring from him, returning it as she slid it onto the finger of his left hand, her touch light and soft, the red polish of her nails stark against his skin.

Jason repeated the same vows that she’d spoken a moment ago. “I, Jason, receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Father Coates blessed the rings, then completed the ceremony. “May the Lord in his kindness strengthen the consent you have declared before the Church and graciously bring to fulfillment his blessings within you. What God has joined, let no one put asunder.” He closed his Bible, then smiled at Jason. “You may now kiss the bride.”

In a rush of breath, Jason looked back at Elizabeth, realizing that they’d done it. They were married. She smiled at him, tremulous but…happy? Was she really? He tipped up her head, then leaned down. Her mouth opened beneath his with a soft sigh, and for a moment, he nearly forgot where they were, his other hand sliding around her waist to draw her closer.

He would have remembered in another minute or Sonny would have coughed or something—but instead, the double doors, which one of the altar boys had closed after the ceremony had begun, burst open, slamming against the back walls.

And there was Carly, standing at the end of the aisle, furious.

Elizabeth, still in a daze, had trouble processing the scene at first. Her mouth was still warm from Jason’s as she drew away from him, startled at the interruption.

“What the hell is going on here?” Carly demanded as she stalked down the aisle, her brown eyes snapping with anger. “What is this?”

Jason’s arm, still around Elizabeth’s waist, tensed, and he drew her closer.

“Father,” Sonny murmured, going over to the priest. “If we could have a minute.”

The priest, accustomed to the drama of a wedding involving Sonny Corinthos, merely inclined his head. He left the room, followed by the altar boys and the piano player.

“You think this is going to do anything?” Carly demanded. She focused on Jason. “You think this is going to stop me?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jason said evenly. He looked at Sonny. “How did she get in?”

“I don’t know,” Sonny said tightly, “but I’ll be asking that question—”

“Do you expect me to believe you’re marrying this child because you’re in love?” Carly spat. “Please—”

“Carly, I hardly think you want this to get back to your husband,” Alexis said coming forward slightly, reaching out as if she were going to take Carly by the hand and draw her away. “Why don’t we—”

“Don’t touch me!” Carly slapped at her then grabbed Jason by the lapel of his suit jacket, jerking forward.

Elizabeth stepped back as Jason grimaced, reaching up to take Carly’s hands and lightly pushing her back.

“You cannot stand here and promise to love and cherish her when a month ago you were saying you loved me!” Carly cried.

Elizabeth inhaled sharply without thinking, and some of her reaction must have shown because Carly’s eyes were now lit with glee. Jason turned, his face lined with irritation—and guilt.

Because it was true. She could read his expressions now, and she knew that Carly wasn’t lying. Not about that.

Jason had told Carly a month ago that he loved her.

The air was sucked out of the room and reality returned, almost as if the hazy dreamy fantasy she’d been enjoying had been popped like a pin in a bubble.

Jason had barely admitted to more than possessing feelings for her, some of which were sexual. He had not told her he loved her or that he wanted a future with her. He enjoyed being around her, kissing her, and maybe there might be other things in the future.

But he had never lied to her.

“That’s right, little girl,” Carly taunted. “While you were patching him up like a sad, pathetic Florence Nightingale, he was telling me that he loved me! Do you know where he told me?”

That sliced through Elizabeth like a knife. In her studio, of course. That’s where Jason had been a month ago.

“If you don’t leave,” Jason said, stepping between Carly and Elizabeth, “then I’ll make a call to the Quartermaines. This is your last chance, Carly—”

“No, it was your last chance,” Carly snarled. “We were so close to everything we wanted, what we dreamed about, and you’re throwing it away for a child whose legs are glued shut—”

Elizabeth shoved past Jason and swung at Carly, the attack coming as such a surprise that the older woman fell backwards and hit the pew, then the ground. Elizabeth winced as pain laced through her fingers.

“Maybe if you kept your legs shut more often, you’d have less trouble,” Elizabeth retorted as Jason put an arm out, holding her back, staring at her with wide eyes. “Because last time I checked, you’re already married to someone else. If Jason wanted you, he’d be with you.”

Carly rose to her feet, wiping at her lip. “Oh, you have no idea what you just unleashed—I felt sorry for you!”

“I didn’t ask for your sympathy,” Elizabeth bit out. “But you’re going to need it when AJ finds out what you’ve done. Emily told me your prenup has an infidelity clause. You think the Quartermaine lawyers wouldn’t be interested in this little scene? He’ll drag you and up down that court room and you’ll walk out with absolutely nothing.” She smiled, but there was no humor in the expression. “Go ahead, Carly. I dare you.”

Carly hissed, then glared at Jason. “You’re going to be sorry,” she promised him. “This was your last chance.”

Then she stalked out of the church, the door slamming shut with a thud behind her.

Elizabeth’s hands curled into fists, facing away from everyone. She took a minute to get her breathing under control. To cool her expression. If Jason knew she was hurt or upset, he’d feel worse.

And he didn’t have a reason to feel that way. He hadn’t lied. Hadn’t made any promises. Elizabeth had known exactly what she was taking on.

She turned back to the trio, lifting her chin. “I think we need to sign some things before we go, and we need to let the photographer take the rest of the pictures,” she told Jason. “So let’s get it over with.”

“Elizabeth—” Jason began but Sonny elbowed him.

“She’s right. Let’s get it done, then Alexis and I will get out of your hair,” he told Jason.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Every time Jason thought he had a handle on Elizabeth, she flipped and showed him something new. But maybe he needed to stop underestimating her or trying to predict what she might do next, he thought as he unlocked the door and pushed it open, Sonny heading into his own penthouse.

Elizabeth went in first, removing the knit cap from her hair and tossing it on the desk. Then she unbuttoned her jacket, the diamond ring on her finger flashing as the stones hit the light.

“I’m sorry,” Jason said, breaking the tense silence. “I don’t even know how she found out—”

“The city clerk’s office probably,” Elizabeth said absently, laying the bouquet of tulips next to her coat. “They probably saw your name on the paperwork and called Edward or something. He probably couldn’t wait to tell Carly.”

Jason flinched at the reminder that the entire world knew about his previous relationship with Carly, even his own estranged family. “About what Carly said—”

“I didn’t punch her because of what she said to you,” Elizabeth interrupted. “You can handle yourself. I’m just tired of her throwing my rape in my face like it’s something I did to myself. She has no right—”

“No, I know. And I’m sorry you had to hear it, but she deserved it.” Jason reached for her hand, the knuckles red. “You need to keep your thumb outside your fist,” he told her, running his fingers across her skin. “That’s why it hurt.”

“And she’s got a hard head,” Elizabeth muttered. “It’s fine.” She drew her hand back. “I’ll remember that if I have to punch someone else later.”


“You don’t need to explain anything,” she told him. “About what Carly said. I may not—” She hesitated. “I may not know the extent of your relationship before you were shot, but I’m not an idiot.”

“It wasn’t—” Jason grimaced. “I just want to explain—”

“You don’t need to. You didn’t make me any promises that were broken by what she said, okay?” Elizabeth turned away from him, the fabric of her dress rustling and floating as she moved across the room towards the stairs.

“No, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t wrong. You may not need or want my explanation, but I still want to try.”

Elizabeth sighed, stopping at the base of the stairs, a hand on the railing. “All right. Then go ahead.”

“It’s true what she said. I told her I loved her,” Jason told her, his stomach twisting as her face remained perfectly expressionless. She might be saying nothing now, but he’d remembered the church. The gasp, the pallor of her skin.

“I told her it didn’t matter anymore after what she’d done. But I should have told her the rest of it. That it didn’t matter if I thought I loved her because she’d never be the person I needed her to be. The person I thought she was,” Jason continued. “She can say she loves me over and over again but she’s never done anything but—” He paused because saying it out loud was painful and humiliating but Elizabeth deserved it. “She’s never done anything but hurt me. And whatever I thought I felt for her—I was wrong. Because it’s not love. I should have known better.”

Elizabeth remained where she was, but her eyes had softened. “I’m sorry, Jason.”

“I’m not. If she hadn’t shown me who she really was underneath all the lies and broken promises, I might still think she loved me. That I loved her. I wouldn’t have seen you.”

Elizabeth’s hand tightened around the railing, the skin around her knuckles turning white. “What do you mean? You already knew me—”

“You and I both know things changed while I was staying with you,” he said softly. “That’s why I could walk away from whatever I thought was there with Carly. The night we met at Jake’s, do you remember what you asked me?”

“Do you know what nothing feels like,” she said, her voice scarcely audible. “And you said that’s where you live.”

“Until you,” he told her. “You dragged me back into living, Elizabeth. I told you. There are no words for what I feel for you. Love doesn’t seem like enough, but it’ll have to be.”

Quartermaine Mansion: Foyer

Carly didn’t care who saw her or what they thought as she slammed her way into the foyer and tossed her coat over the banister, preparing to storm up the stairs — until her husband stepped out from the front parlor, his face set like stone.

“We need to talk.”

His anger cut through her own, and Carly remembered that she was limited in her choices. Jason had made his that day in the church, choosing that simpering little waif over her, and now she was stuck for good.

She highly doubted that he was willing to even entertain the thought of getting her out of town now. She’d overplayed her hand, underestimated just how angry he was over Sonny — and she never should have made those remarks about Elizabeth’s rape in front of Jason.

AJ was the only thing that stood between her and losing everything.

Carly turned, her finger gripping the railing. “Why?”

“Did you really think I wouldn’t find out?” he demanded. “I’m not going to have this conversation with you in the middle of the foyer.” He jabbed his finger over his shoulder. “Get in here and let’s settle this.”

Carly grimaced, but obeyed. What choice did she have? Jason had made sure of that, hadn’t he?  And what exactly had AJ learned? Her trip to the church?

“You practically ran out of this house after Grandfather made that announcement this morning,” AJ said, closing both the double doors. “I followed you.”

Carly’s face paled, her heart pounding in her chest, in the throat, almost as if it was going to leap out of her mouth. “What?”

“I followed you to the church. I didn’t go in, so God only knows how you humiliated yourself,” AJ bit out, “but I waited. And then you came out, angry and upset. Jason came out later. With Elizabeth. So I guess you didn’t stop the wedding.” He paused. “And judging from that mark on your face, your presence wasn’t exactly welcome.”

Her cheek still throbbing, Carly folded her arms, and chose to remain silent. She’d give him nothing.

“I don’t know what the hell my brother is thinking, but I don’t care. I have my son,” AJ continued. “And the prenuptial agreement made it clear — if I get proof you’ve had an affair, you walk out of here with nothing and I get full custody of Michael. Do I need to remind you of that?”

“No,” Carly growled. “You don’t. I know what I signed—”

“Do you?” AJ demanded. “Because I wanted my son to have a family. His mother and his father. I know you love him, you know that I love him. I’ve given you everything, Carly! Everything! Unlimited access to every cent I own, and what have you done?”

She lifted her chin, said nothing.

“I have never, not once, done a single thing to deserve the way you’ve treated me,” AJ said. “I didn’t have to marry you, you know that. All of Jason’s money wouldn’t have changed what you did to me. What you both did to me. You tried to destroy my life so I wouldn’t suspect Michael was my son. I have proof that you drugged me, that you tried to break my sobriety.”

Carly gritted her teeth. Damn that Lorraine Miller for turning traitor then fleeing town. “I know that.”

“This is the last time you humiliate me, Carly. The absolute last time. Because I don’t need the prenuptial agreement to destroy you. If you think I won’t drag you into court and divorce you, you’re demented. I have all the cards here, Carly. And you have nothing.”

And she knew it. God, she knew it, and she had no one to blame but herself.

“You and my brother—whatever it was—it’s done. Let him go. If he wanted you, Carly, he had his chance. He married another woman. That’s his answer, isn’t it?”


“The next time I find you rushing out after Jason, I’m filing for divorce. Michael is young enough to forget you.”

He left then, slamming the double doors behind him as Carly flinched.

She had no choice now. She had to find a way to make her marriage work, to make AJ think this baby was his.

But Jason couldn’t be allowed off the hook so easily. He was going to have to pay for abandoning her.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Had Jason just…had he…

Love doesn’t seem like enough, but it’ll have to be.

Elizabeth’s hand fell from the railing and she stepped down, off the step. She swallowed hard. What did she say to that? How could she respond? He hadn’t even really said it, had he? But wasn’t it nearly the same? Oh, God, she didn’t know what to do—

But she couldn’t keep standing here, staring at him like an idiot. He was trying, wasn’t he? Trying to explain the twisted, complicated relationship with Carly—and honestly, what did he really owe her? They were married for reasons that had nothing to do with their feelings. Would she expect him to be in love with her after a week of dating if she wasn’t in a wedding dress?

Elizabeth took a deep breath, then went to him, his eyes staying on her with every step she took. Whatever he meant by what he said, whatever was swirling around in her head or his—

She curled her fingers in the lapels of his jacket, then tugged him down to her, kissing him with everything she had inside of her, everything she wanted and dreamed and fantasized about, his mouth warm and sweet against hers, his taste as addictive.

His fingers dug into her hair, tugging her head back to deepen the kiss, crushing her against him, her feet nearly leaving the ground. Blood pounded in her brain, her knees weak, and something was ringing—did she hear bells? What was that?

Jason broke away, breathing hard, his eyes glazed slightly. He brushed her bottom lip with his thumb. “It’s the phone,” he murmured. “Ignore it.”

No argument there, and Elizabeth dove back in, shoving his jacket off his shoulders, hearing it drop to the floor. But Jason didn’t kiss her again, not like that—instead, he kissed the hollow at the base of her throat and everything shivered, tingled, then burst into flame as his mouth moved across her skin, to the curve of her neck and shoulders, his fingers sliding gently beneath the straps of her dress. One slid off her shoulder—

“If you don’t pick up this phone right now, I am getting on a train, and I will use my key and I will come to that penthouse, and I don’t care—

Emily’s voice burst into the room like a gunshot blast and Elizabeth shoved Jason away, confused and startled. Then focused on the answering machine. “What—”

“I’m going to count to five. One, two—”

Her fingers trembling, Elizabeth jerked the phone off the hook. “Emily.”

“Elizabeth Imogene Webber,” Emily said, “you have a lot of explaining to do.”

It was like a bucket of cold water had been dumped over her head. Elizabeth pressed her other hand to her forehead, then looked at Jason, his face still flushed—and had she done that? Unbuttoned his shirt halfway? She drew her hand from her face, staring at it like it was alien to her.

“Elizabeth,” Emily repeated. “Are you listening to me? What is this message? And my mom called me, too. She said you got married. To my brother. What the—I just left for school—”

“I—” Elizabeth’s mind blanked. She had a story, didn’t she? She met Jason’s eyes in a blaze of panic. “I don’t—”

Jason, taking pity on her, pressed a button to put the call on speaker phone. “Emily.”

“Oh, no, it’s starting already,” Emily said, with some disgust. “I don’t think I’m insane for wanting to know what the hell is going on—”

“You know what’s going on,” Jason said, with a patience and evenness that Elizabeth envied. “Elizabeth and I got married this morning.”

“Oh, for crying out loud—”

“We got married because we wanted to,” Jason continued, “and we didn’t wait because we didn’t want to. That should cover it.”

“It absolutely does not—”

“Emily,” Elizabeth said, out of patience. “We got married this morning. Which means you are calling on our wedding night.”

There was a silence on the other line as Emily digested that information. “Listen—”

“And Elizabeth already told you our sex life is none of your business. We’ll call you tomorrow.” Jason hung up on sputtering his sister, plunging the room into silence as Elizabeth’s brain skittered and jumped.

We got married because we wanted to…our sex life is none of your business…

“That should keep her in New York. At least for tonight,” Jason said.

“Maybe. I’ll leave a message for her when I know she’s in class.” Elizabeth absently drew the sagging strap of her dress back over her shoulder, and his eyes followed the movement. She flushed. “Um, I was gonna go and change. I don’t—” She bit her lip. “The fabric is kind of delicate—I just don’t want anything to happen to it.”

Jason dragged a hand through his hair, then nodded. “Yeah, okay. I’ll go—I think there’s some lasagna or something in the freezer. I’ll go defrost it.”

They stared at each other for another long moment, then went their separate ways.


  • I love this story. This chapter is the best. I only wished that it really happened. Carly can go to h..l.

    According to Carolyn Grandchamp on September 14, 2023
  • I hope someone tells AJ Carly slept with Sonny. Great story.

    According to Shelly on September 14, 2023
  • Can I be mad that Emily called at the wrong time. I thought it was so sweet Jason went up the isle to collect Elizabeth. I am so glad Elizabeth hit Carly. I hope Carly doesn’t press charges.

    According to Carla P on September 14, 2023
  • oh, this chapter was perfection!
    absolute perfection
    loved it!

    According to vicki on September 18, 2023