Chapter 40

This entry is part 40 of 41 in the Signs of Life

Maybe it’s intuition
But some things you just don’t question
Like in your eyes, I see my future in an instant
And there it goes
I think I found my best friend
I know that it might sound
More than a little crazy but I believe

I Knew I Loved You, Savage Garden


Friday, February 5, 2000

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

“Are you sure?” Sonny asked. He stared down at the floor, not looking up. Not making eye contact with Jason, making him feel even worse at how things had turned out. His hair was disheveled and his eyes bloodshot from a sleepless night spent in lockup. Alan had dropped the charges that morning.

“There’s a chance she might be lying,” Jason acknowledged, “but she probably had this as a backup plan. The Quartermaines are going for the jugular in the divorce and custody — and Carly knew you weren’t likely to do her any favors with that.”

“Not in a chance in hell—”

“If she’d kept the baby,” Jason said gently, “she’d be fighting custody battles on two fronts. I honestly think she cut her losses. She wasn’t able to get out of town with Michael and live to fight another day. She thought I’d wait until the paternity tests came back and that there’d be more time to plan.”

And she hadn’t been wrong, Jason thought with some bitterness. He had been ready to wait until the last minute to come forward with all of this. What did that say about him? He dragged a hand down his face. “Listen—”

“It’s her choice at the end of the day,” Sonny said. He finally met Jason’s eyes. “And I don’t—I don’t blame you. Okay? I know I said I did, but I thought about it, and you know, you could have been right. Maybe a paternity test says it’s AJ’s kid. Better for everyone. Why blow up the situation if you don’t have to?”

“Maybe.”

“And it’s not like I really wanted to bring a kid into this world with that woman,” Sonny continued. “We’d have spent eighteen years screaming at each other.” He went over to the minibar, poured himself a drink.

“Sonny—”

“Even with all that,” Sonny murmured, “I still had a moment—where I thought back to Lily. When she told me about the baby. I didn’t love her the way she deserved, but I would have tried so hard for that baby.”

“I know you would have.” Jason shoved his hands in his pockets. “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, well, at least Carly is finally somebody else’s problem.” Sonny raised the glass in Jason’s direction in a mock toast, then drank.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Jason came in, found Elizabeth sketching at the desk. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She twisted on the chair and came over to him, sliding her arms around his waist. “How did it go? I mean, where—”

“I don’t know and I don’t care. I found her, and I called Ned with the information. I only went to talk to her for Sonny. She had an abortion,” Jason said, tugging off his jacket and hanging it up in the closet. Then turned, looked at her. Silence hung between them.

“I don’t know what to say,” Elizabeth said finally. “Did—is Sonny okay?”

“Yeah. At least for now. I’ll have to keep an eye on him, but—” Jason scratched at the corner of his brow. “It’s probably a good thing.”

“Probably.”

“Just—I don’t know. Would Carly have a made different choice if I hadn’t stayed quiet?” And what if Elizabeth hadn’t talked sense into him? What if Jason had slipped into his old patterns, and to keep Sonny’s child safe, he’d done what Carly wanted? He didn’t know how he felt about that possibility.

“Maybe.”

“Or maybe it’s like I told Sonny—this was always in her back pocket. She could have an abortion for another month or so—”

“Longer,” Elizabeth corrected him, and he frowned at her. “New York is twenty-four weeks. I looked it up when I—” She folded her arms. “Bobbie gave me a morning after pill, but there wasn’t any guarantees, so I wanted to know. I mean, if I’d gotten pregnant after that, I think I would have terminated.” She cleared her throat. “Anyway. She had time.”

“Yeah.” Jason shook his head, clearing his thoughts. “It’s over. She’s been served, and she knows that I’m done. She’ll have to sink or swim on her own.” He drew Elizabeth close to him, framing her face in his hands. “Thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything—”

“If it wasn’t for you,” Jason said, resting his forehead against hers. Her hand slid up his chest. “If it wasn’t for you—” he didn’t know how to finish that statement. How to put any of this into words. He kissed her instead, pressing her closer, wanting to stay just like this for as long as he could.

Brownstone: Front Step

“Just wait here,” Carly hissed at the driver. “I’ll get your damn money.” She left him, the meter running to go up the stairs to her mother’s house, still seething. AJ thought a prenuptial agreement would protect him? That she wouldn’t find a way to regroup, to get back what she was owed? Damn it—

She’d just have to find a way to talk around her mother. To make Bobbie understand and give her just one more chance. She was a soft touch — Carly knew how to make it work.

She twisted the knob, but found it locked. She banged on the door, and a few moments later, it opened. Her mother stood there.

“Mama. Thank God. I need your help—” Her voice trembled. “It’s so horrible. They took my money, my car. I don’t have anything — I can’t even pay for the motel or the taxi—I need—please—”

Bobbie tipped her head. “I just got off the phone with Jason. He told me he’d found you. Didn’t want me to worry.”

Carly pressed her lips together. “I don’t know what he told you, Mama, but—”

“It was a good choice,” Bobbie said slowly. “The right one. You’re not fit to be a mother, and Sonny, for all his sins, doesn’t deserve what you’d do to him. AJ certainly didn’t.”

“Mama—”

Bobbie stepped back for a moment, closed the door, and for one long horrible moment, Carly thought her mother was going to just walk away. But then she opened it, reappeared. Relief flooded. “Oh, thank God—”

“Here’s sixty dollars. It’s all I have on me. Why don’t you have that cab take you to a pawn shop?” She gestured at the rings on Carly’s fingers. “That should give you enough to start over. Not enough for the lawyer you’ll need, but that’s your problem. Goodbye, Carly.”

Bobbie closed the door, and Carly gaped in disbelief. She clutched the cash in her hand, her throat tightening.

No one left. All the bridges were burnt.

Oh, God. What was she supposed to do now?

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

“Hey. I was thinking,” Elizabeth said, joining him at the window, sliding her arms around him. “Maybe we could invite Sonny over for dinner or something. I feel bad about him being alone right now. I know—well, I know you’re still not happy with him, but—”

“After I lied to him for two weeks,” Jason said, with a sigh, “it’s a little hard to hold on to the way I felt before yesterday.” He kissed the top of her head. “Yeah. I’ll go ask him later. Right now, I think he really does want to be alone for a while.”

“Okay. Do you have to go to work, or—”

“No. I’m good for a while.” He stroked her back, thinking about what had occurred to him on the way back from the motel. Yesterday, they’d been married a full month. He wasn’t one for birthdays or anniversaries, but he knew Elizabeth probably was.

And he hadn’t been able to give her much of anything that she deserved since that day in the church. But maybe—he thought of a silent promise he’d made to himself a few weeks earlier. “Wait here,” he said, drawing back. He took her hand in his, kissed the inside of her palm. Elizabeth smiled at him, but her eyes were a bit confused.

Jason crossed over to a table where she’d left a radio and stacks of her CDs and cassettes. He made a face as he looked through them. He didn’t know anything about music or which song were slow or fast — He could pick one at random, but— Finally, he looked at Elizabeth. “Which one is your favorite?”

“My favorite?” Surprised, she went over to him, took the CD he was holding, tipping her head. “Why?”

“Just—” Jason sighed. “At the No Name,” he clarified, “when we danced. You wished we were somewhere else.”

“And I said that the first time we danced, it was about someone else.” Elizabeth smiled at him, her eyes lighting with amusement. “Is that what you want? Something to dance to?”

He squinted. He couldn’t tell if she thought this was stupid idea or — “Yes. That’s what I want.”

“All right.” She set the CD in his hand down, then flipped through a few of the others stacked. She opened a case, put one into the radio, then messed with the buttons. “Here. This one.”

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark

He took her hand as the music filtered through the penthouse, and drew her against him, the way they had danced that night at Kelly’s. But it was different now. He was comfortable sliding his hands around her waist, and her cheek against his heart—her hands on the sleeves of his sweater.

Try as I may, I can never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

They swayed slightly, and Jason just let the rest of the world fall away. There was nothing left to worry about. Sorel was out of their lives, Carly was no longer a threat—it was just the two of them.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me

He wanted it to be like this all the time—coming home to see her face, to know that he could say anything to her and Elizabeth would always find a way to understand, even when he didn’t. That her face would never change — she knew who he was and what he did. What he was capable of.

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall
You say it best, when you say nothing at all

“I was thinking about what you said,” he murmured, and Elizabeth stirred, stepping back just a bit so that their eye could meet. “When we found out we didn’t need the entire year.”

“What I said?” she echoed.

All day long, I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you drown out the crowd

“You said you didn’t want us to just drift,” Jason continued, tucking her hair behind her ears. He would never get tired of touching her, of letting his fingertips trail across her soft skin.

Her eyes searched his, then she nodded. “Because it needed to be a promise,” Elizabeth said. “I didn’t like the way you’d told me about it. The way Sonny had phrased it.”

“That we should just stay married until we didn’t want to be anymore,” Jason clarified. She nodded.

Try as they may, they can never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine

“It keeps one foot out the door,” Elizabeth said, her fingers tightening on his sleeves. She swallowed hard. “And I don’t want that for us. To constantly worry that this is the fight, this is the moment when we’ll decide to walk away.”

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me

“I don’t want that either.” He tilted her chin up, kissed her, long, lingering. “I can’t ask you to marry me,” he murmured against her lips. “You already did that.”

“I did.” He could hear the smile in her voice, felt the curve of her lips against his own.

“I love you,” he said, and he felt her gasp. Then Elizabeth pulled back, their eyes meeting. “I love you,” Jason repeated. “So I’m asking you to stay. To make the promise. I want it.”

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

“You—” Elizabeth swallowed hard. “I—” She closed her eyes, then opened them again, tears dampening her lashes, making her eyes sparkle. “I love you. And I want that promise, too. I want to stay.”


Song: When You Say Nothing At All, Ronan Keating


Comments

  • WOW! How perfect was that ending❤️❤️❤️. Amazing story and the added content just made it more perfect.

    According to Golden Birl on November 30, 2023
  • I was surprise Sonny didn’t throw barware. I was glad Jason asked Elizabeth to stay and they both said I love you

    According to Carla P on November 30, 2023
  • You had me crying for what Jason was saying to Liz. Carly got what was coming to her. I love how Bobbie made it tough love on her.

    According to Shelly on December 1, 2023