Chapter Seven

— Courthouse —

Brenda shook her head as Jax’s ex-wife stumbled out of the room and the judge adjourned for lunch. “Honestly, coming to the trial drunk as a loon…is there no level she won’t stoop to?”

“Quiet,” Alexis hissed. She glanced down at her trial notes. “We’re doing pretty well so far. There’s only AJ left, and he’ll probably be after lunch.”

“Ooh, lunch,” Brenda grinned. “I am so hungry.” She stood. “We going to the cafeteria again, trying to show off just how happy me and my darling husband are?” she asked, looping an arm through Jason’s. He grimaced and tried to pull away.

“Actually,” Alexis said. “Ric and I would like to go over Elizabeth’s testimony.”

“That’s fine,” Elizabeth said.

“I guess it’s just you and me,” Brenda said, grinning. Jason glared at her.

“Go away,” he told her through gritted teeth.

“Is that anyway to treat the love of your life?” Brenda asked, whacking him in the arm.

Jason was about to reply when he saw Sonny standing at the entrance, glaring at him. He sighed. “I think I have to go talk to him.”

“May the force be with you,” Brenda said, nodding as her husband headed towards the hallway. “Hey, what do you say I go to the cafeteria, grab some sandwiches and bring them back up?”

“Sure,” Alexis agreed. “Elizabeth come take a seat here. We need to discuss the history of your friendship with Jason.”

“Sure,” Elizabeth replied, sitting in one of the empty seats at the defense tables. “What do you need to know?”

“Well, first of all, we’re going to avoid talking about any danger you might have been in from this association, like your kidnapping, okay? If we don’t bring it up, Scott might not either. He won’t know about most of it.”

“Right,” Elizabeth said. “We’ll have to avoid talking about the times he spent in the studio.”

“Why?” Ric asked, curiously.

“Well, the first time, he’d been shot and the second, no one could know he was in town,” Elizabeth replied. “I don’t think either would be good for his case.”

“But it’s practically general knowledge that Jason was staying with you that Christmas,” Alexis reminded her.

“Of course,” Elizabeth remarked, dryly. “Your nephew made sure of that. I guess I could tell you he was sick and needed someone to take care of him since he hated hospitals.”

“That’s good,” Ric murmured, writing it down. “Okay, when was the very first time you met Jason?”

“Um…” Elizabeth hesitated, trying to remember. “Okay, the first time I saw Jason was at the wedding that didn’t happen, between Brenda and Sonny. And then it was at Luke’s, when Nikolas was shot and Jason saved his life by performing that nasty looking emergency surgery with the pen.”

“And after that?” Ric asked, taking notes.

“Um, here and there around town for a while. You know, Jason was always in the news. I saw him at the Nurse’s Ball when he broke up a fight between Luck and Nikolas. Lucky worked for him that summer, washing his cars. And then Jason arranged for Lucky to move into the garage and work for him there.”

“Good. So, when did you and Jason become friends?” Ric asked.

“Not until after we thought Lucky was dead. I was at Jake’s. Still not sure what I wanted to accomplish, but I went there, I guess looking for a way to distract myself from the pain. To make a long story short, Jason got rid of an unwanted admirer and we talked.”

“Okay, and what happened…”

— After Lunch —

“Wow,” Brenda murmured over the barrier to Elizabeth. “You guys have quite the history. I never knew there was a Jason like that under the one I see.”

“I guess I got lucky,” Elizabeth said. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jason striding back into the courtroom, his shoulders a little slumped. He sat next to Brenda.

“How’d it go with him?” Brenda asked, almost concerned.

Jason just shook his head and looked away.

“He’s a jackass,” Elizabeth muttered.

“Nah, just a selfish, self-centered prig,” Brenda replied, grinning. “So, Jase. I hear you’re good with splinters.”

Jason whipped his head around to give his wife a strange look. “What?” he asked incredulously.

“Brenda was here while I went over what I’d say on the stand,” Elizabeth told Jason. “We needed to strategize.”

“You told them everything?”

“Not everything,” Elizabeth replied. She gave him a small smile. “I kept a few things to myself.”

“Which she is so telling me tonight,” Brenda told Jason confidently.

“Ha, you can’t force this stuff out of me,” Elizabeth said.

“We’ll see about that,” Brenda remarked as the judge took his place and called the court to order.

— Later —

“No further questions,” Alexis said, a smug smile on her face as she finished tearing into AJ Quartermaine.

“Mr. Baldwin?” the judge asked.

“The prosecution rests,” Scott muttered, not even bothering to stand.

“Ms. Davis, Mr. Lansing?” the judge asked. “Who’s going first?”

“I am, Your Honor,” Ric said. He stood. “The defense recalls Elizabeth Webber to the stand.”

“Objection,” Scott leapt to his feet. “They had their chance yesterday.”

“Your Honor, the prosecution has done everything they can to portray my client as a cold-blooded vicious killer. I have every right to call a witness to rebut that characterization,” Ric replied, confidently.

“Why didn’t they do that yesterday?” Scott challenged.

“We weren’t prepared for that yesterday,” Ric explained. “Ms. Webber was a surprise witness–in fact, we had no idea why she was being called. But now that we’ve sat down and talked to her, we think she would be a good witness for us.”

“Your Honor–” Scott protested.

“I’ll allow it,” the judge remarked. “Ms. Webber?”

Elizabeth took her seat and once again swore the oath. She felt a little more comfortable on the stand today and gave Ric a charming smile as he approached her.

Brenda glanced at Jason in time to see the slight glare in his eyes. “Hey, Caveman, control yourself,” she hissed.

“Good afternoon, Ms. Webber. Would you state your full name for the record?” Ric asked.

“Elizabeth Webber,” Elizabeth said.

“And how do you know the defendant, Jason Morgan?”

“We’re friends,” Elizabeth told him. She glanced at Jason. “Good friends.”

“How did this friendship start?” Ric asked.

“We knew each other through my ex-boyfriend Lucky Spencer and his sister, Emily Quartermaine, but it wasn’t until about three and a half years ago that we became close,” Elizabeth told him. “I was going through a difficult time–we thought my boyfriend was dead and up until then, he’d been the stabilizing force in my life. I went to a bar to try and find a distraction, I guess. Jason got rid of an unwanted admirer and we talked.”

“How would you describe your friendship with the defendant?” Ric asked.

“Jason’s a great friend,” Elizabeth said honestly. “He’s a great listener. I have this tendency to ramble and some people tune out, but Jason always listens. He really helped me out when no one else could. He’s a very kind and loyal person. Once Jason’s your friend…you can do almost anything and you won’t lose him.”

“What sorts of things did you and the defendant do together?”

“Objection, this is just ridiculous,” Scott blustered.

“Your Honor, I’m trying to give the jury a different view of my client,” Ric told the judge. “Council doesn’t like it because it doesn’t work for him.”

“You know what–” Scott began.

“Counselors,” the judge barked. “Act your ages.”

“Sorry,” Ric muttered.

“What he said,” Scott grumbled, sitting back down.

“Ms. Webber?” Ric prompted.

“Jason and I went for rides on his motorcycle a lot,” Elizabeth replied. “But other than that, not much. Mostly we just talked.”

“So you and Jason are close,” Ric stated. “You even testified yesterday that it seemed to be heading towards a relationship.”

“At one time, yes,” Elizabeth replied. “But Jason and I work better as friends,” she lied. “He’s very happy with Brenda. She brings out a side to him that few people get to see.”

Brenda snorted. “That’s one way to put it.”

“You testified yesterday that you and Jason weren’t on speaking terms any longer. Is that still true?” Ric asked.

“No. In fact, when Brenda realized we weren’t talking, she made it her mission to fix that,” Elizabeth replied.

“You and Brenda are good friends?” Ric asked.

“We’re getting there,” Elizabeth told him. “She’s a very…unique person.”

“Ms. Webber, would you say you know Jason Morgan well?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth replied, without hesitation. “I know Jason better than almost anyone else.”

“Do you think he killed Luis Alcazar?”

“Objection,” Scott called. “Speculation.”

“Your Honor, Ms. Webber is a character witness,” Ric reminded the judge. “She’s entitled to her opinion.”

“Overruled.”

“No,” Elizabeth said. “I don’t think Jason killed Alcazar. Not even a little.”

“Thank you,” Ric replied. “No further questions.”

“Ms. Davis?”

Alexis stood. “Ms. Webber, how would you describe Ms. Barrett?”

“Objection! The witness is a character witness for Jason Morgan, not his wife,” Scott barked.

“Ms. Webber has spent a lot of time around Brenda Barrett-Morgan in the past twenty-four hours,” Alexis argued. “She can be a character witness for them both. Unless of course, Scott, you’re worried that Elizabeth’s testimony might work against you.”

“She’s a liar,” Scott stated. “I don’t buy a word of what she says.”

“Careful, Baldwin. I already warned you that Ms. Webber wouldn’t hesitate to slap a slander suit on you,” Alexis retorted.

“That’s enough,” the judge cut in. “Objection overruled. Ms. Davis?”

“Thank you. Now, Ms. Webber, how would you describe my client?” Alexis repeated.

“Brenda…” Elizabeth hesitated and grinned. “Brenda is unlike anyone else I’ve ever met. In the past twenty-four hours, since we met yesterday, we’ve become close. She’s a good person. A little…strange, but fun to be around.”

“You and Brenda get along?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth replied. “In fact, we get along almost too well. At lunch yesterday, I think we scared the people around us. You told me that I was very Brenda-like.”

“Yes, I did. And just so we’re clear, do you think Brenda killed Luis Alcazar?” Alexis asked.

“No,” Elizabeth said firmly. “I don’t think so at all.”

“Thank you,” Alexis replied. “No further questions.”

“Mr. Baldwin?” the judge asked.

Scott stood, straightened his jacket and glared at Elizabeth for a second. “Ms. Webber, have you ever been in any sort of danger because of your relationship with Jason Morgan?”

“Danger?” Elizabeth asked. She cocked her head to the side. “What kind of danger?”

Scott scowled. “Were you or were you not kidnapped this summer?”

“I got lost and ended up locked in this nasty crypt,” Elizabeth lied effortlessly. “I went to this cemetery to do some rubbings. You know, you take a piece of paper and hold it over a tombstone while rubbing like graphite or charcoal over it. I took Zander Smith with me and we got locked in the crypt.” She laughed a little. “Thank God Jason and Sonny found us.”

“What about Jason Morgan filing a report with Lieutenant Taggart stating that you had been kidnapped?” Scott asked.

Elizabeth’s eyes widened and she looked at Jason. Taggart? Report? “I…I didn’t tell anyone but Zander where I was going. I guess Jason was worried,” she murmured finally.

Jason looked down and shifted in his seat a little.

“Uh huh. Why would he leap to the conclusion you’d been kidnapped?”

“Maybe because my studio was in shambles,” Elizabeth replied, easily. “I was reorganizing it and everything was a mess. Usually it’s kind of neat and such, so I’m sure Jason saw that and when I didn’t come for two or three days, I guess he was worried.”

“And how would Jason Morgan get inside your studio?” Scott challenged.

Elizabeth smirked. “He has a key. Jason’s welcome at my studio anytime. He knows that.”

“You give all your friends keys?” Scott demanded.

“Yes,” Elizabeth replied. “I think Lucky Spencer still has a key. You could ask him.”

“But Lucky Spencer was your ex-fiancé,” Scott reminded her. “Are you sure Jason was just a friend?”

“Jason has had a key for almost three years,” Elizabeth replied. “Long before anything almost developed between us.”

“You admit that there was more between you,” Scott jumped on her words.

“I never said there wasn’t,” Elizabeth shot back. “It didn’t work out and we went back to being friends.”

Scott glared at the young woman. “You’ve got an answer for everything, don’t you?” he muttered.

“Objection!” Ric called.

“Withdrawn,” Scott said. “Ms. Webber, have you ever seen Jason Morgan attack anyone in any way?”

“No,” Elizabeth replied. “I’ve never seen any sort of unprovoked violence from Jason.”

“Unprovoked?” Scott asked.

“Well, when someone attacks you with a knife, you generally do have to defend yourself,” Elizabeth said coolly. “My boyfriend at the time was feeling a little jealous and went after him.”

“And that was the only time?” Scott pressed.

“Well, Lucky didn’t get the point,” Elizabeth replied. “He went after him again.”

“So, you want us to believe that Jason Morgan is cute cuddly gentle old teddy bear, huh?” Scott asked sarcastically.

“Objection,” Alexis cut in.

“Withdrawn. No further questions.” Scott stalked back to his seat and sat down, glowering.

Elizabeth smiled.

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