Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left
Cleaning up the mess he made
– Daughters, John Mayer
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
General Hospital: Nurse’s Station
Robin twirled the gilded invitation in her hands. “So Christmas Eve at the Haunted Star.” She glanced over at Elizabeth, who was studiously making notations in her chart. “You going?”
“Never miss it,” Elizabeth replied. “Em and I only won enough money to pay our bar tab last year, so I’m ditching her.” She set down her pen and eyed Robin. “How much do you think my brother and father are going to explode when they find out I’m going with Jason this year?”
Robin set the invitation on the counter and blinked at her. “You’re going to have to enter Witness Protection, Ellie. They are going to freak—”
“Well, I don’t care.” Elizabeth folded her arms across her chest, and set her lips in a mutinous line. “Jason’s amazing with numbers and I want to have a good time.”
“Uh huh…” Robin tapped her fingers on the chart in front of her. “So, is this like a date?” She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. “What happened to just friends?”
“We are completely platonic.”
“Right,” Robin drawled. She pressed a finger to her chin and pretended to look confused. “Tell me, has he filled out working for Sonny? I remember Jay was relatively well-built, but I imagine all that heavy lifting has led to some…changes.”
Elizabeth’s cheeks blazed with color and looked back at her charts. “He looks healthy,” she mumbled.
Robin smirked and came closer to Elizabeth. “I remember Jay had the most beautiful blue eyes. Patrick was lucky I saw him first. Does he still have those eyes?”
“And the most beautiful smile,” Elizabeth said without thinking.
The third voice broke the two out of their fun. Robin wrinkled her nose. Not once since she’d returned the week before had she and Patrick had a decent conversation. He was still bitter about the way she’d broken up with him, though she didn’t understand it. They’d both been unhappy before she’d left. “No one—”
“Wasn’t talking to you,” Patrick held up a hand. “I have decided that the best way to preserve the peace is just to pretend you’re not there.”
Robin narrowed her eyes. “Well, that sounds good to me, you son of—”
“Patrick,” Elizabeth interrupted. “Don’t you have rounds?” She raised an eyebrow. “Go be a doctor.”
Patrick saw the invitation Robin had discarded on the counter in front of him and raised his eyes back to them. Suspicion filled his dark eyes. “Ellie, who are you going to the party with? Emily?”
“Um…” Elizabeth hesitated, which was clearly all that Patrick needed. He closed his eyes and started to shake his head, as if bitterly disappointed in her.
Robin wasn’t sure if she should leap to Elizabeth’s defense, or stay out of the argument. Maybe Patrick had a point—if they could just ignore each other for a while, he’d get used to seeing her around the hospital…and then they could lean to co-exist. She just wasn’t sure how long she had before she had to tell everyone the truth.
“Robin.” She snapped to when she realized Patrick was looking at her, almost beseechingly. “Can you please explain to my sister that hanging around criminals is a bad thing? Your parents are in law enforcement—”
“I am just…” She held up her hands in surrender. “I don’t want to get in the middle of this.” She picked up her charts and cast her friend an apologetic look. “I’m going to do my rounds.” As she stepped out of the station, she heard Patrick muttering something. She whirled around. “What the hell did you just say?”
“I said go ahead and run,” Patrick repeated, the anger bleeding from his words. “We know you hate hanging around when things are tough. So go do what you do best—”
“You’re such a bastard—” Robin stopped and closed her eyes. Without another word, she stalked away. She wasn’t going to get caught up in another Patrick Drake tirade and remind herself why she’d left Port Charles in the first place.
Harborview Towers: Sonny Corinthos’ Penthouse
The rumors about Sonny Corinthos were generally correct. He lived in a penthouse in the most expensive and posh building in downtown Port Charles with windows were made of bulletproof glass and armed guards at his door. He had a smile that was equal parts wicked and charm and a dimple that set many hearts a flutter. There was a crackle of danger around him—something that told the casual visitor that while he might seem completely focused on you, there was a part of his mind that was planning his next criminal activity.
He was, after all, the notorious crime lord in the area, controlling all of Port Charles and the surrounding areas. He controlled the drugs (of which there was little), the prostitution (a lamentable but necessary enterprise), the gambling (only Luke’s casino was exempt out of friendship) and of course, the smuggling of contraband through their warehouses located on the docks. He ran Port Charles with an iron fist and the only reason that Commissioner Robert Scorpio hadn’t brought him down yet was through the legal expertise of Sonny’s brother, Ric Lansing.
But for all of his crimes and all of his dangerous tendencies, Sonny was a good man. A family man, wildly in love with his wife Brenda and a loyal friend to those he took under his wing.
He liked to think of Jason Morgan as his friend, as someone to look out for and protect. He’d given Jason a legitimate job parking cars at Luke’s but he’d seen that the younger man was hungry for something more. Not for power or for violence like some men in their business, but for a sense of self-worth—something that been stolen when AJ Quartermaine had crashed his car and sent his brother into a coma that eventually wiped his memory.
And so, against his better judgment, he gave Jason a few courier jobs. He’d cautioned Jason not to tell anyone that he was moving up in the organization and Jason had agreed, even keeping it from his only friend, Elizabeth Drake. His loyalty to Sonny would always come first and that was the first lesson he’d learned in this business.
And now, Sonny was standing in the living room of his penthouse, sipping bourbon and preparing to give Jason an even more important job. Despite his age and his inexperience, Jason had keen instincts and he could spot a liar and a cheat from a mile away.
“Ruiz is going to be at the Haunted Star on Christmas Eve,” Sonny remarked. “He received an invitation from Luke at my request.” He sipped his drink. “I need a public meeting so that if it becomes necessary, I can say we had a friendly relationship.”
“Will it become necessary?” Jason asked, not out of disrespect but genuine curiosity so Sonny answered him. Hector Ruiz had long been one of Sonny’s associates, part of the network and Ruiz had run the drugs in Port Charles since even before Sonny came to power.
“If he continues pushing the drugs to the kids, then yeah,” Sonny nodded slowly, “it’ll be necessary. I would like you to be present at this meeting. I want your opinion on Hector Ruiz and whether you think he’s going to make a play for the territory or if he’s just overstepping his bounds.”
Jason hesitated and rubbed the back of his neck, feeling uncomfortable now. “I was already going,” he admitted. “Elizabeth asked me.”
Sonny nodded. “Good, good. It’s only going to be fifteen minutes out of the evening. Just make sure she doesn’t know.”
“I can’t—” Jason shook his head. “I won’t lie to her.”
The one drawback to Jason Morgan was his inability to lie. Or his refusal to be anything less than brutally honest. It was, in fact, the only flaw. Sonny pressed his lips together in disapproval. Honesty would not get him far in this business but neither was he going to stamp out what could be a useful trait in some instances. “You don’t have to lie. Just don’t answer the question.”
Not understanding that piece of advice, Jason chose not to pursue the topic. “Is that everything?” he asked.
“Yeah, yeah,” Sonny checked the clock on his desk. “Brenda will be back from the club any minute so we’re done for now.” He grinned. “Picking Elizabeth up from work? Again?”
Jason shifted and looked away. “She likes the motorcycle,” he admitted. “And it’s going to snow this week so I figure we should get one last ride in before that.”
“She’s a nice girl,” Sonny remarked.
Knowing that Jason wouldn’t elaborate beyond the point—more because he couldn’t explain the friendship between himself and the nurse, Sonny didn’t press and Jason left, somewhat relieved. He’d do almost anything for Sonny, but talking about his friendship with Elizabeth was one of the few subjects they hadn’t broached much.
It was an odd friendship, to be sure. Born from the days he’d still been in the hospital and she still a nursing student. She had known Jason Quartermaine and had been friends with him, as well as Jason Quartermaine’s adopted sister Emily. But after the first few visits, her smile hadn’t been so sad and he stopped thinking that she was pretending he was the guy he used to be.
She had been supportive when he’d chosen to move into a room above Jake’s, a seedy bar on the docks rather than returning to Jason Quartermaine’s room at the Quartermaine estate. And she hadn’t tried to talk him out of working for Sonny, even though Jason could tell Elizabeth was uncomfortable with the idea. And she wasn’t afraid to be seen with him, wasn’t afraid to join him for motorcycle rides, no matter how fast he took the curves of the road.
He had long ago grasped the concept of best friend and had fit Sonny into that slot but whatever he had with Elizabeth was different and harder to define. He wondered what she’d say about them. If they were best friends or something more—which led to thoughts that, quite frankly, he wasn’t ready for.
General Hospital: Break Room
Emily tossed a book of invitations onto a stack of other wedding books. “I changed my mind,” she remarked. “I think we should go to Vegas.”
Robin laughed and set her medical journal aside. “Well, Vegas has its charm. But Nikolas being a prince and all, I don’t think he’s going to see it that way.”
Emily huffed. “You make a good point. But planning a wedding when your own family hates the groom is the opposite of fun.” She bit her lip and looked down.
“Edward still holding on to that?” Robin asked.
“Yes,” Emily admitted. “He offered to pay at first, but he kept changing his mind and resetting the date, and refused to make any decisions, so I knew he was just using it keep me from Nikolas. It’s a complete nightmare, Robin.”
“Ah, yes, a complete nightmare. Marrying the man of your dreams and becoming a princess,” Robin said dryly. “You poor girl, I should send flowers. Edward loves you, he’ll come around.”
Rather than discuss her grandfather’s threats to disown her if she went through the wedding, she forced a smile on her face. She rolled up one of her bridal magazines and smacked Robin with it. “You’re no help. You’re supposed to commiserate with me.”
“Is that my line?” Robin replied with a laugh. “I didn’t get the script change.” She shrugged. “Just tell Lila.”
“I don’t want to burden my grandmother with more of Grandfather’s shenanigans,” Emily sighed. “She’s still heartbroken about the rift with Jason. She’s the only one he bothers to talk to in the family but he can’t come around with the family constantly hanging about. I wish things were different.” Her eyes filled with shadows and she looked away. “I wish it was like it used to be. Before the accident, before AJ started drinking and you and Patrick were happy and Ellie and Patrick’s mom was still alive.” She shook her head. “Nothing feels the same anymore.”
“Yeah,” Robin murmured, “they seem to be okay though.” She shifted in her seat, probably uncomfortable because she’d left for Paris mere months after Mattie Drake had succumbed to cancer after a long sickness, which Emily had never understood but to each their own. “I didn’t think Noah would ever be okay again.”
“It was rough,” Emily admitted. “I’m sure Ellie’s told you, but Noah was drinking for about a year—worse than AJ’s addiction ever was.”
Robin frowned. “No, she never said anything about it. She was upset for a while about how I left, I guess. But Noah looks good now—”
“Well, it hit rock bottom before it started to get better,” Emily remarked. “Patrick moved out and refused to talk to Noah. And then Ellie was left to hold the family together because those two are so damn stubborn. Anyway, Noah was in a car accident and the judge sentenced him to mandatory rehab. He’s been supposedly sober ever since, so he and Patrick are trying to get back to normal. They only agree on on subject–terrorizing Ellie.”
“I didn’t know any of that,” Robin said softly. “But I had my own stuff going on. I wouldn’t have been able to come back.”
Emily’s eyes narrowed. “What kind of stuff?” she asked curiously.
Robin’s eyes cleared and she shook her head. “I have to do another set of rounds before my shifts over. Don’t let Edward get you down, Em.” She stood and shoved her medical journal into her locker before exiting the room.
General Hospital: Parking Lot
Elizabeth emerged from the building, rubbing the side of her face and tugging her jacket tight over her scrubs. She had been too tired to head to the locker room after her shift and change.
From beginning to end, it had been an extraordinarily hellish shift. She’d lost two patients on her floor and had had to inform each of the families. And then she’d found Robin and Patrick arguing bitterly over one of Noah’s cases—Robin was advocating drug therapy and Patrick, of course, surgery. Elizabeth had attempted to mediate but Patrick had told her to go away and too annoyed with him, she’d obeyed.
Lulu had tried to plead with her to step in Epiphany and get her off bedpan duty and had been irritated when Elizabeth was unable to help and to make matters worse, Emily’s grandfather had shown up for a meeting of the board of directors and had started an argument with Nikolas Cassadine in the lobby, which she’d just escaped from.
She just wanted to go to her tiny apartment, draw a bath and soak in it for the rest of her life. And maybe find a new family and set of friends that were less stressful.
She started towards the parking spot where her beaten up Volvo was situated and stopped dead in her tracks. All her exhaustion, her misery and her plans for the evening evaporated in an instant.
Jason was there, and he had his motorcycle. Elizabeth couldn’t help the smile that stretched from ear to ear.
He held out a helmet. “Cliff road or home?” he asked.
Not caring that they’d planned on going on the ride later, that she’d wanted to go home and shower first or that she had briefly entertained thoughts of canceling altogether, Elizabeth grabbed the helmet and shoved it over hair, fixing the strap. “Cliff road,” she said immediately.
She’d figure out how to get to work the next morning later.
General Hospital: Lobby
Emily collapsed on the couch and buried her face in her hands as she listed to Edward Quartermaine berate Nikolas Cassadine for his latest decision in how funding for the hospital would be distributed. Too much free care, Edward had barked. Too much charity.
Nikolas calmly took all that Edward had to offer before reminding the board member that the Cassadine family had bailed General Hospital out of an embarrassing bankruptcy and now Nikolas had the final say in all financial decisions. That had been the agreement Stefan Cassadine and Steve Hardy had brokered a decade before.
Nothing angered Edward more than being reminded he had no real control and that set off another tirade about the untrustworthiness of the Cassadine family in general. Emily managed tune most of the specifics out but when Edward had blustered that it’d be a cold day in hell before Nikolas married into their family, Emily leapt up.
“Grandfather, that’s enough. Really.” She planted her hands on her hips. “You don’t have any say in the matter. I’m twenty-five years old—”
“You deserve better than this pack of loons,” Edward cut in. “My dear—”
“If you don’t knock it off, Grandfather, I’m going to tell Grandmother you’re harping on Nikolas again,” Emily threatened. “You know how she hates that.”
Edward shut his mouth and glared at his youngest grandchild. “Emily Paige Bowen-Quartermaine—”
“Oh, shut it, Grandfather,” Emily rolled her eyes. “I have had it up to here with the way you treat Nikolas. He has been nothing but perfectly respectful to you and you continue—”
“Emily,” Nikolas interrupted calmly, placing a hand on his fiancée’s forearm. “This isn’t necessary.”
“I’ll see you at home, young lady,” Edward said gruffly. “Nikolas—”
“Yes, I know—I’m a spendthrift and I’m far too generous with everyone’s money,” Nikolas nodded. “Message received, Mr. Quartermaine.”
Edward walked away and when he was on the elevators, Emily let out a sigh of relief. “I’ll talk to Grandmother about reining him—”
“It isn’t necessary,” Nikolas repeated. He framed her face in his hands and kissed the tip of her nose. “The Quartermaines have just as bad a history with my family as the Scorpios and the Spencers. Your grandfather will never forgive my family for what happened to his sister.”
“It’s so unfair,” Emily protested. “We weren’t even born yet!”
“I know,” Nikolas nodded. “But this isn’t something we can change.” His hands slid from her face down her arms until he grasped her hands. “But it is something we’re going to have to live with. Are you ready for that?”
“Well…” Emily pursed her lips. “Are our families magically going to get along if we break off our engagement and spend the rest of our lives miserable?” she asked, trying to keep the mood light.
Nikolas grinned and shook his head. “Probably not.”
“Well, then we should probably stick to Plan A,” Emily decided. “At least, then we get to be happy.”
“Marginally happy,” Nikolas corrected. “Cassadines don’t do happy.”
“Bowens do,” Emily nodded firmly. “And since you’re also marrying into that family, then you have a responsibility to live up to that.”
“You know how seriously I take responsibility,” Nikolas remarked soberly. He leaned forward and brushed his lips over hers. “Too tired for dinner?”
“Too tired for dinner anywhere more fancy than Kelly’s.”
General Hospital: Lab
Robin rubbed her eyes and slid another slide under her microscope. The door to the lab swung open. “Are those my results for Ren Lewis?” she called out, not glancing up.
“Ren Lewis needs surgery, but no,” Patrick remarked, sitting at the stool across from her work station.
Robin looked up now and sighed. She was too tired to think about going another round with him today. “I thought you were done for the day after that last surgery? Are you here just to plague me?”
“I like to stick around,” Patrick remarked, ignoring her second question. “You never know when they’ll need a surgical intern.” He reached for the file she was working on. “This guy’s liver is almost nonexistent.”
“Yeah,” Robin sighed. “I have to let Monica know that in the morning when she comes on shift.” She coughed. “This guy basically drank himself to death.” She watched him as she said it, hoping he might mention his own father’s problems.
“Hmm…” Patrick tossed the folder aside. “Takes all kinds. I like a good beer now and then but…” he shrugged. “Some people just don’t know any better.”
“When you sees something like this…” Robin shook her head. “It makes you wonder what would make a person—” she closed her eyes and stopped. “I heard about Noah. And what he went through.”
“That’s over with,” Patrick shook his head. “He says he’s sober and it doesn’t matter anymore.”
Robin didn’t believe that but she didn’t want to push. “Be that as it may,” she said slowly, “I do want to apologize. I—I didn’t know things were so bad here. I wouldn’t have been able to come back but—”
“You chose to leave, Robin,” Patrick said shortly. “And you chose not to talk to anyone here except your parents. So don’t blame Ellie for not confiding about our dad.”
Stung, Robin could only shake her head. “No—I didn’t—I know I cut myself off—” she sighed, frustrated. “I just wanted say that I was sorry, okay?”
“Why pretend you give a damn?” Patrick responded. “You didn’t care enough to stick around after my mother died. You just took off to Paris with no warning and never bothered to keep in touch—”
“Why stick around?” Robin cut in sharply. “You wouldn’t talk to me. You didn’t want to deal with anything. And—” she shut up abruptly, remembering that she’d never told anyone about that night. “It was a long time ago, Patrick. I’m sorry I brought it up.”
“Why you’d even come back?” he demanded. He stood and shoved the stool in roughly. “You abandoned me, you left Ellie high and dry and you waltzed around Paris for three years while our lives fell apart around us and now you come back like nothing’s changed? Go to hell.”
“You don’t know a damn thing about my life in Paris,” Robin snarled. She shoved her files aside and stood as well. She stalked around the workstation and jabbed a finger at his chest. “You think I was high on life and living it up? Well, screw you, Patrick!”
She whirled around and started putting her materials away. She had to take deep breaths to keep the sobs from bursting through her chest. She’d locked it away all day, she’d thought being home, being away from it all would change things.
But it was still nearly midnight and on December 22, 2005, it would be exactly one year since her entire life had shattered.
Patrick frowned and watched her hands shake as she put away her slides and her research. “What the hell is the matter with you?”
“Just go away,” Robin said shortly. She reached for a folder and in her haste, she knocked over a box of glass beakers. It careened to the floor and all the little tubes flew out, shattering into shards.
Robin sank to knees and started to clean them up, not even realizing that she’d started to cry. Stunned, Patrick joined her and reached for her hand. “Robin, we can call maintenance—”
A particularly jagged shard pieced through her skin and Robin hissed in pain. “Damn it—”
Patrick reached for her hand and that’s when Robin really lost it. She scrambled back on her knees and nearly fell over trying to get away from him. “No, no, don’t touch me!”
“Fine.” Patrick stood and glared at her. “I’m sorry I disgust you, Robin. I’ll go find a janitor to clean this mess up.” He turned and stalked out of the lab, the sound of Robin’s soft sobs ringing in his ears.
Spencer House: Living Room
Lulu gingerly stepped past the front threshold, carefully closing the door behind her. She winced when the floorboards on the landing squeaked. She started for the stairs but then a light snapped on to reveal Laura Spencer sitting calmly on the couch. Crap. Could this day get any worse? Wasn’t it bad enough she’d just had to fight with Will Drake for nearly an hour about breaking up? Maybe she shouldn’t have had sex with him first, but she thought it would put him in a better mood.
And as if the night couldn’t get any worse, there was her mother. Waiting for her.
Lulu sighed. “I know what you’re going to say but Dillon was helping me with—”
“Dillon called at six o’clock,” Laura interrupted. “You left your history book at the Quartermaines.”
Damn it. Why did Dillon have to be so damn responsible and reliable all the time? Lulu let out an impatient huff. “Okay, so I wasn’t with Dillon. What’s the big deal?”
“The big deal, Lesley Lu, is that you have a curfew,” Laura responded. “And each time you break it, we move it back fifteen minutes. Pretty soon, you won’t be seeing the light of day.”
“Lucky never had a curfew,” Lulu grumbled, folding her arms across her chest and glaring at her mother. “It’s not fair.”
“Lucky didn’t need a curfew,” Laura replied. “We trusted Lucky to be home and to tell us where he was going, what he was doing, who he was with.” Laura cast a look over Lulu’s rumpled clothing and messy hair and sighed softly. Her little girl had been so sweet and loving and somehow, she’d morphed into this angry girl. “Lu—”
“If you think for one second that Lucky and Elizabeth weren’t out doing the same exact thing I was tonight, then you’re more naïve than I figured you’d be,” Lulu said shortly. “I’m seventeen years old, Mom. I’m not a child.”
“No, I don’t suppose you are.” Laura felt a thousand years old all of sudden. She stood and snapped off the light, sending the room into shadows and darkness again. “Go to bed, Lesley Lu. We’ll discuss this in morning.”
Lulu watched her mother go up the stairs and sighed again. She was forever disappointing her family. She wasn’t cool enough for her father, wasn’t obedient enough for her mother and wasn’t old enough to really be involved in her brothers’ lives. When would be who she was already enough?
Just wait until they found out she was pregnant and had just broken up with the father.
Elizabeth tugged off the helmet and sighed happily. “When you picked me up a few hours ago,” she began, “I was so tired and all I wanted to do was sleep for like the rest of my life.”
“You should have said something,” Jason said immediately. “I would have taken you home.”
Elizabeth hopped off the bike and leaned out over the railing. Vista Point over looked the entire town of Port Charles and she could even see clear out to Spoon Island, the night was so clear. “I’m going hate the snow,” she sighed. “We won’t be able to take the cliff roads until winter’s over.”
“Price you pay for living in upstate New York,” Jason replied. He set the kickstand on the bike and joined her at the railing. “So rough day then?”
Elizabeth turned and leaned against the railing, her back to the view. “Well, we started with a round of Patrick vs. Robin and then kind of spiraled from there.” She glanced at him. “Have I ever told you the history between my brother and Robin?”
“Only that there is one,” Jason replied. “You never liked to talk about her much.”
“Hmm…well, that’s because she left town like three months after my mother died,” Elizabeth admitted. “I was so angry about it for a long time but I know Patrick took Mom’s death really hard, so I tried to shove it down and forget about it. I mean, you know what happened with my dad but Patrick…” she looked away and shook her head. “Patrick and Jason Quartermaine were best friends,” she said after a long moment. “I don’t think I told you that before. They were pre-med together and were almost as close as brothers. And they had a lot in common.”
Jason liked the way Elizabeth spoke about Jason Quartermaine, liked that she referred to him as a separate person, as someone who didn’t exist anymore. She understood that he was a different person now and reminders that he’d once been someone else were uncomfortable. “So I guess he took the accident pretty badly.”
“Yeah…it was one thing after another for a while. Mom got sick and then she died,” Elizabeth said softly. “My father started drinking and then Robin left for Paris. Then Patrick lost his best friend and Dad’s drinking just got worse…” she exhaled softly. “But he was once a very sweet, funny and open person. I know you might not believe that but he resents you for not being Jason Quartermaine. He resents that you didn’t wake up and remember everything that came before.” She shook her head again.
“Anyway. Patrick and Robin dated for, like, ever. They got together junior year in high school and for six years, it was Patrick and Robin, Robin and Patrick, you know? But after Mom died, he just…he shut down. And whatever happened between him and Robin happened because of that, I can tell you that much. I used to blame Robin for leaving me at that moment. I mean, I still had Emily and for a while, I still had Jay. But Robin was like my sister.” She paused. “She was my sister.”
“But she’s back now,” Jason said.
“Yeah. And things are different. Patrick’s never going to be that guy again but it’s just so hard seeing him and Robin go at it because it used to be so different.” Elizabeth sighed wistfully. “It all used to be so different. When my mother was alive and when we were just kids…” she laughed. “When the worst thing in my life was breaking up with Lucky at Senior Prom. I miss that, sometimes.”
Elizabeth coughed and smiled at him, a little embarrassed. “I’m sorry to whine like that. You must think I’m so pathetic.”
“You sound like you had a bad day and you wanted to vent a little,” Jason corrected. “Nothing wrong with that.”
Elizabeth’s smile deepened. “I didn’t let myself admit that I was angry at Robin before. So…thank you.”
“All I did was listen,” Jason shrug.
“Sometimes…” Elizabeth glanced up at him, her cheeks flushing a little, “Sometimes that’s all you need to do. You’re a good listener, Jason. You just let me ramble until I come to my own conclusions and that’s nice.” She straightened. “So what did you do today?”
Jason shrugged. “I went to the club, did the books for the warehouse and the club. Met with Sonny. Did some work. And then picked you up.”
Elizabeth nodded. “How’s Sonny?” she inquired.
“Fine, fine.” Jason hesitated. “Brenda came in as I was leaving. She, ah, wanted to know if you wanted to come over for dinner before the party at the Haunted Star. She and Sonny are going.”
Dinner with Jason’s best friend and his wife. Elizabeth pursed her lips. With anyone else, she might have thought it meant something—that he was taking her to meet two people she knew was important to him, but more likely than not, Brenda had cornered him and he hadn’t known how to say no.
So she smiled at him. “Sure, sounds like fun.”