Queen of Angels Church
Brenda pressed a handful of white lilies into her step daughter’s hands and smoothed her curly hair. “I’m so glad you didn’t straighten it today. You look so beautiful when it’s like this.”
Elizabeth took a deep breath and glanced through the doors to where Jason was standing at the altar–clad in an ill-fitting tux he’d borrowed from Ric–was speaking with Ric and AJ.
Jason had originally suggested only telling Ric and Brenda so that they could keep Sonny in the dark more efficiently. But Brenda said that if they were going to get married in secret, they had to make it as memorable as possible. She’d enlisted Adela in the secret and gave Ric and Jason a list of things to do before they all met at a tiny little church that she’d already set up.
Brenda called in Carly’s help and the trio of women went to one of the hotels that Carly’s husband owned. AJ had married Carly to join with the Corinthos empire but he really did adore his wife and he was only too happy to donate one of his best suites until the next day.
Between Brenda and Carly, Elizabeth had found herself in a long silk white dress, her makeup done and ready to be married. But when Adela handed her the ring that had belonged to her second husband–the love of her life, she said–to give to Jason as well as Elizabeth’s mother’s wedding ring–she nearly cried.
Three hours after his surprising proposal, she was in a church with her stepmother, step aunt and her grandmother, ready to be married.
And she hadn’t had one second thought about the whole matter.
“Thank you for doing all of this.” she said softly. She clung to the handful of lilies, trying to hide the shaking of her hands. “I promise that I will never tell my father that you were involved.”
“Tell him, mi niete,” Adela instructed. “You tell him that his own mama went against him to make her baby happy.” She stepped forward and kissed her cheek. “Lily would be so proud of you.”
“Okay, we can’t afford for all us to be out of the house much longer, so let’s get this show on the road,” Brenda declared. She opened the doors to the main room of the church, the signal for the organist to begin to play.
As soon as the opening notes sounded, the men fell into place–Ric as Jason’s best man and AJ seated in the front pew, waiting for his pregnant wife.
Brenda and Carly moved down the aisle swiftly in their roles as bridesmaids and one of AJ’s nieces–Brooke Lynn was doubling as both flower girl and ring bearer.
Adela escorted her trembling granddaughter down the aisle and handed her off to Jason. The older woman kissed his cheek and squeezed her hand. “You take care of her, mi hijo,” she ordered.
“Yes, Mama,” Jason dutifully, returning the kiss to the cheek before taking Elizabeth’s hand and stepping before the priest.
As soon as her hand was in his, the trembling stopped and she smiled at him. “I love you,” she whispered.
It was the first time she’d said so and he couldn’t fight the matching smile on his face. “I love you too.”
The priest began the ceremony then and what seemed like only seconds later, he was instructing Jason to kiss his bride.
He did so eagerly, pulling Elizabeth to him in their first real kiss. Trying to keep it appropriate in a room full of their closest relatives, he settled for a quick taste.
And just like that, Jason Morgan–the bastard son that no one had wanted–had married Elizabeth Corinthos, the only daughter of Michael Corinthos.
Quartermaine Hotel: Dining Room
“You know…” Elizabeth sighed over dinner that night, “my father’s going to know something is up if we’re both not at home tonight.”
Jason reached across the table and took her hand in his, rubbing his thumb over the delicate ring he’d put on her finger earlier that day. “We’ll deal with all of that tomorrow,” he promised. “Tonight…it’s ours.”
Elizabeth flushed and looked down at her plate. “Jason…you know that I–that I’ve never–”
“That doesn’t matter to me,” he replied. “None of that maters tonight. I love you. I never dreamed that when I came home–that less than twenty-four hours later , I’d be married to you.”
Her heart caught in her throat, Elizabeth swallowed hard. “Do you–do you have any regrets?” she asked softly.
“No,” Jason said quickly. “No. I just…it’s all happening so fast–that’s all I’m trying to say.”
“Because I have loved you my entire life and I always dreamed about marrying you, so I have no regrets or second thoughts or whatever,” Elizabeth said quickly.
“Elizabeth, I know. It’s okay. Things happen fast, you know, sometimes but you gotta live through them slow. Tomorrow–we have to tell your father about this but tonight…we can pretend that none of that exists. We can just be.”
Elizabeth nodded. “It’s just–I’m worried about telling my father. I used–he used to care about me,” she said softly. “And listen to me–we used to talk. But ever since little Mike was born…” she sat back in her chair, pulling her hand from his grasp. “I’m just another possession to him.”
“I’m sorry, Elizabeth,” Jason told her. “For everything that you’ve gone through since I’ve been gone. I wish–I wish that I’d been more open to the idea of loving you. But you were so young…” he shook his head. “And I was so stupid.”
“Jason…” Elizabeth laughed a little. “I was fifteen years old. A relationship then never could have worked. Maybe you couldn’t imagine loving me then–but looking back…I can’t imagine how I thought it would work.”
“Still…I hurt you,” Jason said. “And that’s the last thing I ever wanted to do.”
She stood and held her hand out to him. “Well lucky for you–you’ve got the next seventy years or so to make it up to me.”
He rose from his seat and took her hand. “Where are we going?” he asked, once again rubbing his finger over the ring her mother had once worn.
“Upstairs,” Elizabeth replied. She slid her arms around his neck. “I’m not really very hungry,” she murmured.
The Honeymoon Suite
Elizabeth giggled as Jason carried her into the room. “Jason!” she squealed. “I didn’t think you were the type to do this stuff!” she teased.
He grinned and slowly slid her to the ground. “Maybe I just like holding you,” he replied, kicking the door shut.
She laughed again, tilting her head back. He used the opportunity to kiss her neck, nibbling the soft skin. Her laugh trailed off to a shaky moan and her hands tightened on his shoulders. “That feels so good,” she confessed.
His hands slid up the slick silk of her dress, molding to her hips and her ribcage. When his hands brushed the undersides of her breasts, she stiffed slightly but he didn’t notice. She shook it off and kissed him hard, thrusting her tongue past his lips.
He felt the tension in her body but assumed it was jitters and continued to kiss her. He bypassed her breasts and opted for the row of pearl buttons that formed a straight line up her back.
When Elizabeth felt the cool air of the room on her bare back, she broke the kiss and stepped back a little, swallowing hard. “I–” she broke off and looked away, mortified.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Jason assured her. He stepped towards her and couldn’t help but feel a little sting of pain when she backed up. Forcing himself to remember that she’d fought off the unwanted advances of another man just twenty-four hours ago, he took a deep breath. “Elizabeth, maybe…maybe this isn’t a good idea,” he said regretfully.
Her eyes widened her and she shook her head, sending little tendrils of her hair flying. “No, wait–j-just give a minute, okay? I’ll be okay. I’ll be fine.”
“I don’t want you to feel like anything has to happen tonight,” Jason told her. “We can just—we can talk. About how to tell you father, what’s going to happen after tonight–”
“I don’t want to talk about any of that. I want–” She took a deep breath. “Let me…let me change, okay? I promise I’ll be fine.”
“Elizabeth–” Jason protested but she was already heading across the room to get her overnight bag. “It’s okay.”
“I know–I’ll be right out,” Elizabeth told him with a small smile. She closed the bathroom door behind her and sat down on the closed toilet with a thump, trying to fight tears.
This was her wedding night and she was married to the only guy she’d ever dreamed of marrying. This was supposed to be a good night. This was supposed to be the best night of her life.
Except, this time two days ago, Jason had been in Puerto Rico and she’d been engaged to Alexander Castellano. She’d believed that she’d driven him away forever and that he’d never love her.
And now…he was sitting outside this door in a tuxedo with her grandmother’s second husband’s wedding ring on his ring finger. How had they gotten to this point?
There was a soft knock on the door. “Elizabeth? Please come out.”
She wiped her eyes with a piece of toilet paper and stood to unzip her bag. “Hold on–I’m not done yet.”
She reached behind her and finished unbuttoning her dress. She tugged it off and gently hung it on the padded hanger on the back of the door. Elizabeth shimmied out of the slip and her undergarments. Brenda had talked to her briefly about tonight earlier in that morning and advised her to go nude under her nightgown. “Easier when you’re all in a hurry to just get it on,” her stepmother had teased.
“Elizabeth?” Jason called.
“In a minute!” Elizabeth pulled the gauzy silk nightgown over her head and started to yank the pins from her hair, sending it tumbling over shoulders in curls. She took a deep breath and pulled open the door.
Jason had removed his tux jacket, his bow tie and his shoes. His shirt was buttoned and pulled out of his pants and every time he moved slightly, she caught sight of his bronzed chest.
“Sorry, it took me a few minutes to get out of the dress,” Elizabeth said nervously. She flicked the bathroom light off, sending the room into shadows.
Jason cleared his throat and stepped towards her. “Elizabeth, it’s okay if you’re not ready. I mean–”
“Don’t be silly,” Elizabeth said in dismissal. “It’s our wedding night. Of course I’m okay–ready, I mean.”
Uncertain, Jason approached her slowly. “Just because it’s our wedding night…that doesn’t mean anything has to happen. I love you and that’s not going to change if we make love tonight, tomorrow or not for three months.”
She sighed and sat on the bed. “My wedding night was something that I had resigned myself to.”
“Because it was going to be Alexander?” Jason asked, sitting beside her. She nodded, dipping her head and looking away from him.
“For the last three months–I tried to care about him. Tried to at least…develop some feelings for him, you know? But almost every time we went out, he’d remind me that he would have me on our wedding night–it didn’t matter if he sampled goods now or then.”
His fists clenched at his side. “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” he asked.
“What would the point have been?” Elizabeth replied. “Brenda and my father fight enough without my adding to it. There’s nothing Abuela could have done, Carly’s wrapped up with AJ and her pregnancy, Ric’s busy with Faith all the time.” She shrugged. “Anyway…that doesn’t matter now. I’m not marrying him–that part of my life is over.”
He kissed her forehead. “We should get some sleep. Tomorrow’s going to be a long day.”
“Wait…” Elizabeth pushed him so he was lying flat on his back. She threw one leg over his body so she was straddling him. “You know, when I used to tackle you like this–it seemed a lot more innocent then.”
Jason propped himself up on his elbows. “You were five years old the first time you did it. I think I’d been staying with you guys for about a month.”
“You and Ric were playing touch football in the backyard,” Elizabeth remembered. “And I begged Ric to let me play.”
“You didn’t know you weren’t supposed to tackle in touch football,” Jason teased. “And I wasn’t expecting it so it was the only reason you even got me to the ground.”
“Yeah, okay,” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “My grandmother was watching and nearly had a coronary.”
“Yeah, well her only grandchild was straddling a street urchin,” Jason said.
“You were not a street urchin,” Elizabeth told him fiercely, fisting her hands in the soft fabric of his shirt.
“I was,” Jason corrected. He shifted his weight to one arm and raised his hand to push her hair out of her face. “But never to you. You made me feel like part of the family from the day Ric brought me home for dinner.”
And with his words, the last of the tension bled from her body and she lowered her mouth to his. “I love you,” she whispered against his mouth.
“I love you, too.”