Chapter Twenty-Two

This entry is part 22 of 29 in the Surviving the Past

Elizabeth crept down the stairs and paused as she took in the scene below her. It was a few hours after her conversation with Jason—she’d convinced him she was okay and needed to be alone for a while. So, he’d gone downstairs.

Carly and Emily were sitting on the couch arguing whether to watch Sex and the City or Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Carly was explaining how Big was moving and she couldn’t miss this episode and Emily countered with watching her show would benefit everyone in the long run. Why, Alexis wouldn’t be in practice forever—someone would have to take over and didn’t Carly want the best defending her husband?

Sonny was sitting at the desk, going over receipts and mumbling something about Benny and vacations. Jason was shooting a game of pool by himself. She watched him for a few minutes wondering why he’d put up with her baggage instead finding a woman who could be normal.

As if feeling her stare, Jason glanced up and smiled. She gave him a weak smile in return and continued down the stairs, catching the attention of the other three in the room.

Emily grinned. “Beth! Tell Carly why we absolutely have to watch Law and Order!”

“No way,” Carly argued. “You’ve seen this episode. I can’t miss this Sex and the City! Miranda’s baby is going to be born—Big’s leaving! It’s season finale!”

“You’ve seen this episode too,” Emily retorted. “I remember—we watched it together.”

Elizabeth grinned. “Why don’t the two of you compromise? We can watch That 70s Show.” She sat on the couch and took the remote from Carly and switched the show on. “We always watch this anyway.” She leaned back on the couch and relaxed.

Carly and Emily traded triumphant looks over Elizabeth’s head. Keeping Elizabeth’s mind off Jeff would be a difficult job—but they could handle it.

Once Sonny was positive the girls were engrossed in the sitcom, he pushed his chair back and approached the pool table. He caught Jason’s attention and motioned to the hallway. Jason shot a quick glance at the girls and followed him.

“What’s up?” Jason asked once the door was shut.

“I’ve been thinking,” Sonny said. “I know we should let Liz deal with Webber herself, but I think we need to make sure he stays away until she’s ready to do so.”

Jason nodded. “I don’t want her running into him around town until she’s ready.”

“So, I’ve already put Max on him. I didn’t give him specifics, but I just want to know where he is at all times.”

Jason looked back at the penthouse door. “How long you all planning on staying?” he asked.

“I’m going home tonight,” Sonny answered. “I wanted to spend last night and today here to make sure Liz knows I’m here for her. I’ll probably be able to convince Carly to come with me—but I think Emily’s a little hurt right now.”

“Why?” Jason asked.

Sonny shrugged. “Liz kept this from her and even after she told her, she still shut Emily out—and I think Em’s a little upset by that fact. You might want to ask Liz to talk to her.”

Jason nodded. “I can ask her—but I can’t promise you anything.”

“I know. Thanks for being here for her,” Sonny replied. “I’m glad that she has someone she can talk to. I also wanted you to know—don’t worry about work the next few days. Just concentrate on her, okay?”

“Good. I was going to ask for a few days,” Jason replied. “It’s been a rough weekend.”

Sonny sighed. “Yeah. Well, we’d better head back in there before they notice we’re gone.”


It had taken Sonny nearly an hour to convince Carly to go home but eventually she’d given in. But she hadn’t gone before extracting a promise from Emily that she’d call if there was any trouble. They ate dinner at Jason’s and went home afterwards. As expected, Emily took up temporary residence in the guestroom and she went to sleep early.

Elizabeth was sitting in the bed in the master bedroom when Jason finally came upstairs. She was still in his shirt—despite the fact that Emily had brought her night clothes. She’d pulled the sheet up around her waist and had her knees hugged to her chest.

“You okay?” Jason asked, heading for the dresser to take out a pair of sweat pants.

“I’m all right,” Elizabeth replied. “A little scared to sleep.”

He looked at her. “Really?”

“Yeah.” She looked away. “Carly mentioned I woke up a lot—around a dozen times. That’s more than any night I can remember.” She looked back at him. “I’m sorry. I know that you don’t get a lot of sleep when I’m here.”

Jason sat next to her on the bed and took one of her hands. “And I told you—it’s my choice. If I didn’t want you here, I’d tell you.”

Elizabeth smiled. “I know.” She took a deep breath. “Do you think I’ll ever be normal?”

Jason chuckled. “Elizabeth, you’re Sonny’s sister and you work for Carly. No, I don’t think you’ll ever be normal.”

She laughed. It was a small laugh—but Jason felt relieved nonetheless. She hadn’t laughed since all day—not even while watching television earlier that evening.

“No,” Elizabeth said. “I mean, do you think I’ll ever be the way I was yesterday?”

Jason hesitated. “Honestly?” She nodded. “No.”

Her shoulders slumped and she looked away. “Oh.”

“I think you’ll be better,” Jason finished. “Because, like you said earlier, this won’t be over until you can face him and what he did. Once you can do that…the nightmares might fade—and maybe for good this time. You won’t be looking over your shoulder—wondering. And you won’t be keeping the people you love in the dark. I think…once you’ve faced this once and for all…you’ll be better than you were yesterday.”

She squeezed his hand, meeting his eyes. “You always know what to say.” She paused. “Why are you doing this?”

“What do you mean?” Jason asked.

“I mean…most guys…most twenty-two-year-old guys would run screaming the other way from someone with as much emotional baggage as me.” Elizabeth narrowed her eyes and tilted her head to the side. “You don’t. And neither did Jason Quartermaine. What made the two of you so different?”

Jason didn’t say anything first but he finally met her eyes and gave her a smile. “Maybe it’s because he loved you. I know that’s why I’m still here.”

Elizabeth smiled a little. “I think you’re right. I think after this is over…I’ll be better than I was yesterday.”

Jason nodded and stood. “Good. I’m gonna get a shower.”


When Jason came out of the bathroom, Elizabeth was curled up on her side and had her eyes closed. Thinking she was asleep, Jason slipped into bed behind her and wrapped an arm around her waist.

After a few minutes she said, “Emily’s angry with me, isn’t she?”

“I thought you were asleep,” Jason said.

“I was trying to—but I’m right aren’t I? Emily’s mad because I shut her out,” Elizabeth whispered.

“What makes you think that?”

“The way she’s been acting. I know when Emily’s mad at me. She tries too hard to hide it—so it’s obvious to see.”

“Sonny said she’s hurt that you didn’t come to her,” Jason said finally.

Elizabeth bit her lip and closed her eyes. “I really screwed this situation up didn’t I?” she asked quietly. “I only told Jason Quartermaine—which was my first mistake. If I hadn’t kept it a secret, those last three years wouldn’t have been so bad. I could have turned to Emily, at least. And then, after the accident, I still kept it to myself—even when it was so bad that I wanted to die. I met Carly and Sonny—found out what happened to him and still kept it away. I didn’t tell Emily until I had no choice and then I refused to let you in or her help. I’ve shut her out and AJ, too. Carly and Sonny as well. The only person I even go to is you.”

Jason tightened his arm around her waist. “None of this is your fault,” he told her. “You did the best you could. I think Emily knows that—and that’s why she won’t bring it up. But it doesn’t change how she feels.”

Elizabeth sighed. “I guess I should talk to her.”

“Don’t do anything you’re not ready for,” Jason said. “Emily loves you—she’ll be there when you’re ready.”

“If I wait until I’m ready,” Elizabeth said, “I’ll probably never tell her. I’m going to talk to her tomorrow.”


A few more minutes passed but Jason knew she hadn’t gone to sleep. “Jason?”


“When AJ gets back at the end of the week, are you still going to see Edward and Lila?”

“I don’t know,” Jason said. “It’s up to him and Emily. Why?”

“I don’t know.” She paused. “Jason?”

He closed his eyes and smiled, amused. “Yeah?”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.” He paused. “Go to sleep.”

“Okay.” There was another pause. “Jason?”

He laughed this time—he could hear the humor in her voice. “What?”

She rolled over so he was over her. She smiled at him, her eyes sleepy. She reached up with a hand and pulled his head down to kiss him.

He raised his head a few minutes later, the amusement still his eyes. “What was that for?”

Elizabeth smiled. “I couldn’t go to sleep without a goodnight kiss,” she said.


Elizabeth woke the next morning to the smell of pancakes and sausage. She smiled, her eyes still closed. That was Emily’s trademark breakfast. You knew what kind of mood she was in by the type of pancake she made. Blueberries—she’d had a fight with Nikolas. Raspberries—she’d had a fight and they’d made up. Bananas- she was expecting an apology from someone. Chocolate chip – she was going to apologize to someone. And finally, strawberries—everything was good with the world. Elizabeth waited for a few minutes trying to decide which flavor it was that morning, but opened her eyes when she couldn’t. Jason was still sleeping next to her, his head on her shoulder for a change.

She didn’t remember waking up the night before and she wondered if that was a good sign. It was altogether possible that she’d had a few dreams that Jason had calmed down before she’d woken up. It happened often—and she never remembered it in the morning. Elizabeth pulled the covers back and slipped out of bed. She rummaged in the bag that Emily had brought and pulled out some sweat pants and a tank top. She couldn’t walk around forever in Jason’s shirt—no matter how safe she felt in it. She thought it had something to do with the fact that his scent was on the shirt and that made her feel protected.

She took a quick shower and changed in the bathroom. When she came out, towel drying her hair, Jason was still asleep. She took a few minutes to admire him—she’d gotten very lucky indeed. Not only was he was sweetest guy alive—but he had to be the sexiest one as well. She flushed and left the room before she got any bright ideas.

As she came down the steps, the smell of the pancakes grew stronger and Elizabeth frowned. Chocolate chip, bananas and strawberries. Maybe the system Elizabeth had developed had been wrong all along.

She entered the kitchen. “Morning.”

Emily glanced over her shoulder as she flipped another pancake. “Morning. You look better.”

Elizabeth smiled. “I feel better,” she admitted.

“Well, sit down. I’m almost done.” Emily tossed the last pancake and put it on the plate. “I’ve got chocolate chip, banana or strawberry. What kind do you want?”

“Mmmmm…” Elizabeth smiled. “Banana.”

Emily shot her a suspicious look. Had Elizabeth figured out her system? She shrugged and put two banana pancakes on a plate and tossed two sausages on as well. She gave the plate to Elizabeth and put a raspberry and a chocolate chip on her plate and added three sausages. She set her plate on the table and pulled the ketchup and syrup on the table.

“This looks great,” Elizabeth said, picking up her knife and fork.

Emily grinned. “Sonny taught me, so it should taste great, too.”

Elizabeth frowned looking around the kitchen. “There used to be five chairs.”

Emily squirted some ketchup on her plate. “I broke one.”

Elizabeth hesitated. “I’m sorry, Em.”

Emily set the ketchup down and looked at her oddly, “For what?”

Elizabeth sighed, “For not telling you, for not letting you in. I’m sorry.”

Emily hesitated. “I’m not going to pretend that didn’t hurt—because it did. I just wanted to help and you weren’t letting me.” She took a deep breath. “But I also know you, Beth. I know you better than almost anyone else.” Emily smiled briefly, “Other than Jason. And I know that you weren’t trying to hurt me.”

“I didn’t want to burden anyone,” Elizabeth said softly, staring into her plate. “You see what’s happened to Jason? I knew it would—I knew I’d depend on him if I told him the truth. I didn’t want to do it to you either.”

“Jason doesn’t mind,” Emily said. “He helps because you’re his friend and more importantly, because he loves you.”

Elizabeth bit her lip. “Why? I haven’t given him any reason—I haven’t done anything for him. All I’ve done is complicate his life. Why should he love me?”

Emily sighed. “Why should anyone love another person?” She smiled. “Why does my grandmother stay with my grandfather? Why does my mother continually forgive my father for his affairs? Love is many things, Beth, but none of them logical.”

Elizabeth smiled. “You stole that line.”

Emily grinned. “Cary Elwes was a smart man.”

“I believe William Goldman wrote that,” Elizabeth pointed out.

“But I’m right,” Emily insisted. “You can’t tell yourself you don’t deserve Jason. No one gets to make that decision but Jason. And if Jason didn’t want to help—he wouldn’t.”

“I want you to know that I love you,” Elizabeth said softly. “I love you as my sister—because as far as I’m concerned, you are my sister. You were my sister from the very first day I met you. And you’ve been there for me when Sarah didn’t want to be. I want you to know that the last thing I ever wanted to do was hurt you.”

Emily cut her pancakes up and put a forkful in her mouth. She swallowed and took a sip of orange juice. “I want you to know….that I already knew that.” She smiled at her. “I know that the decisions you’ve been making about who to tell, who not to tell…none of them are rational thought out decisions. You go to Jason because he provides the comfort you need. I want you to know that you are my sister, too. And yeah, I’m angry at you. But it’s an irrational anger because you can’t control the way you feel. But I am pissed as hell at your father and I really wish you’d give Jason and Sonny the go ahead so we can get rid of him.”

Elizabeth smiled briefly. “Believe me, I’ve thought about it. But in the end…I can’t just have him offed. As easy as it would be…it wouldn’t help me. I need to face this. I need to be able to go to my father and tell him what he did to me. I need to tell him that he didn’t break me—that he didn’t ruin my life. And until I can do that, this won’t be over.”

Emily nodded. “I know. But it would make it easier on the rest of us. I know that’s not fair—but it’s not right that he’s walking around free as a bird because he knows that Jason doesn’t remember and he knows that you’ll never say anything. That’s unfair—that he doesn’t get the same nightmares—that he doesn’t wake up screaming. It’s horribly unfair, Beth, and I’d like to volunteer to show him real terror.”

“You know…” Elizabeth paused and stared off in space. “One night after a nightmare back at home, I sat up and plotted all the ways I could kill him without getting caught. It was right before my birthday and before I left…I guess it was coming down to the line. It was going to be him or me. So I plotted these plans…push him out a window, cut the brake lines…” She trailed off and sighed. “It makes me glad that he told me the truth when he did. Because I’m scared I might have done one of them.”

“But you didn’t, Beth and that’s what matters,” Emily said, reaching out and squeezing her hand. “You got out of the house and you’re here. With people who know the truth and love you. You’ve got this brother who’d do anything for you. I think if you asked Sonny for a star, he’d get it somehow. You’ve got Carly, who’d fight to the death to keep you happy. I really think that. You’ve got AJ, who…” Emily trailed off. “Who seems to make every situation lighter. Because no matter how sad and serious the problem is, AJ says something stupid and everything’s okay again. AJ still carries guilt around—a lot of it’s gone—but it won’t all be gone until Jason’s happy. And, Beth, he’s happy now. And everyone can see it. That’s why he loves you, because you make him happy.” She smiled. “You’ve got Jason, who thinks you’re a strong person, who doesn’t try and control you…he lets you come to him. He loves you, Beth and he’d do anything for you. And, you’ve got me. I’m all those people wrapped into one. I’ll fight anyone for you—and I’ll get you a star if you want. I’ll wait for you to come to me and I’ll steal a line from The Princess Bride. I’ll do all that…” Emily paused and grinned. “Because you’d do that for me. Because we’re not just friends. And we’re not just family. We’re both and that’s better than the two separately. And I want you to know that I will always be here—even if you end up breaking Jason’s heart, even if you never face your father and even if you try and push me out, I’ll be here anyway.”

Elizabeth was crying by the time Emily had finished speaking. She didn’t know what to say—but it didn’t matter. She stood up and pulled Emily to her feet and pulled her into a hug. She didn’t have the words to tell Emily that she was sorry for shutting her out or that Jason made her happy, too. She didn’t know how to tell Emily that sometimes when it got really bad…she didn’t just think of Jason. She did think of him, but she’d remember Emily and AJ, too. She’d remember some silly conversation she and Emily had had or something funny AJ had said. That it wasn’t just Jason that kept her going—that it was him and their friendship.

Because even though Elizabeth couldn’t find the words to tell her all those things, she knew Emily knew them anyway.

Because like Emily said, they weren’t just friends and they weren’t just family. They were both—and that made all the difference.

Author’s Note: The “Love is many things, Beth, none of them logical” is from The Princess Bride. The actual line (in the movie, I can’t remember how it is in the book) “Love is many things, Princess, none of them logical.” It’s spoken by Westley. Both the book and the movie are spiffy and I recommend them. 


  • loved the conversation between the two E’s. it shows the depth of the love the friends have for one another

    According to Nicole Barnes on April 21, 2014