Chapter Three

This entry is part 3 of 29 in the Surviving the Past

Emily was sitting on the couch with her boyfriend of two years, Nikolas Cassadine. They were watching a rerun of Law and Order and arguing over it as usual. Emily was a pre-law student studying at Port Charles University and she intended to be a defense attorney once she graduated. Nikolas had just finished his first year of law school in New York City and had his heart set on being Port Charles’s district attorney one day.

“They never should have gotten rid of Stone,” Emily muttered. “He would have spotted that loophole in a second.”

“No way,” Nikolas argued. “McCoy is so much better. Didn’t you see the episode where he twisted the larceny law to convict that councilman…what was his name…he’s on Boston Public…”

“Anthony Heald,” Emily supplied helpfully. She took an Oreo out of the package and twisted it apart. “He’s the vice principal that went out with the hook lady.”

“Yeah, him, anyway, Stone never would have thought of that. He would have lost the rape case.”

Emily shrugged. “That’s because Stone had morals. You never saw an episode where he was reported to the ethics committee. McCoy doesn’t care if the witness is lying. Like that time he put Briscoe on the stand in the episode where that chick threw herself down the stairs. McCoy knew he was lying and did it anyway.” Emily licked the crème filling off both sides of the cookie.

“Don’t do that,” Nikolas groaned. “McCoy did what he had to do to get the guy convicted.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “Please tell me you’re not going to be that way. That’s how the last DA got fired.”

“That’s different. Scott didn’t twist the laws – he broke them.” Nikolas grinned. “And Luke still got off the hook.”

“Luke was also innocent,” Emily pointed out. She took out another cookie.

“Yeah, well, he had my aunt defending him.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “This is ridiculous. We’re college students on summer vacation and the only thing we can find to do is argue about Law and Order.”

“Well, we live in Port Charles. We don’t do drugs or drink. We’re law abiding citizens and we’ve already see all the movies playing. What else is left?”

“Just because there’s nothing to do doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.”

Nikolas raised an eyebrow. “I’m sure we can find something else to do.”

Emily giggled and reached for him. “That’s the best idea you’ve had all day.”

Before their kissing grew serious, Jason entered causing the couple to spring apart.

“Jason,” Emily said, her face flushed. She ran a hand nervously through her hair. “Um, this is Nikolas Cassadine. Nik, you remember my brother Jason?”

Nikolas straightened his shirt and stood. He stuck his hand out. “Em talks about you all the time.”

Jason shook it. “She talks about you, too.” He looked at the television screen. “You still watch this?”

“Oh, yeah,” Emily said, “It’s great practice.”

“Yeah. All we ever seem to do is argue about it.” Nikolas tossed Emily a look. “God help a judge who gets the two of us in the same courtroom.”

“Whatever.” Jason shrugged. “I just came to grab my bag.”

Emily’s face fell. “I thought you were taking that job!”

Jason smiled. “I am. Sonny offered me the penthouse.”

Emily grinned and clapped her hands. “So you’ll only be a few floors up?” she asked eagerly.

“Yes. You can bug me whenever you want.”

Emily rolled her eyes. “I do not bug you.” She frowned. “Does Beth know you’re working for Sonny?”

Jason frowned. “Yeah, she wasn’t happy.”

Nikolas looked at the siblings curiously, “Why not?”

Emily sighed. “Beth and Jason basically despise each other,” she explained.


Emily threw her brother an irritated look. “I have no idea.”

“Look,” Jason said, “I promised you last night that I’d make an effort to be civil.”

Emily shrugged. “There’s no use. I believe you’d try, but Beth can be…” she trailed off looking for the right way to describe her friend.

“Stubborn?” Jason suggested.

“Pig-headed, obstinate-” Nikolas cut his list off with one glare from Emily.

“Difficult,” Emily finished.

Nikolas snorted. “That’s the best you can do? Come on, you know I love Liz like a sister, but you have to admit that once she makes up her mind, that’s it.”

Emily sighed. “Well, yeah- but I happen to know Beth probably won’t make the first move.”

Nikolas nodded. “Which means for a civil conversation, you’d have to start it,” he said to Jason.

“I try but she jumps down my throat anyway. I could ask her how the weather is and she’d think I was insulting her.”

Emily shrugged. “Just pretend you’re talking to Taggart.”

Nikolas, having seen Taggart in action, eyed Emily skeptically. “That’s-”

“That’s not a bad idea,” Jason interrupted. “I just won’t answer her.”

“Good,” Emily said, pleased with the way the conversation had turned out.

“I’m just going to grab my bag,” Jason said. He reached behind the couch and grabbed the duffle bag. “See ya.” He left.

Once the door was shut, Nikolas turned to Emily. “Pretend she’s Taggart?”

Emily shrugged. “Taggart is always after him and Jason never gives in. If he doesn’t snap back at Beth, she won’t have a reason to keep going.”

Nikolas shook his head, exasperated. “How is he supposed to fall for her if the only thing he thinks about around her is a tall black guy with a bad attitude?”

Emily frowned. “You’ve got a point.”

Nikolas threw his hands up. “I don’t know why I let you and Carly talk me into this.”

Emily grinned and pulled him back on the couch. “You don’t remember?” she asked. “Chocolate sauce, whipped cream…”

Nikolas grinned. “I think I need a refresher course.”

Emily grasped the collar of his shirt and pulled him close. “I think that can be arranged.”

Jason hit the elevator button to open the doors. When they opened, Elizabeth was inside. Her hair was all over the place, her eyes were red and puffy and her face was tearstained. She was hugging herself, clutching an envelope in her right hand.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

She glared at him. “What do you care?” she snapped brushing past him.

‘I don’t,” he replied. She whirled around.

“That’s right. You don’t. No one does. No wants to know what’s wrong because it might stop them from living their happy little lives-” Elizabeth broke off and shook her head. “Never mind, you haven’t cared since the accident.”

He shot an arm out to hold her place. “That’s not fair. What’s your problem? All I did was ask if you were okay and you jumped down my throat!”

“Because you should butt out when it’s clearly none of your business!”

“I was just showing a little concern,” he snapped. “I guess I’ll think twice next time.”

She jerked her arm out of his grasp. “See that you do.” Shooting one last glare in his direction, she stalked towards her apartment.

Jason turned back to the elevator and stabbed the button viciously. So much for being civil.

Elizabeth slammed into the apartment and stormed past Emily and Nikolas who were in various stages of undress. She slammed her bedroom door shut.

Emily and Nikolas traded glances. “I’ll call you tonight,” he said. He kissed her cheek and pulled his shirt on. He left.

Emily buttoned her shirt and hurried to Elizabeth’s door. She gently knocked. “Beth?”

“Go away,” came the reply. Emily sighed. Elizabeth was clearly crying.

“Beth, please tell me what’s wrong.” She heard a sniffle. “Please.”

“Not right now. I just wanna be alone.”

Emily sighed again. “All right. Hey, I’ll go order some Chinese and when you’re ready we’ll talk.” She moved away from the door.

Inside, Elizabeth was curled up on her bed, clutching a pillow and the envelope. She didn’t need to read it again – she’d already memorized it.

Dear Ms. Webber—
We regret to inform you that we do not wish to publish your work at this time. After careful consideration, we’ve decided that this particular work is not appropriate for our image…

It was the third novel that had been rejected and this particular one was on its twelfth rejection.

It had been a bad day to begin with she’d been late for work at Deception, the research she was working on for Sonny was hitting dead end after dead end, she’d missed the bus twice and she’d gotten this latest rejection. To top it all off, she’d run into Jason and they’d argued.

She still couldn’t believe he’d been concerned. It was almost as though he cared. The way he’d asked reminded her so much of Jason Quartermaine she’d wanted to scream. How fair was it that she’d had to mourn her best friend and yet part of him was still alive? Jason had forged relationships with Emily and AJ, but why was it so difficult for the two of them to even be civil to one another?

She rolled over and stared at a picture on her nightstand. She wondered why it was still there. It’d been taken five years ago. The Christmas before AJ’s drinking had spiraled out of control, before the accident, before Emily broke ties with most of her family and before Elizabeth found out she was a bastard child that nobody wanted. It was of the four of them, standing in front of the Christmas tree at the Quartermaine mansion. Emily and Elizabeth were in front of the guys and had their arms around each other. They were both smiling brightly. AJ had his arm around Jason’s neck, pretending to choke him.

She and Emily had tons of pictures of all of them growing up at the mansion. Their grandmother, Lila, had followed them around with a camera as they played in the rose garden. After she broke her hip and was confined to a wheelchair, Reginald and Monica had taken over. Even after they were too old to play tag, they’d hung out in the garden, doing homework or just messing around.

She traced their faces in the picture. Jason and AJ had always looked out for her and Emily. Taking the blame when their schemes would go wrong, looking out for them at school and protecting them from…whatever came along.

Elizabeth sighed and looked at the ceiling. It was her fault she and Jason didn’t get along now. He didn’t understand that they hadn’t really fought in the past – just teasing. Everyone outside of their little foursome assumed that they couldn’t stand each other and Jason had gotten that idea after the accident. Jason Quartermaine had a sense of humor that Jason Morgan didn’t seem to possess. Elizabeth knew Jason Quartermaine was long gone and that she should just forget him and move on. He was never coming back – and Jason Morgan would never be what Jason Q had once been.

She’d wanted to tell him so badly today. He’d asked and all she wanted to do was throw her arms around him and cry. She’d used to do that, growing up. When things got too bad at home, she’d go the mansion and Jason would listen to her. He was the only one that knew what had gone on with her parents – Emily didn’t know. And after the accident, she’d lost the only support she’d had. She’d held some hope that maybe she and Jason could be friends again, but he’d moved out after high school and then left town a year later. Elizabeth spent three years with her parents and no one to turn to.

But instead of telling him, she’d put up her usual guard. She knew he wouldn’t understand why she was snapping out. When she was younger, Jason would have understood and kept pushing until she confessed. This Jason didn’t understand that. All he could see was an angry girl who appeared to loathe the ground he walked on.

She didn’t want to work with him. She didn’t want him to be a partner. When Jason was off traveling, she didn’t have to remember anything. So she’d made up a lie. She didn’t trust him and she hated him. Neither of which was really true. He might not be Jason Quartermaine anymore, but for some incredibly insane reason, she still trusted him and liked him.

Elizabeth sat up and brought her knees to her chest. She rested her chin on her knees and stared straight ahead. The past few years had been a roller coaster. She’d lost her family, gained a new one, lost her best friend, moved, started a new school…she wondered when the world would stop spinning.


  • Loving this story so far too

    According to Jen on April 10, 2014
  • whatever happened to Liz growing up is still affecting her. JM needs to be more understanding

    According to Nicole Barnes on April 10, 2014
  • I can see Jason becoming her sounding board again, I wonder what else happened to her growing up.

    According to starhine on April 10, 2014