“Sort of,” Jason repeated slowly. He nodded. “I see.”
“Jason, no you don’t–” Elizabeth began. Jason stood as abruptly as he’d sat down.
“I have to go.”
He walked away but it only took her a second to recover and go after him. He was in the hallway before she caught up. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded.
Jason halted and turned. “What’s wrong with me? You’re the one who’s engaged–”
“I said that I was sort of engaged and you just walked away without even bothering to hear what I had to say,” Elizabeth snapped. “If that’s the way it’s going to be between us, then forget it. Forget the whole damn thing.” She brushed past him and headed for the elevators.
He swore under his breath before taking off after her. “I’m sorry–will you…”
“I have about had it with domineering people who only think about themselves and don’t give a damn about other people–” The doors opened and Elizabeth went in, hitting the button for Lucky’s floor. Before the doors closed, Jason slid in. “I don’t want to talk to you right now,” she bit out angrily.
“No. I don’t think I want to hear it,” she muttered. “First my mother thinking she can just marry me off to the first rich boy she sees and then said rich boy thinking that he just has to wait out my rebellion and then he’ll marry me and now you decide when and if I’ll explain things to you. Fine. Doesn’t matter to me.” The doors opened and Jason followed her down the hall.
“Elizabeth, will you just wait a second?” he called after her, garnering the reactions of the people around them.
Emily heard her brother’s voice from inside Lucky’s room and peeked her head out into the hallway into time to see Jason catch up to Elizabeth and use her elbow to yank her around to face him.
“Nikolas, you have to go see this,” she said, waving him over.
“Jason and Liz are fighting.”
Nikolas was up in a flash, peeking over Emily’s head. “I’ve never seen him look so irritated.”
Emily grinned. “Yeah, it’s great isn’t it?”
“Look, what I was supposed to think when Brenda told me you were engaged?” Jason demanded.
“Oh, I don’t know–you could have asked me!” Elizabeth retorted. “Or do you not trust me at all?”
“I barely know you!” Jason returned.
“Exactly! So why should I dump my insane family history on you before we even had one date?” she asked furiously. “Excuse me for wanting to save that for the third date or whatever.”
“I think something like an engagement should have come up before the first kiss!” he tossed back.
“He does know he’s in public, doesn’t he?” Nikolas asked.
“I don’t think that matters to him anymore,” Emily said, highly amused.
“I’m not engaged!” Elizabeth exploded.
“Then why did you say sort of when I asked?”
“Because, technically as far as my mother and my so-called fiancé are concerned, yes I’m engaged. But as far as I’m concerned, that boy can rot in hell for all I care!”
“Then why didn’t you just say that?” he asked her.
“Because you took me by surprise,” she retorted. She heard someone snicker and she flushed, quickly remembering they were yelling at each other in the middle of the hallway during one of the busiest visiting days. “Can we not do this right now?”
He shook his head and took her by the arm, nearly dragging her down the hall to Lucky’s room.
When Emily and Nikolas realized his intent they crashed into each other in their haste to get back to their seats. No sooner had they sat down then the door burst open and the two entered.
“Jesus, you Neanderthal,” Elizabeth muttered, rubbing her upper arm.
“I see that my brother has found out about Ted,” Emily said cheerfully.
Jason glared at his sister. “You knew about this?”
“I knew too,” Nikolas piped in helpfully. Elizabeth shot him a nasty look.
“Look, we’ve only known each other a month,” she pointed out to him. “And only as…well…more for the past few days so I really don’t think you have the right to be upset.”
“I don’t poach,” Jason said, nearly arrogantly. She narrowed her eyes.
“Uh oh,” Nikolas muttered. He shoved his chair back a little. “Watch out.”
“You don’t poach?” Elizabeth repeated. She stepped towards him. “As in you don’t date another man’s woman?”
She slapped him and stalked out of the room. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered, rubbing his jaw. “What the hell was that for?”
“Jason, how many times did she tell that she wasn’t engaged?” Emily asked him.
“Look, the guy still thinks they’re engaged,” Jason pointed out. “That means she hasn’t told him.”
Emily gasped and leaned towards her boyfriend. “You’re awake!” she announced gleefully.
Lucky shifted painfully on the bed. “I’ve been awake for a few minutes. Heard those two barrel in here. Morgan, let me tell you–you handled that all wrong.”
“Yeah, I can see that,” Jason muttered.
“So, go after her,” Lucky encouraged. He gestured limply towards the door. “Now.”
“So I can get slapped again? No thanks.”
Lucky scowled. “Guess I figured you gave a damn.” He looked at Nikolas. “Dude. Get me some real food before they sic this hospital crap on me.”
Emily frowned. “Hey. I work here.”
“Yeah, but you don’t make the food so it’s not technically insulting you,” Lucky reminded her.
“You’re awfully wordy for someone recovering from major surgery,” Emily muttered. She glared at Nikolas. “Well, what are you waiting for? Go get him some food.”
“Why do I have to do it?” Nikolas muttered reaching for his jacket. “Didn’t I just spend the night cramped in the chair? The things I do for family,” he grumbled all the way to the door.
“I give a damn,” Jason said finally, garnering the attention of his sister and friend. “I just don’t understand why she thought mentioning she’s engaged wasn’t important.”
“Maybe because Elizabeth doesn’t consider herself engaged?” Emily pointed out.
“That’s…that’s not the point.”
Lucky rolled his eyes. “Morgan hates being proved wrong, that’s all.”
Jason scowled. “I’m not wrong.”
“Then go after her if you give a damn.”
Elizabeth slammed into her apartment and hit the answering machines for her messages. She’d never been irritated with a human being before in her entire life. What the hell had she been thinking when she’d decided to go out with him? She must have been out of her ever loving mind.
Her brother Johnny’s voice came through the machine and she narrowed her eyes when she heard the words.
“Hey…it’s me…listen…I had a little mishap and I’m in jail again. Could you wire Kiki–“
With an enraged cry, she ripped the machine away from the table it was on and hurled it towards the front door. It smashed against the wood and splintered in at least a dozen pieces.
She heard a hesitant knock on her door. “Elizabeth?”
Oh…there was no way he’d had the nerve to come here. She stalked towards the door and kicked pieces of her decimated answering machine out of the way.
“What the hell do you want?” she demanded.
Jason’s eyes swept past into the room where he saw the machine. “What happened?”
“It’s none of your damn business. What do you want?” she asked again. She tapped her fingers against her door, the slight tips of her nails making a rat-tat-tat noise.
“Anything else?” Elizabeth asked shortly.
He was cut off when she slammed the door shut. He knocked again only to hear something else smash against the door. Not sure if he wanted to deal with her in such a violent mood, he backed up and walked down the hall towards the stairs.
Elizabeth was about to hurl another lamp when she heard his footsteps fading away. She lowered it back to the table and sighed. Well…it was for the best anyway, she decided. The lamp in her hands had been one of her favorites.
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