— August 6, 1944 —
Elizabeth frowned and leaned over to turn up the radio. “Jason,” she called across the diner.
Jason looked up from his card game with Jake Holden and Ned Ashton. “What?”
“Come listen to this. There was an attack on Japan this morning,” Elizabeth reported. The second the words were out of her mouth, the few patrons they had that evening abandoned their tables and crowded around the counter. Jason pushed past them, still slightly limping on his left leg. “Something about a bomb.”
She twisted it as high as she could and they listened as silence as the reporter told them that a B-29 plane had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
Ned nodded firmly. “Serves them right for what they did to us in ‘41.”
“You think they’ll surrender now?” Courtney Quartermaine asked, anxious for her husband to return from war. She glanced at Caroline Ashton who just shrugged.
“What’s an atomic bomb?” Caroline asked. “Is it new?”
“Yeah,” Jason replied. “It’s a pretty…pretty drastic act to take. The bomb probably destroyed a good part of the city, if not all of it.”
Elizabeth widened her eyes. “Just one bomb?” she asked, surprised.
“It’s a big bomb.” Jason switched off the radio. “I guess the end will be coming soon.”
“Yeah, it’s just the Japs now,” Jake said firmly. “Ever since that crazy man committed suicide back there in April, it’s just us against them.”
“We’ll destroy them,” Ned declared. “We have more resources, more manpower.”
“More allies,” Caroline interjected. She shook her head. “Still…there must have been innocent children in that city. It seems such a shame that they had to die.”
“There are no innocents in war,” Ned said.
Jason shook his head. “You wouldn’t say that if you’d gone.”
Ned shrugged. “Not like you saw a lot of action, either. What, one or two battles before you were injured?” His mouth twisted into a smirk. “And now you’re here, sponging off Bethie—”
“That’s enough, Ned,” Elizabeth snapped. She stepped forward. “Everyone go back to your tables, please. I’ll keep the radio on for updates.” She saw Jason exit through the kitchen and looked at Courtney. “Cover for me and turn that radio on, okay?”
— Alley —
He was leaning against the wall when she came out the back door. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
Jason shrugged. “Nothing.”
“Don’t sell me that. You’ve been in a rotten mood ever since we got back from Los Angeles in May.” She crossed her arms. “I figured it was because of your leg but maybe not.”
Jason scowled. “I don’t like you supporting me.”
She raised her eyebrows. “You’re my fiancé. I’m not supposed to support you?”
“When I asked you to marry me, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t have any kind of hope for a job anywhere.”
She exhaled slowly. “You think that matters to me?”
He shook his head. “It matters to me .”
Elizabeth stepped towards him. “Do you remember the day you proposed?” she asked. She moved to lean against the wall next to him. “It was right after we got back from our first date and we saw that Cary Grant movie. We were on our way back to your room and Dr. Hardy stopped us and said his niece wanted to know if we’d set the date.”
“And I asked you if you wanted to get married in the fall,” Jason said quietly. “You looked so surprised when I pulled out that ring.”
“Jason, this diner…it’s just a way to pay the bills. So what if right now you can’t work?” She shrugged. “The war will end and you’ll find something. Dr. Hardy said the limp wouldn’t be permanent and you’ll be able to work on cars again once your hand is healed better.” She moved to stand in front of him. “Ned Ashton has always had everything handed to him on a silver platter—he only works to make more money. So don’t pay any attention to him. You are not sponging off me…you do your fair share.”
“Like what?” he scoffed.
“Who fixed the stove last week?” she asked pointedly. “And who fixed Mr. Holden’s car last night when it wouldn’t start? Who fixed the door upstairs that Lucky Spencer broke? Jason, just because the diner is in my name—it doesn’t make it any less ours.”
He straightened the best he could on his leg and stared down at her. “How is that I got so lucky?”
“You had nowhere else to go on your last night in town,” Elizabeth murmured.
He cupped her face in his hands and leaned down to kiss her. “When I woke up in that hospital,” he told her after pulling away and moving his hands down to her waist to tug her closer. “I thought I’d seen an angel.”
“Such a charmer,” Elizabeth teased. “Come on. You know if you leave Jake too long, he’ll try and swipe some of your poker chips.”
September 12, 1944
I hear you’ve taken up permanent residence in Port Charles, New York. Seems a lot of people are headed there these days. I know for a fact that the last time I saw Johnny and Zander, they were boarding a train for your fair coast. I sure hope Chloe and Emily have waited around.
The reason for this here letter is the invitation that probably came in the same batch of mail. It’s all fancy like–Brenda picked it out herself. It’s for the wedding next month. Apparently, the second she found out that the Japs surrendered, she set the date. She was that sure I’d be back. You gotta love her devotion.
I’m inviting you and your pretty fiancée to come spend the week of the wedding in Chicago with us. I’ve told Brenda all about you and she can’t wait to meet you. She said however that if you managed to get yourself married before she got me to the altar, she’d kill you, so I hope you didn’t set the date yet.
We’ve got a telephone now at the house; I’ve got the number below so give us a call and we’ll set up the details. Sure am looking forward to meeting Elizabeth properly.
— October 4, 1944 —
Elizabeth was almost bouncing in her seat as the train hurtled towards Chicago. “I can’t wait to get there,” she said, excited. “I’ve never been to Chicago.”
Jason grinned and stretched his arm over the back of the seat, curling around her shoulders. “Well, from what Sonny says, Brenda’s got the entire week planned so don’t plan on seeing much of the city.”
“Oh, but we’ll come back, won’t we?” Elizabeth asked, turning her gaze towards him. “We’ll visit them and everything, right?”
“Oh, he is whipped,” Zander muttered to Johnny from across the car. Johnny snickered but his girlfriend Chloe elbowed him in the ribs.
“That’s enough out of you,” she warned him.
“Yes, ma’am,” Johnny said meekly.
Zander started to laugh but then felt his ear being pinched by his own fiancée. “Alexander Smith,” Emily Quartermaine said testily. “Who’s whipped?”
“I am, ma’am,” Zander said obediently.
Elizabeth was highly amused by these events. When Zander and Johnny had returned in Port Charles late in August, she’d immediately become fast friends with their significant others, Chloe and Emily while the boys had done wonders for Jason’s disposition. The three were already looking into an old building to renovate for a garage.
“So, Elizabeth, the wench here says you’ve set a date finally,” Zander said, earning him a smack in the arm from said wench.
“It’s just going to be a simple wedding,” Elizabeth reported. She leaned against Jason’s side. “Just friends and family. It’s two weeks after we get back from Chicago.”
“Is Ned walking you down the aisle?” Emily asked.
Elizabeth shook her head. “No, Jake Holden is. We made an agreement last fall. He said that when this war was over, Jason was going to come home and we were going to get married. And I told him that if that happened, he’d give me away.”
“He’s the guy who’s always at Kelly’s, isn’t he?” Johnny asked. “The old guy, who’s always telling you to call him Jake.”
“That’s him. He’s a sweet guy and I think he’s really looking forward to this.”
“I think the whole thing is so romantic,” Chloe sighed dreamily.
“You think the Wizard of Oz is romantic,” Johnny grumbled. Chloe glared at him and whacked him in the shoulder again. “Ow, damn you woman!”
Jason shook his head. “You’re never gonna learn. If you’re going to insult them, you don’t do it to their faces.”
Elizabeth raised her eyebrows. “Oh, is that right, Jason Morgan? And what do you say behind my back, huh?”
“Nothing,” Jason said quickly.
“Right.” She smirked. “That’s okay. Just think about the horror stories we girls share behind your back.”
Jason frowned. “What horror stories?”
“Oh…nothing at all,” Elizabeth said sweetly. She twirled the slim gold ring she wore on her ring finger. “Life with you is just peachy, darling.”
He narrowed his eyes suspiciously but she just continued to smile until she couldn’t resist it and started to laugh.
— October 24, 1944 —
Jake held out his arm. “You ready for this Bethie?”
Elizabeth smiled and slid her arm into his. “I’ve been ready my whole life…Jake.”
Jake grinned. “That’s my girl.”