Chapter Thirteen

Olivia was doing some of the gripping exercises that her therapist had given her when Jason and Keesha came into the room a little while later.

Her eyes lit up. “Daddy! Aunt Keesh!”

“Hey, Liv babe,” Keesha said. She plopped right in the seat next to the bed that Elizabeth had hardly vacated and dropped an oversize teddy bear on the bed. “This dude is for you.”

Olivia reached for the caramel colored animal with a bright smile. “He’s so fluffy,” she said, enthused. “Thanks!”

“Where’s your mother, Princess?” Jason asked, kissing his daughter on the cheek.

“Aunt Emily came by with Lily and they’re in the cafeteria.” Olivia pouted. “They wouldn’t let Lily in to see me. That’s so mean.”

“They don’t let little kids to visit in the hospital all that often but maybe we could sneak her in later,” Jason suggested. “How hard did your mother fight before she finally went?”

“Ten minutes,” Olivia replied. “I told her that I would be just fine by myself for a little while so she finally went. I think that Mommy needs a nap. She’s awfully cranky.”

“Mommy’s been worried about you,” Jason reminded her. “Now we know you’re going to be okay, she’ll get some sleep.”

“Good.” Olivia smiled brightly. “You know what I think Daddy?” she asked.

“Oh, no, Jase, it’s that smile,” Keesha said, tickling Olivia’s neck. She giggled.

“What do you think?” Jason asked.

“I think that you should take Mommy out to dinner,” Olivia announced. “I don’t think I seen her eat the whole time I’ve been awake. You should make her eat something.”

Keesha shook her head. “Where do you get that devilish gene?” she asked with smile.

“You know what, honey?” Jason kissed her forehead. “You have a very good point. Now that you’re getting better, we should really turn our attentions to your mother. She’s definitely not eating enough.”

Olivia beamed. “So you’ll take Mommy out on a date?” she asked, hopefully.

Jason took a deep breath. “You’re a big girl, right Olivia?”

“I’m five years old. That’s older than four,” she said seriously.

“Right. So I’m going to try and tell you something and you really have to listen to me here, baby, okay?”

Olivia nodded. “Okay.”

“I love your mother very much,” Jason informed her. “And she loves me. And when we were younger, we thought that was all we ever needed.”

“Love is all you need,” Olivia recited. “Lil’s dad likes that song.”

“Love is important but it’s not always enough in a marriage,” Jason tried to explain. “I was young and I was stupid.”

Olivia giggled. “Daddy was stupid,” she told Keesha gleefully.

“He sure was,” Keesha agreed.

With a glare at his best friend, Jason continued. “And we got divorced.”

Olivia sighed impatiently. “I know that, Daddy, and I know you’re not getting back together again–”

“That’s not entirely true,” Jason admitted.

Olivia blinked. “I don’t understand, Daddy.”

“We’re trying to see if maybe we could,” he told her.

“You mean…we might be a family again?” Olivia asked. Her eyes lit up. “Really?”

“Maybe,” Jason stressed. “I didn’t want to get your hopes up and your mother was concerned that you might be really upset if it didn’t end up working out.”

“Why wouldn’t it?” Olivia asked innocently.

“Because grown up relationships are complicated,” Keesha explained. “And sometimes…no matter how much two people love each other, it doesn’t always work.”

“Right, so I need you to be a big girl and try to understand that while we’re trying to work it out, it might not happen.”

Olivia nodded. “Okay, Daddy, but just for the record, I think you will.”

He kissed her forehead. “I think we will, too but don’t tell your mother I told you.”

“Cross my heart.”

Emily stirred her hot chocolate. “You look better,” she told Elizabeth. “But you still look tired.”

“Yeah…I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep this last week,” she sighed. “But now that we know for sure Olivia’s going to be okay…”

“So, this reconciliation with Jason…” Emily trailed off. “Are you sure about it? I mean…you worked so hard to put your life back together after the divorce. I don’t want anything to ruin that.”

“I am sure about it,” Elizabeth replied. “I love Jason, Em. Since I was nineteen years old, I knew he was the one for me. We made mistakes and…a lot of them were mine and a lot of them were his. We were so young when we got married–too young to know any better.”

“I agree with that but it still doesn’t change the fact that he left you with a newborn to fly all over the world.”

“No, it doesn’t. And it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t trust him enough with my heart or our daughter. I didn’t trust him enough to tell him about the sleeping pills.”

“Okay, okay, you know what you want and I really hope it works out for you.”

Elizabeth finished her hot chocolate and stood. “I want to get back upstairs. Jason’s bringing his best friend Keesha Ward by to see Olivia and I’m dying to finally meet her.”

The first thought that entered Keesha’s mind when Elizabeth Morgan entered Olivia’s hospital room was Wow, Jason really had gone and found her look alike in Elise.

“Keesha, this is Elizabeth,” Jason introduced them. He stood and crossed to his ex-wife. “Elizabeth, Keesha Ward.”

“It’s nice to finally meet you,” Elizabeth said warmly shaking the other woman’s hand. “I was beginning to think you didn’t exist,” she joked.

“Yeah, I can’t believe y’all were married for three years and we never even met,” Keesha replied. She leveled a glare at Jason. “I blame him.”

“And this is my best friend, Emily Cassadine,” Elizabeth stepped back. “Emily, you remember Jason.”

“Yes…our first meeting wasn’t exactly a good one,” Emily remarked sheepishly. “That was the night of um…Ric. And Jason was just being–well, I shouldn’t have been so…I’m sorry.”

“No–I was in a really bad mood that night,” Jason apologized. “I’m sorry.”

“Clean slate?” Emily proposed.


“Cassadine,” Keesha murmured. “Why does that sound familiar?” she asked Jason.

He rubbed the back of his neck. “Because you kept sending letters and stuff back to him for the first month afterwards…” he trailed off.

“Ah…the lawyer’s wife.”

“Daddy,” Olivia whined.

Jason turned and sat on her bed. “What is it, honey? Do you need anything?”

“Ask her,” she whispered loudly.

“Ask who what?” Elizabeth asked suspiciously.

“Ask her,” Olivia huffed impatiently.

“Okay, okay.” Jason stood and took Elizabeth by the elbow. “I need to speak with you in the hallway for a minute.”

He closed the door behind them and took a deep breath. “I told Olivia about the reconciliation.”

Elizabeth’s eyes widened. “Why?” she demanded. “Jesus, Jason, I thought we agreed–”

“We agreed that we wouldn’t tell her because we didn’t think she’d understand.” He took her hand in his. “She does understand. I told her that while we were going to try our best–it might not work out and she said that was okay.”

“I just–I don’t to hurt her anymore than she already has.” Elizabeth massaged her temple with her free hand. “But if you think she understands then I believe you.”

She was looking down at the ground and didn’t notice the surprise in his eyes. She trusted him. Just a little right now–but it was a start.

And he was determined to build on that.

“She suggested I take you out to dinner,” Jason informed her.

Elizabeth glanced up, a small smile on her face. “Oh, she did, huh?”

“Yeah, she’s concerned you’re not eating,” Jason said, returning the smile. “So…I was thinking maybe tonight…we could go out to dinner–do some dancing…like we used too?”

“I’m not that girl anymore,” Elizabeth told him. She slid her hand up his arm and rested it on his shoulder. “When I go out dancing these days, it’s for charity events and you know how much I hate those.”

“Okay, so what girl are you now?” Jason teased.

“Tell you what. Pick me up at seven. Wear jeans, okay?” she suggested. She kissed his cheek, “I’ll drive.”

“Liz?” Jessica called, shutting the kitchen door behind her. “Maj, go color at the table,” she told her daughter. Maja obediently climbed on to one of the chairs and spread her coloring book and crayon box out.

“Liz?” Jessica called again.

Elizabeth entered the kitchen as she finished hooking a hoop earring in to left ear. She’d showered and let her hair dry out in her natural curls. For the first time since Jessica could remember, Elizabeth was wearing makeup. Not just light touches here and there for her social events but–smoky gray eye shadow, black eyeliner, black mascara, pink lip gloss. She wore a tight melon-colored tank top with a tan suede jacket thrown over top.

“Are those the jeans I made you buy last year?” Jessica demanded with a grin on her face. “The tight ones that showed off your ass?”

“You mean the ones that have been sitting in my closet since I bought them?” Elizabeth teased. “Yes.”

“You look fabulous–where are you going? I know that’s not for sitting around Livvie’s hospital room.”

“I want to see Liv!” Maja piped up.

“Soon, baby,” Jess promised. “Well?” she prompted.

“I’m taking Jason out for a night on the town,” Elizabeth informed her friend. She slid into a pair of high-heeled sandals and crouched down to fasten them.

“Ah. I can’t see Jason in something that matches what you’re wearing. All I’ve seen are pictures of him in suits.”

“Oh…he has jeans,” Elizabeth assured her. “He never wears them in public. His parents never let him when he was younger so he just…never did it any differently.”

“Freaky,” Jessica mused. “Where are you taking him?”

“He wanted to go dancing–do all the smooth, sophisticated stuff we did when we first met,” Elizabeth replied. She ruffled Maja’s hair as she passed by her and opened the fridge to take out a bottle of water. “That was fun when I was younger but I’m a whole new person now and I think Jason needs to be introduced to her.”

“So…?” Jessica slid her hands in her jeans pockets. “Kelly’s? You don’t think it’s a bit much for a man of the world?”

“He needs to understand that I haven’t just been existing–suspended in air without him. I have a life–I know people, people know me–I have friends, you know?” She sighed and took a long gulp of the water. “I want him to know me, Jess. I want this to work.”

“Okay, Kelly’s is a good place to start. What about afterwards?”

“Some ice cream–a walk on the docks. I need to know if he can live a life–that’s so ordinary.”

“Ah…you both kill me. What time are you meeting him?”

“He’s coming over here in about fifteen minutes and then I’m going to drive.” Elizabeth smiled. “For once–I’m wearing the pants in this relationship.”

Jason shifted uncomfortably in the jeans, sneakers and t-shirt he’d bought that afternoon. Not all of his clothes had been shipped from Spain yet and even so–he wasn’t even sure he owned a pair of jeans.

He knocked on the door and Elizabeth opened it so quickly, he wondered if she’d been looking for him out the window.

“Hey, good you’re on time.” She stepped onto the porch and locked the door behind her.

He dragged his eyes over her body and decided that he could learn to like jeans very much.

“So where are we going?” Jason asked as he followed Elizabeth to her car. She unlocked her door and then hit the automatic lock to open his side.

“I’m going to show you what we small town people do for fun,” she said. “Buckle up.”

Jason stepped inside the small diner hesitantly. Elizabeth had taken him on a small tour of the town that had been his home for a year and it saddened him that he couldn’t even remember small details.

“Come on.” She tugged his hand and led him towards the counter. “Hey, Maxie,” she greeted the blonde waitress warmly. “How’s school?”

“It’s okay,” Maxie replied. “I heard about Livvie, how’s she doing?”

“Much better,” Elizabeth took a handful of Jason’s blue t-shirt and yanked him towards the counter. “Maxie, this is my husband, Jason. Jason–this is Maxie Jones. She and her sister baby-sit for Olivia sometimes.”

“Okay, yeah, she’s told me about you guys,” Jason said.

Maxie frowned. “I thought you were divorced.”

“We are,” Elizabeth replied. “But hey, you live in this town. How many divorced couples are actually divorced?”

Maxie laughed. “Good point. Well, have a seat and Lucas will be right with you.” She leaned towards Elizabeth. “He’s out back with his girlfriend, Sage,” she confided in a hushed voice.

“We’re not in a hurry.” Elizabeth pushed Jason towards a table. “There’s menus at the table,” she told him.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten in a place like this,” Jason remarked, pulling out a chair for her before taking a seat across from her. “You seem friendly with the people who work here.”

“Well, yeah, like I told you–Maxie and Georgie baby-sit Olivia. This is her favorite place to eat, so we know everyone who comes in and out of here and Georgie works at a convenience store up the street from our house, so I know her. Does that bother you?”

“No. It’s just different.” Jason plucked the menu out of the stand. “What’s good here?”

“Elizabeth Morgan–I haven’t seen you in here in almost two weeks!”

Elizabeth stood and embraced a redheaded older woman. “Bobbie! Hey, how’s Carly and the boys?”

“Oh, they’re great. Just got back from the Caribbean with their stepfather,” Bobbie replied. “Carly’s so tan and Michael’s sunburned,” she laughed. “How’s Olivia? I heard about the accident. I’ve been on vacation myself with Lucas out in California or I would have stopped by.”

“We were worried for a while but she’s doing really well now.” Elizabeth touched Jason’s shoulder. “Jason, this is Bobbie Spencer. She owns the place and she’s a nurse at the hospital. Bobbie, this is my husband, Jason.”

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” Bobbie said, shaking Jason’s hand. Jason stood.

“Nice to meet you,” Jason said politely.

“Are you two…back together?” Bobbie asked with a smile towards Elizabeth.

“Working on it,” Elizabeth said. “This is Jason’s first time here, actually.”

“Oh, well then he has to have the chili.” She touched Jason’s arm. “My aunt’s recipe. She passed away a few years ago but Kelly’s will always be known for Ruby’s chili.”

“I’m sorry?” Jason offered, crinkling his eyes.

Bobbie laughed. “I’m making him uncomfortable. He’s adorable, honey,” she kissed Elizabeth’s cheek. “I’ll stop by and see Olivia this week, okay?”

“See ya,” Elizabeth took her seat and after a moment, Jason sat back down, too.

He tilted his head to the side. “Everyone knows we’re divorced?”

“Everyone knows everything in this town,” Elizabeth told him. “It’s just the way things are. If you really mean it–about living here–you need to come to terms with that.”

Jason frowned. “What is this…some sort of test?” he asked. “Did you bring me here to see if I could handle people knowing everything about me before we even met?”

“I brought you here because it’s my favorite diner, because it’s our daughter’s favorite diner, because it’s where everyone goes to eat out. Everyone who is ordinary and boring–whose highlight of the day was their kid’s finger painting or something at work. Yeah–I’m curious if you can really live in a place like this.”

He took a deep breath. “I love you, Elizabeth. I love Olivia. If this is the life you guys live–then this is the life I want to live to. I’m tired of living in hotels–never unpacking, never having my own place.” He ran a hand over his face. “Of not being to tuck my daughter in at night or waking up next to you in the morning. I’m twenty-eight years old, Elizabeth and I’m tired of just existing.”


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