I told you guys I wanted to play a bit with some of the projects on my drawing board to see if I felt drawn to any of them, particularly the ones that I haven’t touched at all or in years. These Small Hours was actually a project I started back in 2008. It was originally a Johnny/Nadine story with some Liason flavor, but in the last 13 years, the Nohnny fanbase (which was tiny to begin with) has, uh, drifted and I might be the sole survivor. So it has to be refashioned into a Liason story with Nohnny flavor. You can read the original version in the Fiction Graveyard.
This is kind of the opening for Burn in Heaven, the sequel to A Few Words Too Many, a story I wrote in 2014. I think one of the reasons I never got around to the sequel in 7 years was that because I was writing about Liz’s first pregnancy, it meant that Cameron didn’t exist. Cam is legit my favorite Webber boy, so it felt weird. I decided to fit him in anyway, lol. This is set in 2007, four years after A Few Words ended. I also want to play a bit with Kismet, Mad World, Broken Girl, and Malice as well as some of the AU stories before I make a final decision, and maybe do another poll once you guys have more to work with. I wrote this just this morning, so I haven’t reread or anything. It’s like extended flash fic over two hours, lol.
I hope you enjoy! I’ll be back tonight with Flash Fiction.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
When Jason Morgan had been dragged into work that morning, he’d left chaos behind in his wake. He hadn’t wanted to go to work—it was a Sunday and it was supposed to be his day off. He’d told his best friend and business partner that Sundays were off limits except for emergencies, and Sonny Corinthos mostly listened to that.
So when Sonny had claimed an emergency that morning, Jason had looked at his exhausted wife and reluctantly left her and their three small children behind to head down to the warehouse. An emergency in his business meant life or death, and that had to come first. Elizabeth had smiled wanly at him, assured him she understood, and sent him on her way. She could handle the kids.
Jason had been livid when he arrived at Sonny’s office to learn that the emergency was just some contracts that needed to be filed the next day, and Sonny needed Jason to witness his signature right now because he was heading to Rome that afternoon with Kate Howard, the new woman in Sonny’s life.
“This isn’t an emergency,” Jason had told him tightly, but Sonny just shrugged. It was an hour out of Jason’s life, what was the big deal? Elizabeth could deal with the kids for an hour.
By the time Jason got home, it was closer to three hours since he’d left Elizabeth alone. The contracts had taken longer than Sonny thought they would, and there had been a crisis on the floor that Jason needed to deal with—
He didn’t know what he expected when he came home later that morning, but it wasn’t the sight of potato chips crumbled all over the sofa and a glass of juice tipped over the coffee table so that the red liquid pooled over glass top and trickled to the carpet.
Jason frowned, then went into the kitchen where Cadence, who would turn four that December, was carefully putting a handful of Fruity Pebbles in her younger brother’s palm. “It has fruit,” she told two-year-old Cameron seriously. “That means it’s good for you. It’s on the box.”
“I don’t think that’s how it works,” Jason said, leaning against the doorway, charmed despite himself.
Cady gasped, her dark brown eyes widening with joy. “Daddy! Daddy! You’re home!” She dropped the box and ran at him. He lifted her into his arms, hugging her tightly as if they’d been separated for days rather than hours. “I took care of Cam.”
“I can see that—” Jason glanced down, feeling Cameron attach himself to his jeans. He took in the kitchen—it didn’t look much better than the living room and hadn’t been cleaned up from breakfast. His heart began to pound just a bit faster, and his fingers tightened around Cady. “Where’s Mom? And Jake?”
“She took Jake upstairs to clean up,” Cady said. She pressed a finger to her lips. “But shhhh. I think she’s sleeping. She’s laying on the bed and her eyes are closed.”
“Okay.” He forced himself to stay calm—he didn’t want the kids to be upset. They’d been through enough three months earlier when Elizabeth had given birth to Jake and nearly died. Jason had been at the hospital for days with her, and Cady and Cameron had been bounced around relatives.
“I’m going to go upstairs and check on her, okay? Can you finish feeding your brother?”
“I can,” Cady told him proudly. “I’m all grown up. I’m gonna be four. That’s this many.” She held up four fingers. “Aunt Emmie said I can run the world.”
“I know you can.” He kissed her cheek, then set her back on the ground. “I’ll be right back.”
“‘Kay, Daddy. Cam, come eat your cereal—”
Jason walked as quickly as he could back through the living room, and took the steps two at a time. She’d probably laid down for just a minute—she was fine, she was okay—
Their bedroom was dark and quiet, the blackout curtains pulled so that Jake could nap when he needed to throughout the day.
Elizabeth was curled up on her side and Jake was laying next to her. She’d arranged pillows around the three-month-old infant so that he couldn’t roll too far away from her and his eyes were closed but his chest was rising—he was just sleeping.
And Cady was right. Her mother was sound asleep, one hand tucked under her cheek, the other stretched out to cover Jake’s stomach. The muscles in his chest relaxed and he exhaled slowly, scrubbing his hands over his face. For Elizabeth to fall asleep like this while Cady and Cameron were both downstairs, alone—
She was so tired and worn out. He never should have left.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured. He leaned down to kiss her forehead, then left the room.
He returned to the kitchen and found actual food for the kids to have for lunch, careful to keep the monitor close. If Jake stirred, Jason didn’t want him to wake Elizabeth until she was ready to be awake.
While Cady and Cam were eating, he cleaned up the kitchen and the living room, then returned to sit next to them at the table. “Hey, do you guys want to go over Aunt Carly’s tonight?”
Cady squinted her eyes. “Mommy didn’t have another baby, did she? I always go to Aunt Carly’s when there’s a new baby.” She glared at Cameron who frowned at her, a spoonful of Spaghettios in his hand. “No more babies.”
“No more babies. Just for fun.”
“Not a baby,” Cameron informed his sister, offended. He help up two fingers. “I’m this many now. Mommy said that made me a big boy. Not baby. Jake is a baby.”
Cady rolled her eyes, looking like such a perfect miniature version of her mother that it made Jason smile. She looked at her father. “Okay. Aunt Carly. But if I come home and there’s a new baby—”
“No new babies,” Jason repeated. “Finish eating and I’ll pack for you.”
Jake stirred while Jason was putting together their overnight bags, and Jason was able to grab his son before Elizabeth could hear him crying—and that worried him, too. She’d always been the first to get up with Cady and Cameron. She’d had a sixth sense with them, but since she’d come home from the hospital—
“She’s tired,” Carly told Jason when she got to the penthouse to pick up the kids. She folded her arms. “Three kids in four years is insane. I told you both that when the stick turned blue with this one.” She nodded at Jake in Jason’s arms. “What are you, rabbits?”
Jason scowled. “It’s not just my fault—”
“No, she’s definitely a moron, too.” Carly arched a brow. “Get a nanny and get a snip.” She frowned. “Wait. You said Sonny called you in today. It’s Sunday.”
“Sundays are supposed to be for emergencies—” She stabbed a finger at him. “You see, this is why I divorced him—”
“He divorced you because you lied about Kristina being his daughter,” Jason reminded her.
“Look, Alexis and I thought we were going to die!” Carly threw up her hands. “It was a deathbed confession!”
“I didn’t say I didn’t understand—look, Carly—don’t start. Can you just take Cady and Cam? Jake’s too young—”
“Hire a nanny. Don’t let her talk you out of this again. She’s basically a single mother when you go off to work—”
“She is not—” Jason closed his mouth. “Things are quiet—”
“Which is why the schedule Sonny has you working is insane. You’re supposed to be partners,” Carly said flatly. “He’s a father, too. Not that he remembers. Where did he need to go this time?”
Jason paused. “Rome.”
“Rome,” Carly repeated. She nodded. “He has time to follow Kate to Rome, and he had lots of time to take Amelia and Jordan to the island, and he took that whore Sam on a freakin’ cruise with that yacht she wanted—”
“When was the last time you got to take a damn vacation? When has Elizabeth left the country?”
He scrubbed a hand over his face. “I know, Carly—”
“Your first anniversary. More than two years ago. I’m surprised you found the time to make an extra kid—” She wrinkled her nose. “I don’t want to think about that.”
“I love you, Jason. You know that.” Carly sighed. “I just—you’re letting him take you for granted. He’s taking Elizabeth for granted. It’s what he did to me. After everything we went through to be together—I thought he respected me. I thought he loved me. But I was never my own person with him. He might have moved out, but you know I’m the one that filed the papers.”
“I know that—”
“And I’m still not wild you forced her into my life, but now she’s here. I got stuck with her in the divorce—”
Jason squinted. “That’s not even remotely true—”
“And I’m telling you that she’s at the end of her rope. If she’s falling asleep for this long with the kids down stairs making a mess and on their own—”
“I know things have to change—”
“Then make a change. Do it today.” She paused. “You know I’m happy to take the kids. I love them like they were my own, and I’m glad to be able to finally be here for you the way you’ve always been there for me. But four years ago, you refused to listen to me and she nearly walked away.”
His chest tightened. “I know that.”
“Don’t think because she loves you and you keep breeding like bunnies that she’s going to stick around. She’s got options. Places to go.”
“Wait—” Jason stared at her, his arms tightening reflexively around his son. “She’s not—”
“No,” Carly said. “She’s an idiot and loves you. But there are people in her life who are telling her she should.” She pressed her lips together. “You didn’t hear that from me and I’m not saying another word.” Her eyes softened. “I love you. And for some reason, I don’t hate her. Don’t let Sonny screw up your family the way he screwed up ours.”
“I won’t. I promise.”
“Okay.” Satisfied, Carly held out her hands. “Now give me that baby so I can get my cuddles in. I need to imprint on him just like the others so I’ll always be the favorite aunt.”
Jason rolled his eyes, then went to get Cady and Cameron from the kitchen. Carly might have grown up in a lot of ways, but in others, she would always be the same.
“Remember, Daddy,” Cady told him seriously as she slung her sparkly unicorn backpack over her shoulder. “I better not come home to no more babies. I’m tired. They cry.”
Carly snorted and handed Jake back to his father. “Even your kid knows. Snip, snip, Jase.”
Jason scowled, kissed the kids goodbye, and closed the door behind his best friend. “Let’s go upstairs and check on Mommy,” he told Jake who just shoved his fist into his mouth. “Right.”
Elizabeth slept for maybe another half hour, then rolled over onto her back to find Jason sitting next to her, his back against the head back, his legs stretched out with Jake dozing on his chest. “Hey.” She smiled lazily. “How long—”
She jackknifed into a sitting position, looking around wildly. “What time is it? I fell sleep—where are Cam and Cady—”
“At Carly’s for the night.”
“What—” Elizabeth pressed her hands to her face. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry—”
“Hey—” Jason slid off the bed and settled Jake into his bassinet before coming back to the bed and gathering her in his arms just as she started to cry. “Why are you sorry? I’m the one that left—”
“But you had an emergency—I told you I could handle it—”
“And you have,” Jason said, more sharply than he meant to, but he couldn’t stand that she thought she’d disappointed him. No one could have handled his life better than she did. Than she had for the last four years. He dropped his face in her neck, tightening his hold on you. “I’m the one that let you down—”
“But I fell asleep and anything could have happened—”
“Look at me.” He drew back, smoothing her hair out of her face, waited for her to meet his eyes, then pressed his forehead against hers. “You’re only human. And Kelly only cleared you medically three weeks ago. That doesn’t mean you’re one hundred percent yet.”
“Sonny’s out of town for the week,” Jason told her. “He’s in Rome—which means he can’t call or bother me. I told Bernie and Tommy to take care of anything that comes up. I’m here. For the week. And when Sonny comes back, things are going to change.” He paused. “I promise.”
“Okay, but—” Elizabeth chewed on her bottom lip. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I just—Jake was taking a while to go down, and I just—I thought he’d sleep if I closed my eyes—”
“And he did. He was still sleeping when I got home. Cady came up, saw you were asleep, and went downstairs to take care of Cameron. She was feeding him when I got him.”
“Feeding him.” Elizabeth managed a smile. “I can only imagine.”
“Fruity Pebbles. But only after she’d tried juice and potato chips which he decorated the living room. My point is—” He sighed, then moved back to sit against the headboard, tucking her under his arm. “Cady made me promise if she went to Aunt Carly’s, there wouldn’t be new babies when she came home.”
“Oh, God. She didn’t. She’s too young to remember Cam—”
“Apparently not. Or people talk when she’s around.” Neither of their boys had been planned in the slightest, and Cameron had been a genuine surprise, conceived on their honeymoon in Venice. He wouldn’t trade either of them for the world, but— “She’s right. I love all three of them, but we need to be more careful.”
“I know.” Elizabeth sighed. “Kelly told me when I got pregnant last year with Jake she was worried I wasn’t taking enough time between them, but in our defense—” She tilted her back to look at him. “He’s only here because of the Quartermaines, and Emily had Cady and Cam that night.”
Jason scowled at the reminder of the failure of the Enduro condoms that ELQ manufactured, then sighed. “Yeah, well, the blackout didn’t help.”
“No, you looked really sexy in the candlelight.” She grinned and he laughed, relieved to see her happier. “I love you, Jason. And I know you love the kids. I—” She hesitated. “We don’t talk about it much, but I want you know how much it means to me that you love Cady the way you do.”
Jason didn’t ask what she meant. Their oldest daughter was not his biological child, a fact that had become clear to most people as she’d gotten older. Her facial features were all Elizabeth, but she shared her biological father’s coloring, from the dark eyes to the dark hair. Jason’s mother had carefully broached the topic a few years ago, worried that maybe Jason didn’t know.
“She’s been mine since the day I found out you were pregnant,” Jason told her. “I don’t even think about it.”
“I know. And that’s what I mean. I just—there are enough people in this town who do remember…him. And one day, we’re going to have to tell her because she deserves to know the truth about who she is. And where she comes from.” Elizabeth paused. “When did you know? About Monica, I mean? And Susan? Or I mean, do you know when you found out before the accident?”
“I—I don’t know. I don’t really remember. I think Monica told me because she was trying to explain how blood didn’t matter. I don’t think I cared before the accident. We should ask her at some point. I know we have to tell Cady when she’s older because if we don’t, someone else will. And I’d rather it came from us.”
“That’s one thing you can depend on in Port Charles,” Elizabeth said. She snuggled into Jason’s embrace. “If you don’t tell the truth, someone will tell it for you.”
“But we don’t have to worry about that for a long time. Everyone who knows the truth loves Cady. They’re not going to do anything to hurt her. Or us.”
“No. She’s safe. We made sure of it.”
Crimson Pointe, New York
Zacchara Estate: Study
Anthony Zacchara leaned back in his chair and lifted the cigar to his mouth, studying the woman in front of him. “Your proposal intrigues me,” he admitted. “And I do enjoy the idea of torturing Corinthos and Morgan until they bleed, but, uh, what do I get from this?”
Faith Roscoe’s lips curved into a smile as she examined her nails, flicking at a chip in the blood red polish. “Haven’t you ever pulled wings from a fly just to see what would happen?” She shrugged one shoulder elegantly. “I’ll get my revenge, and you’ll get to take over Port Charles. Send one of those kids of yours to run the place if you want.”
“You don’t want the power?” Anthony lifted his brow. “I find that hard to believe.”
“Breaking Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan is all the power I need.” Faith lifted a perfectly arched brow. “Are you in or out?”