Flash Fiction: Hits Different – Part 30

This entry is part 30 of 32 in the Flash Fiction: Hits Different

Written in exactly 60 minutes. Exhausted, lol. Enjoy the cliff hanger 😛

Elizabeth leaned up to tug a plate from the third shelf of the cabinet, then jolted when Jason’s arms slid around her waist and he pulled her back against him, kissing the pulse point beneath her ear.

“One of these days, you’re going to do that, and I’m going to break something—” She set the plate on the counter, and then twisted in his arms, wrinkling her nose when she realized he’d changed into jeans and a t-shirt instead of staying in his usual sweat pants on their days off. “Oh, right, I forgot.”

She wiggled out of his embrace, then went to the toaster where her bagel was waiting. “You’re driving down to Silver Linings today.”

“Justus is picking me up in twenty minutes.” Jason leaned against the fridge, watched her concentrate on buttering the bagel with more focus than anyone had ever used on a bread product. “I could tell him to wait. You could go.”

“We’re not still having this conversation. I told you a week ago when you had this idea, three days ago when you scheduled it, and last night—”

“Last night, you distracted me before I could ask you, which is why—” Jason gestured to the space between them. “I’m standing on this side of the kitchen.”

“Only because I moved over here.” She bit into the bagel, and he just lifted his brows. “My answer isn’t going to change.”

“Okay.” Jason left the kitchen, went over to the sofa where he’d left his boots the night before after work. Elizabeth watched his suspiciously, wondering what he was going to try next.

“I don’t know what the point is in asking AJ what happened that day. He was too drunk to know better.”

“Probably true. But we need to cross him off. Justus says if we can show that the Quartermaines had any malicious intent in the conservatorship, it’ll sway the judge.” Jason tied the last lace, then straightened. “And isn’t that the point of all this? To do whatever we can to get this thrown out so it just can be over?”

“I know.” She stared down at the bagel. Jason needed to see him, and that was fine for him. But she could die happy never being in the same room again.  “You said Monica is the one who extended his stay?” she asked reluctantly, setting the plate aside, washing her hands to remove traces of butter and crumbs. She’d lost her appetite.

“Yeah. At least that’s what Ned says, and he hasn’t been wrong before. Why?”

“Well, I guess if that’s true—than that probably means AJ knows something. Or that Monica thinks he knows something.” She made a face. “You think he’ll tell you?”

“Why wouldn’t he?”

“Because you don’t know if he’s lying. He could make something up—” Elizabeth folded her arms, looked down at her toenails. The pink polish was starting to chip. “I feel like I’m finally starting to let go of all that,” she said finally. She looked up, met his eyes. “Like I’m turning a page. I don’t want to keep going back to that day—to that time. I want it to be over. Don’t you?”

“I do. After this over, I never want to think about the Quartermaines again,” Jason said. “But we need enough to throw this whole thing out. I know it’s harder for you. You still remember everything, and if seeing AJ messes any of that up for you, I don’t want you to go. You’ve done more than enough to stop this conservatorship—”

“I just—I don’t want him to screw with your head. I know you’re not the same. I know you don’t let anyone guilt trip — especially people you don’t know or like. But—” Elizabeth just shook her head. “Can you call Justus? Ask him to push back leaving for another twenty? I can be ready in a half hour, maybe forty minutes.”


“I made a promise to who you used to be,” she said quietly and he closed his mouth. “I’ve kept it this long — no point in running when the finish line is in sight.”

“I mean it, you being happy is more important—” Jason started, but she crossed the room, stopped in front of him, slid her hands up his chest. “Don’t distract me—”

“Maybe this is one last ghost I have to confront.” She leaned up on her toes, pressed her lips against his. “Call Justus.”

“Are you sure?”

“No, but that’s why I have to go. No more running. If I can do that—” She nodded towards the second bedroom, still closed. “I can do anything, right?”

He cupped her face, kissed her again. “Okay. I’ll call Justus.”


The ride to Silver Linings was nearly an hour, and Jason spent it restlessly looking out the window, wishing he’d been the one to drive. Elizabeth was in the backseat, looking through paperwork, and Justus behind the wheel.

The rehab center was a sprawling campus of buildings — Justus pulled off the main road onto a long driveway, then around three or four more cream-colored brick buildings before parking in one of the lots that ringed the campus area.

There wasn’t much conversation as the trio headed for the visitor’s building. Justus signed them in and Jason clipped a blue badge to his shirt. Two turns down another set of halls, and into a large room with circular tables.

Near the windows sat a man with shaggy blond hair. He was looking out the window, but he was sitting alone — one of the few people in the room on their own.

“AJ?” Jason asked, nodding towards him. Elizabeth’s mouth pinched, and he sighed. “All right, let’s get this over with.”

AJ rose when he saw them approach. He was of similar height to Jason, average build, though less muscle.

“I wasn’t sure if you’d show up,” he said, holding out a hand for just a moment before running it through his hair. He looked at Elizabeth. “I—I didn’t know you were coming.”

“To keep you honest,” she said coolly, taking a seat at the table. “Jason doesn’t know you like I do.”  Jason sat next to her, and Justus pulled out the chair next to him.

“No, I suppose that’s true. ” AJ returned to his own seat. “Justus said you had some questions about the accident. I, uh, don’t know what I can do to help—”

“Your blood alcohol was never tested,” Justus said, and AJ frowned at him. “How drunk were you?”

“I don’t know. I never knew that. I just kept drinking until the world went away. Stopped counting how many drinks that took back in high school.” He cleared his throat. “Why does it matter—”

“Alan and Edward filed for a conservatorship. Jason can’t legally enter or break contracts or make any medical decisions without their permission,” Elizabeth cut in. “And they say they did it because Jason told Monica before the accident he wanted to divorce me.”

AJ’s eyes widened. “A conservatorship? Whoa. That’s—that’s crazy even for them. That’s the legal thing where you’re basically powerless? Man—” He clasped his hands together. “That’s wild. And—” He squinted, looked at Justus. “Monica says Jason wanted a divorce?”

“That’s their basis for filing for divorce as conservators,” Jason said, drawing AJ’s attention back to him. “We know that I didn’t want it. But we can’t prove that Monica knew the divorce papers I brought were fake.”

“Divorce papers? Geez. Well, I don’t know anything any divorce papers, but she sure as hell knew you didn’t want a divorce,” AJ said.

“How can you be sure? You were drunk enough to get behind the wheel—”

“I didn’t need to be plastered to do that. Just…just loaded enough to think I wasn’t drunk,” AJ admitted. He stared down at his hands. “I’m sorry, Elizabeth, for what I’ve put you through—”

“If you’re sorry, then you’ll tell me—tell us what happened that day.” Elizabeth lifted her brow. “And don’t leave anything out.”

“Oh. Well, I can try. I don’t know what happened before I got there, just that I heard shouting from the family room—”

AJ hesitated just before he reached the doorway. The last thing he needed was another lecture from his mother or brother about ruining his life and the people around him—but maybe they wouldn’t even notice him if they kept arguing—

“You’re an unnatural child, do you know that?” Monica demanded. AJ peered around the edge of the doorframe, saw his mother stalk across the room towards Jason standing by the terrace. “To do this to your own mother—”

“What about what my mother is doing to me? Or does the guilt only work one way?” Jason demanded. “Did you think about that before you told the Sun’s reporter that Elizabeth was going back to work? Before you told them our apartment number?”

“These accusations, Jason! How can you think I would do that to you—”

“Because no one would, Mother. Even Grandfather has his limits.”

“This is such an awful thing to say to me. To do—what kind of person goes to all this trouble just to lie to their mother?” Monica lifted a chunk of papers, shaking them in his face. “Have you no shame? No decency?”

“You weren’t so mad when you thought they were the truth—you were so eager to believe the worst about Elizabeth that you didn’t even bother to realize these were your words. Not mine.”

Monica scowled. “She’s done this. She’s put you up to this—”

“She doesn’t even know I’m here. Or that you were behind this last stunt. Wasn’t it enough that you told them when we were burying her?” Jason bit out. “Wasn’t it enough for you when that reporter accused Elizabeth of drinking and driving, killing our daughter?”

“You’re just angry because that woman has twisted you up so much that you’re facing assault charges—” Monica tried to go around Jason, back to the desk, but Jason grabbed her elbow swung her back. “

“Those charges went away when I filed my own. Harassment and stalking. But I knew he didn’t get that information out of nowhere. You were the only one that knew Elizabeth was going back to work that day. The only one I told!”

“I’m sure—well, that can’t be true—”

“It is! You set her up to be confronted all over again when she was just starting to feel better!”

“Well, maybe she doesn’t deserve to feel better!” Monica spat. “She’s the reason we put an infant in the ground—”

Something crashed and shattered, and AJ moved into the doorway to see better. Jason had reached for one of the crystal decanters of water they kept in the library — right next to all that lovely vodka, and he’d thrown it across the wall. Jagged shards and water stained the carpet.

“That is the last time you’ll ever speak about my daughter that way. About my wife. I thought if I confronted you, if I could make you believe that I would leave Elizabeth, you’d confess and take credit for finally winning, but I don’t need you to confess. Because it won’t change what a cold, unfeeling bitch you are—”

“And then he turned and he—you—,” he said to Jason, “saw me in the doorway.”  AJ rubbed his neck. “Mom started freaking out, accusing me of drinking—I mean, yeah, I had been, but she needed to start discrediting me. Why do you think I’m here?” He gestured around them. “In exchange for an advance for my trust fund, I got ninety days here.”

Justus tipped his head. “And when did that turn into one hundred and twenty?”

“Around Easter. Mom said if I stayed in here longer and didn’t come home and tell anyone what I heard, well, she’d make sure I got another advance.” AJ looked at his hands. “But you know, I didn’t go home and tell anyone. You came to me. And anyway, I’m gonna lie to the guy I put in the hospital? No way. Maybe she paid me to come here—but I’m trying. I want—I don’t want to do this to another family—”

“You shouldn’t have needed to bash Jason’s brains against a rock to learn that lesson,” Elizabeth said, speaking up for the first time since AJ had recounted his memory of that day. “Our daughter should have been enough.”

“That’s what Jason said that day. When he tried to stop me from leaving. Cady was enough, he said. Enough for a life time. He’d never pick up another drink as long as he lived. But I wasn’t in the mood to be lectured to. You were picking at me because I was drunk at one in the afternoon. Like I cared about the clock,” AJ said dismissively. “I told you to go to hell and suck up to Mom some more, because even though you were mad at her, it wouldn’t last. It never did. Then I left. You followed, and well—” He trailed off. “Sorry isn’t enough.”

“It’s really not,” Elizabeth said. She shoved away from the table. “Finish whatever you need to do. I’ll wait at the car.” She left the room.

Jason looked at AJ, at the man who was supposed to be the brother, then shook his head. “We have nothing to say to each other. Justus?”

“I’ll take care of it.” When Jason had followed Elizabeth, Justus slid a pad of paper across the table. “I need you to write that down, and I’ll be back with affidavit to sign for court. With what you’ve told me, we should have enough to make the Quartermaines drop the conservatorship.”

“It’s the least I owe them—”

“You could try for a thousand years, AJ, and never come even close to what you owe. That’s not a debt you settle,” Justus said. “So don’t bother trying.”

Monica finishing making notes in her planner, looked up when Alan came into their bedroom, a familiar set of papers in his hands. “What—what are those?”

“I’ve read these over and over and over since Ned gave them to us.” Alan looked down at them then at his wife. “You told me that first night in the hospital that Jason wanted a divorce. And I believed you because you were so upset. And I still hoped Jason would wake up. Why would you tell such a disprovable lie? So I made sure we’d find a way to respect Jason’s wishes. Father and I—”

“Don’t you dare blame me for that conservatorship—”

“It was the only way we’d get enough control to get Elizabeth out of his life. But—but Jason never wanted that? Did he?” Alan demanded when Monica said nothing. “I read this—it’s fantasy. Father pointed out quite rightly that there’s language in there that Jason never, on his worst day, would have used against Elizabeth. Calling her an alcoholic, accusing her of taking his money. Believing she’d caused the accident—that’s where you want too far—even Father knew how staunch Jason was in his support of Elizabeth. You don’t go from that to believing the opposite overnight.”

“What exactly are you accusing me of?” Monica rose, fisting her hands at her side. “What do you think I’ve done?”

“Written papers up to support this story you’ve been telling us for month.” Alan flung the papers towards her. She didn’t reach for them—they fell to the carpet between them. “You pushed me time and time again to think of Elizabeth as nothing more than another Nikki Langton—”

“She’s worse. Because she actually managed to turn Jason against this family! And you can believe whatever you want—but Jason wrote every single word in those papers. Maybe he wasn’t ready to admit that he wanted to be rid of her, but I knew it—why else would he go to all that trouble and bring me this—”

“I don’t believe you. And no judge is going to accept those papers. Jason never wanted a divorce. This was a lie, wasn’t it?”

Monica growled, the rage rising. How dare he accuse her of lying—of not knowing her own son! “If you want proof, I’ll give it to you.” She stalked over to her dresser, yanked it open and fished through it. When she came back to Alan, she held up a single gold band. “He took this off that day—”

Alan took the ring from her, then sighed. “The lies need to stop, Monica. This was on his finger the night of the accident—”

“How—I handled the inventory! I took those things home—” Monica closed her mouth, and Alan looked at her.

“Yes. You did. You took those home. The wallet, the keys, and the ring he never took off. You may have handled the physical inventory, Monica. But I signed the papers that listed this as his property.” He closed his fingers around the ring. “You’re lying. Just like the papers. You’ve been lying from the start—”

“You don’t—you don’t understand—” Monica leapt forward, when Alan turned away from her. “The doctors, they told us that Jason had terrible brain damage. That if he woke up, he’d never be the same. I knew he wouldn’t remember — he wouldn’t remember that last day—I’d lost him, Alan. I’d pushed too hard and he was so angry—”

“So you thought you’d rewrite the story and push Elizabeth out before Jason could even decide what he wanted. You thought you could control him the way you have his whole life. He chose the career we wanted, the school we wanted, the friends—but we never could stop him from loving who we picked out. You got rid of Keesha Ward, didn’t you? Funding a scholarship she couldn’t turn down—” Alan shook his head. “But Elizabeth—she wasn’t going anywhere. And now you’ve destroyed any chance we ever had of Jason coming home.”

“No, Alan, that was you—you took away his control and his rights—”

“Because I believed it was the right thing to do. Because I believed you that Jason wanted it. Because I wanted him to want it. I wanted him to go back to being our son. To the best in his class at Stanford, matching with the best schools—we couldn’t see that the life we’d picked out for him—he didn’t want it Monica. We didn’t see it. And now it’s too late to even try.”


Jason unlocked the apartment door, and waited for Elizabeth to go inside first. She’d been quiet on the ride home, not having any real input on Justus’s discussion of the road ahead. Filing AJ’s affidavit would be the nail in the coffin, he thought. Alan and Edward would read it, realize how much Monica had torched their case, and maybe they’d file on their own to make it over.

“Just think,” Jason said, “a week from now on this, this could be over.”

Elizabeth turned, looked at him, smiled, but was tinged with sadness. “I can’t believe Justus was right. That AJ could hold the key. Any judge who hears about all of that—” She rubbed her chest. “When the conservatorship is dissolved, we’ll ask Justus to draw up divorce papers.”


  • Whoa………divorce papers? I’m hoping in the next chapter, it is because she wants a fresh start and the best way is to put closure on the first marriage. I am really excited to see Monica getting the some push back for what she has done. Great chapter.

    According to nanci on April 8, 2024
  • I can kinda see where her mind is going with divorce papers. Fresh start for them both. she can divorce Jason “Quartermaine” to one day marry Jason “Morgan”. At least that’s what I’m hoping lol.

    According to Brittany on April 8, 2024
  • What???? Divorce papers. I hope not but I like Nanci’s idea. I know our couple will be together. Monica is something else. She is really selfish but I think Alan might have a chance with Jason if he really talks to him and apologizes to both of them. I just feel so bad for AJ and that he would have stayed quiet for his trust fund.

    According to arcoiris0502 on April 8, 2024
  • Wow that was intense both confrontations and they both spilled their guts.

    However– a divorce Elizabeth– I can see her wanting to shed the Quartermaine name but not losing Jason so I’m hoping she means so they can remarry and be Morgans.

    Can’t wait to read more– I love this FF

    According to Pamela Hedstrom on April 8, 2024
  • Monica loses and Jason wins. Poor AJ was letting money run his life. Now maybe he will get better. Liz, Liz you could of waited to explain why you want a divorce and just blurt it out.

    According to leasmom on April 9, 2024
  • I cannot believe you just left it there. That’s cruel and unusual punishment, Melissa! I mean the rest was so good but ugh … how are we supposed to think about other things before the next installment?

    According to LivingLiason on April 9, 2024
  • Wow, I hope Jason doesn’t want a divorce. Alan needs to get rid of Monica and take away everything she has. I am happy that AJ came through for them.

    According to Shelly Samuel on April 9, 2024
  • THIS IS SOOO GOOD!! I really hope they become ‘Morgans’. Also, AJ is definitely a Quartermaine, money above all else. glad he told them the truth, but don’t think he ever would’ve if Jason didn’t go see him.

    According to Sharpe on April 9, 2024
  • amazing convos and insights
    don’t even mind that small walk off the cliff u gave us

    According to vicki on April 10, 2024
  • I’m glad AJ was able to help and hopefully this will bury Monica. I hope Jason can convince Elizabeth to be a Morgan instead of a Quartermaine.

    According to Carla P on April 11, 2024
  • There really isn’t a punishment that’s enough for what Monica tried to pull here. Alan and Edward make sense. They’re bullheaded and think they’re doing what’s best, but Monica was straight up vindictive and cruel. I’m oddly impressed? Kudos to AJ for wanting to right his wrongs, but he remains a putz. I’m really glad Elizabeth went with. I think she would have always regretted it if she hadn’t.

    According to Mariah on April 20, 2024