Written in 55 minutes. Time for a basic spell check but not typos.
YOU GUYS THIS PART IS WILD AND I CANT WAIT FOR YOU TO READ IT
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Chapel of Love: Parking Lot
Elizabeth might have had a head start, but Jason’s legs were longer and he did more running than she did — he caught up just as she passed the Fountains at the Bellagio, passing in front of her so he could stop her in her tracks.
Elizabeth scowled and nearly managed to adjust at the last minute to run past him, but he snagged her elbow and dragged her back.
“Would you just stop!” he snapped. He grimaced when he realized he was almost digging into her forearm with his fingers. He forced himself to gentle his hold and guide her back in front of him. “Just—just let me explain—”
“Explain?” Elizabeth yanked her arm away from him, cradling it against her chest, her eyes shadowed, almost hidden from him even as the bright lights of the Strip washed over them. “There’s nothing to explain! I am done humiliating myself—I’m getting a cab, I’m going back to Port Charles, and then I am never going to speak to either one of you again—”
“Why—” Jason hissed as she turned sharply and started towards the street. He should just let her go.
She was always walking away from him.
Never giving him a chance to explain.
Never believing him even when he did—
After nearly forty-eight hours without sleep, after hours spent in Brenda’s vexing company—Jason finally snapped.
“Why do you always do this?” he called after her, his tone scathing. “Why did you even come?”
Elizabeth halted, nearly six feet from him, her shoulders snapping straight. She turned slowly, lifting her chin, her fists clenched at her side.
“Are you really going to get mad at me right now? I—” She scowled, stalked back. Elizabeth jabbed a finger in chest, the tip of her index finger poking just below his collar bone. “You want to know why I came to Vegas? Why I showed up at your wedding to another woman like this is a bad romantic comedy?”
Jason narrowed his eyes. “Yeah—I want to know. If you’re not even going to let me explain—”
“I came,” she bit out with a depth of bitterness that he’d never heard from her before, “because Sonny told me you were hurt.”
Jason’s mouth closed. He stared at her. “What?”
“He told me that you were hurt. That you needed—” Elizabeth closed her eyes, squeezing them shut as if it could protect her. “You needed me. Worse. He told you’d asked for me.”
He was going to murder Sonny.
And he was going to enjoy it.
Jason drew in a sharp breath. “Elizabeth—”
“And like the clearly stupid girl that I am—” Elizabeth opened her eyes, tears spilling over her lashes, sliding down her cheeks. Her voice broke. “I didn’t argue. Not until we landed in Vegas, and I realized that none of it made sense. He brought me here because he wanted to stop you from getting married. And he knew if he’d told me the truth, I never would have gotten on the plane.”
“It’s not what it looks like—”
“Really?” Elizabeth sneered. “Because it looked like you were marrying Brenda Barrett. How is there any way to explain that? How many times do you have to lie to me before I finally get it—”
“I have never lied to you—” Jason wanted to drag the words back even as they flew out of his mouth. Once he could have claimed that.
“For someone who prides himself on honesty,” Elizabeth retorted, “you’re really racking up the lies—”
“I tried to tell you that there things I couldn’t tell you—”
“No!” She sliced her hand through the air, the word exploding out of her like a bullet. “No! That is absolutely not going to work. No! Here are the things you can’t tell me—things I would never ask — what did you do at work today? When will you be home? Where did you go?”
“You do not get to lie to me about the death of your best friend!” Elizabeth shook her head. “No. No, I’m not doing this—” She turned away again.
“You’re the only one who gets to make mistakes?” Jason demanded as he followed her towards the street. “How many times have you lied to me?”
Her eyes widened, and she whirled back around. “I—”
“How many times have you done things that anyone else would find unforgivable?” he continued, the rage boiling in his chest. “You knew Zander had betrayed Sonny. That he was my enemy, Elizabeth, and what did you do?”
“You took him into your home. You—” He broke off as Elizabeth stared at him. “You slept with him. You asked me to leave him alone—”
“I thought you—” She swallowed hard, her lip trembling. “I thought you forgave me—”
“Because that’s what I do. I forgive you. Because, damn it, I love you!”
The words hung between them as she closed her eyes and Jason winced. That was not—that not the way that should have happened.
“I don’t believe you,” Elizabeth said softly. She cleared her throat, opened her eyes to meet his. “Because someone who loves me wouldn’t do the things you’ve done—”
“You sat in your penthouse, you looked me in the eye, and you told me that you wanted to be with me. That you wanted to try—and you lied. And then you kissed Courtney—”
“And you were just marrying another woman—” Elizabeth gestured wildly at the Chapel of Love a hundred yards behind them.
Jason clenched his jaw. “And you came across the country because you thought I was hurt. What does that say about you? You love me, too, Elizabeth—”
“No, I don’t—” she snapped. “Don’t tell me how I feel—”
“Then don’t tell me how I feel,” he threw back at her.
“How the hell am I supposed to believe you?” Elizabeth threw up her hands. “What have you done except lie to me for weeks—”
If he could just convince her—if they could just get past this minute—he could explain everything about Brenda—and he’d fix that crap about Courtney — but she looked ready to bolt at any minute—
She’d flown across the country with little more than Sonny’s word because she thought he needed her.
Well, he did. Even though he wanted to shake her until her teeth rattled. She was so damn stubborn—
“You want proof?” Jason scowled, his mind racing. He dragged a hand through his hair, stared at the wedding chapel for a long moment, then looked back at Elizabeth. “I can prove it.”
“I’d like to see you try—”
“Come with me,” Jason said, grabbing her hand, then all but dragged her back towards the chapel.
If she wanted proof—
He’d make her see that he wasn’t lying if it was the last thing he did.
Chapel of Love: Lobby
Sonny pressed the ice pack to his nose, wincing as he watched Brenda examine her nails. “Are you ever going to forgive me?” he asked.
“You’re going to have to be way more specific because your list of crimes is very long,” she said sweetly. She frowned. “This polish is chipped. I need my luggage. It’s in the car—”
“And what the hell are you doing in Vegas?” Sonny demanded, out of patience with her. “I came all the way here and all I’ve gotten so far is a busted nose—”
“That was a thing of beauty,” Brenda started to say, but then the double doors to the chapel opened and Jason stalked in, practically dragging Elizabeth after him.
Sonny thought Elizabeth had told Jason that instead of taking a minute to protect her after what had happened on the pier, Sonny had lied to her. He got to his feet, bracing himself to get another sock to the jaw—
But instead, Jason ignored Sonny and Brenda entirely and walked over to the front desk. “I need a new certificate,” he said, flatly.
Elizabeth’s face drained of color and Sonny saw her muscles bunch. If Jason hadn’t tightened his grip, she might have taken another run for it.
“Wait—what did he just say?” Brenda asked.
“Uh, Mr. Morgan—”
“A new marriage certificate,” Jason repeated. “Now.”
“Uh—” The clerk blinked rapidly, looked over at Sonny and Brenda, looked at Elizabeth. “Okay,” he said slowly. He set a fresh sheet of paper on the desk. “But it’ll cost you double. You were halfway through—”
“Put it on the card—”
“Jason,” Elizabeth hissed.
“Do you want proof or not?” Jason demanded, and Sonny raised his brows at the sharpness in his friend’s tone. He didn’t think Jason had ever spoken to her that way.
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. “You think this is proof?” She jerked a thumb at Brenda. “Your last fiancée is right over there—”
“Oh, well, fiancée is a strong word,” Brenda said, wrinkling her nose.
“So is wife,” Elizabeth snarled, tossing a dirty look at her. “Stay out of it.”
“I like her,” Brenda decided.
“You could find out where they’re registered later,” Sonny muttered. What the hell was going on—
Jason was ignoring them all as he grabbed a pen and filled out the form, signing his name at the bottom. He shoved the pen at Elizabeth and slid the paper closer to her. “Well?”
Sonny was sure Elizabeth was going to stab Jason in the eye or something else violent from the way that she looked at him. But then she drew in a shaky breath, signed the form.
“Huh,” Brenda said with a nod. “Well, at least this won’t be a wasted trip.”
Elizabeth couldn’t quite decide exactly why she’d signed the form or how she’d ended up in front of the same officiant that had nearly married Jason and Brenda less than thirty minutes earlier.
She almost felt like she was floating above it all and had been since the moment Jason had bit out a declaration of love like he wanted to hit over the head with it.
He never got angry with her.
And when she’d asked for proof—
He’d gone to find a way to prove it.
She married him.
When the officiant declared them husband and wife and told Jason he could kiss his bride, Elizabeth blinked, looked at Jason, wondering what he would do.
He gently pressed on her shoulder so that she was facing him, tipped her head back and kissed her, drawing her against him like he had that night in her studio. Tired of fighting it, tired of pretending, of being angry and sad — Elizabeth kissed him back, threading her fingers through his hair, dragging him closer to her, wishing she could just disappear into him.
She didn’t want to let go, didn’t want the moment to end, because then reality would hit — and he’d realize he’d made a mistake —
Elizabeth didn’t know if she could bear to see that in his eyes. If she never let him go—never opened her eyes —
But then there was a slight coughing from the front of the pew, and Jason drew back. Their eyes met as he slowly stepped back, sliding his hands down the length of her body until they rested at her waist.
She turned to look at Sonny and Brenda in the front row, blinking rapidly.
“Maybe we should go to the hotel,” Sonny said, getting to his feet.
Jason glanced behind them to see the officiant offering them a smile and a reminder to pick up the license out front. When he’d left the room, Jason looked at Sonny, his eyes hard. “Don’t ever lie to Elizabeth again. Especially not about me being hurt.”
Sonny winced, then he gasped in pain as Brenda whacked him hard in the ribs. “Damn it—” he grunted. “What the hell—”
“You dragged that poor girl all the way here and she thought he was hurt the whole time—I hope your nose heals crooked,” Brenda said. She whacked him one more time with the back of her hand.
“We’ll meet you at the hotel,” Jason told Sonny. “We’re taking the limo. You can drive there with Brenda.”
He took Elizabeth’s hand and led her out of the chapel.
Brenda scowled after him, planting her hands on her hips. “I think he thinks that’s a punishment. You’re lucky I didn’t marry you!” she called after them. “I would have made you miserable!”
She huffed, looked back at Sonny. “Well, let’s go. I need food and sleep. And a new plan because my best idea just walked out of the room married to someone else.”
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: Owner’s Suite
Jason shoved the door open and waited for Elizabeth to walk in front of him. She had been silent during the short ride to the hotel that Sonny controlled in downtown Vegas, and Jason hadn’t known how to start the conversation.
Elizabeth walked over to the large floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the Strip, folding her arms across her chest. The sun was just beginning to rise in the west, peeking out over the horizon in the distance. Jason closed the door, took a deep breath. “Elizabeth—”
“If you’re sorry already,” she said softly, “can you just…wait to say it?” She looked at him. “Just a little longer.”
“I’m not sorry,” Jason said roughly. He crossed over to her. He reached out to touch her, but faltered, let his hand drop down. “I don’t really—I’m not sorry,” he repeated. “But I thought you might be.”
“I’m not really sure what I’m feeling,” Elizabeth admitted. “This is—” She laughed slightly, nerves making the sound shaky and fragile. “This is not exactly what I thought would happen last night when I left Kelly’s.”
“Me either,” Jason said. He framed her face in his hands, leaned his forehead against hers. “I missed you,” he murmured.
“I missed you, too.” She slid her arms around his waist and they stood there for a long moment, just letting the silence around them settle.
“Let’s get some sleep,” Jason suggested. “And we’ll—we’ll figure everything else out later.”