Written in 57 minutes. Time for a spellcheck but not rereading for a typo.
Cosmopolitan Hotel: Master Suite
With Elizabeth’s hand in his, Jason walked out of the bedroom and stopped in front of Sonny. “We need a new plan,” he said bluntly.
Sonny frowned, narrowing his eyes. “I thought we agreed—ow!” He glared at Brenda who whacked him in the stomach. “Will you stop hitting me? I already have a busted nose—” He sent Elizabeth an irritated look.
“You’ve deserved every hit,” Brenda retorted.
Sonny’s scowl only deepened when he turned back to Jason. “I thought you wanted her out of this—that you wanted the PCPD to lose the scent. As soon as they get over this—”
“We need a new plan,” Jason repeated. “Elizabeth is coming back to the penthouse. That’s not—” He glanced at her and the sight of her tremulous smile bolstered him. He focused on Sonny again. “She’s coming home with me, but I don’t—we don’t have to volunteer that we got married in Vegas.”
Sonny narrowed his eyes. “So how we do explain this whole—” He waved his finger in a circle indicating the room. “The two of you came to Vegas and didn’t get married? They’re never going to buy it—”
“They will,” Elizabeth said. “Because—” She sighed. “You’re right, Sonny. The second Taggert or Scott find out that Jason and I got married, they’re not going to believe it’s not related. But—” She met Jason’s eyes. “But if I tell them that I came to Vegas with Jason because he was on business for you so that we could get away from things in Port Charles, that’s not too far from the truth.”
“And the pier?” Sonny retorted. “You’re going to lie—”
“It’s not the first time,” Elizabeth reminded him caustically. “And I don’t even have to lie much. I was walking on the pier after work, heard gunshots, got scared, and ran. I went to see Jason, and you told me he was in Vegas. So I came here to see him. We’re coming back because he’s done and, well, there’s a warrant out for me.” She shrugged. “Some of that is even true.”
Sonny pressed his lips together. “It might work,” he admitted. He rubbed the back of his neck. “All right. We’ll try it. But, uh—” He looked at Jason. “Do you want to call Carly before we get back or wait until we get home?”
“Scared of a tiny blonde,” Brenda sighed. “You hate to see it.”
“After,” Jason definitively. “And she—” He winced, looked at Elizabeth. “We can’t tell her,” he said. “She’ll never keep it to herself.”
With a sigh, Elizabeth shrugged a shoulder. “She’s your friend, not mine. I mean, it’s not like I want to see her head explode.” When Brenda snorted, Elizabeth’s mouth twitched. “Okay, maybe a little.”
Port Charles: Limo
With the time difference, it was nearly nine at night by the time the limo pulled into Harborview Towers — Brenda had attempted to get a car to her cottage, but Sonny had vetoed it. Brenda had sulked and threatened to run away, and they’d bickered the entire drive home.
Elizabeth sat next to Jason, their hands still laced together. She stared at his fingers, wrapped around hers, still not sure how anything in the last twenty-four hours had really happened. Had she really been shot at on the pier? Dragged to Vegas —
Had she really married Jason?
She looked at Jason who was frowning at Sonny and Brenda across the car. “At some point,” she said softly, too softly for the bickering ex-couple to hear her. “We’re going to have to figure this out.”
Jason glanced at her, then nodded. “Yeah. I know.” He drew their hands into his lap, sliding his thumb over the back of her hand. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. Their eyes met. “For hurting you. Back at the hotel. When I agreed to the first plan.”
“You were trying to keep me safe,” Elizabeth said. She leaned her head against his shoulder, her eyes drifting closed. “I’m used to it.”
“But I shouldn’t do it by making decisions for you. And I’m sorry,” he said again.
“I’m sorry, too,” she murmured. “For running. Won’t do that…” Her voice trailed off, and she slid into sleep.
Harborview Towers: Hallway
Unfortunately for Sonny, Carly was waiting for him in the hallway and her eyes nearly bulged out of her face when the elevators doors open, and Jason stepped out, cradling a sleeping Elizabeth and Brenda trailing after him.
Sonny grimaced, putting a hand up. “Just—just don’t. We’ll—”
“Don’t tell me—what is she doing here?” Carly hissed as Brenda unlocked Jason’s door and he carried Elizabeth in. “Damn it, Sonny — what the hell is going on—”
“Are you always like this?” Brenda asked. She folded her arms. “You know, I think I liked my life better when I never had to see you. When I died, you were locked up in the loony bin. Why did they let you out?”
Carly hissed and took a step forward. Sonny stepped between the two of them, holding his hands up as he faced Carly. “Carly—”
Jason stepped back out of the penthouse, scrubbing a hand down his face. “Carly, go home,” he said, flatly. “We’ll talk in the morning. Brenda is staying in my guest room because she’s not safe at the cottage—”
“Don’t tell me to go home—you don’t get to give me orders—”
“I do when I’ve barely slept in the last three days,” Jason cut in. He took a short breath. “Carly. I’m tired. You can yell at Sonny in your penthouse. Go do that. He deserves it.”
Sonny tossed his friend a beleaguered look, but clearly he hadn’t been forgiven for dragging Elizabeth across the country on a lie then asking them to pretend to be broken up for a few more weeks.
“Good night, Carly,” Jason said. He took Brenda’s elbow and swung her into the penthouse. For once, the brunette didn’t argue with him.
“And why is the muffin back!” Carly threw up her hands as she whirled around and stalked back into the penthouse. “I was so close to getting him to date Courtney—”
“You weren’t even remotely in the ball park,” Sonny said, exhausted. “I’m going to sleep—”
“Oh, hell no. You’re going to tell me where you disappeared to last night, how Brenda ended up there—why didn’t return my phone calls—” Carly broke off abruptly as Sonny walked past her and started up the stairs. “I’m not done talking to you—”
“I’ll start listening again in the morning.”
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason winced at the sight of Brenda’s bags next to the sofa, a harsh reminder of her visit the day before and how close he’d come to making such a terrible decision. “I’m going to bed,” he said, walking over to the sofa to pick up Elizabeth where he’d left her.
“She’s really out, huh?” Brenda asked conversationally as she walked up the stairs behind them, one of her bags over her shoulder. “You’d think she’d wake up with that harpy—”
“Brenda—” Jason turned at the top of the stairs. “Pick a room and leave me alone.”
“You know,” Brenda said, putting her hands on her hips. “You could be nicer to me. I did you a favor.” She nodded at the sleeping woman in his arms. “You think you’d be waking up to married to her tomorrow if I hadn’t started this—”
Jason started to reply, then nodded. “You’re right. In a way that is barely related to you, I—” He looked down at Elizabeth, who shifted a little in her sleep, burrowing her face deeper into his shoulder. “I have everything I want.”
Startled, Brenda just stared at him. “Wait. Really?”
“So tomorrow, when we’ve all had a chance to sleep, we’re going to figure out how to get you what you want,” Jason promised her. “So—pick a room.”
“All right.” She waited until he was nearly down the end of the hall. “I’m glad, Jase. That we didn’t go through with it. It would have been really stupid.”
“Yeah, it would have. Good night, Brenda.”
Morgan Penthouse: Master Bedroom
Elizabeth moaned slightly as a beam of sunlight hit her eyes. She rolled over and buried her face in the soft pillow beneath her cheek. “Five more minutes,” she murmured. “I’ll go to school later.”
A light laugh broke through her hazy mind, and Elizabeth opened her eyes. She rolled over to find Jason leaning up on his elbow, laying stretched out next to her on his bed.
She jackknifed into a sitting position, blinking around the room. “Wait. We’re—how long—” She cleared her throat, scrubbing her hands down her face. “I barely remember getting off the plane.”
“Yeah, you fell sleep not long after we left the airport,” Jason told her. He tipped his head to the side. “It’s almost eight.”
Elizabeth winced. “Oh, man, Mike is gonna kill me. I think I was supposed to open—” She hesitated. “Wait, what day is it?”
“Thursday,” Jason said. “I’m sure Mike will understand—”
“Yeah, but Penny won’t. She’s the only other waitress Mike trusts to open—” Elizabeth flopped back on the bed. “Oh well. We were supposed to open three hours ago, so I guess there’s no point in getting irritated. I’ll just have to make it up to her.” She bit her lip, and looked at him, all that gorgeous golden skin in the sunlight. She grinned. “Hey.”
“Hey,” he replied. He leaned down to kiss her lightly, just a brush of his mouth against hers. She sighed dreamily, tracing his cheekbone with her fingertips. “I need clothes,” she murmured.
“You left a few things here,” Jason said. He twirled a piece of her hair around his finger. “We’ll get your things from the studio.” He paused. “If you want.”
“There’s no point in me coming back here if I don’t have clothes.” Her smile deepened. “I mean, I guess we could stay naked the whole time, but I don’t think Sonny would appreciate it.”
“Hey, I have clothes,” Jason said with another grin. He leaned down to kiss her bare shoulders. “You can wear all my shirts.”
“Hmm—the idea has merit but—” She sighed as his mouth trailed across her collarbone. “Do we have to get up?”
“No—” Jason began, then winced as something pounded below them. He let his forehead drop to her chest. “That’s the door.”
“We could ignore it,” Elizabeth suggested, helpfully. “I mean, the PCPD can’t just come in without a warrant, but—”
She frowned when she heard voices. “Jason — is that—”
With a scowl, Jason sat up. “Yeah, that’s Brenda and Carly.” He rubbed his cheek. “I told Carly I’d talk to her in the morning. I guess I should be relieved she didn’t come over at dawn.”
“It’s the little things,” Elizabeth said, forcing a smile. “Are my things still in the guest room? I didn’t know what I left—”
“Uh, a dress, I think. And some—” He scratched his neck. “Some jeans. They were in the laundry room,” he mumbled. “And they’re—” He nodded at the closet. “They’re in there.”
“In—” Elizabeth frowned at him. “In your closet? Why?”
“I—” Jason’s cheeks were a bit red as he took a deep breath. “I meant to give them to you, but then I—” He paused. “Then I thought you’d come back for them. And then—” He shook his head. “I cleaned out the guest room,” he muttered, “so that Brenda could use it. Before we went to Vegas.”
“Oh.” Elizabeth bit her lip, staring at the comforter. “She was going to stay in there—”
“She is—” Jason winced. “She’s there now or at least that’s where I think she ended up. You fell asleep in the car, I guess you didn’t hear—”
Elizabeth absorbed the fact that Jason had cleaned what little she’d left behind from the room where she’d slept so that he could park the woman he’d nearly married. And then that woman had slept there anywhere last night.
She wasn’t really sure how she felt about it.
“It’s okay,” she said finally. “I have something I can wear,” she said. “I’ll get the jeans, and if Brenda’s here, maybe she can loan me a shirt. It’s too cold for the dress.” She pushed the comforter aside and slid out of bed. “I’ll get a shower while you go deal with Brenda and Carly.”
“Can’t I just stay up here?” Jason asked, with a wince. Her mood lightened and she leaned forward to kiss him.
“We’ll have plenty of time for showers,” she promised him. “But only if Carly and Brenda aren’t here.”
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
Jason thought he should be relieved that Carly and Brenda hadn’t come to blows in the time they’d been alone downstairs. Brenda was lounging on the sofa, paging through a magazine as Carly glowered near the door.
“Uh, when I said the morning,” Jason told Carly, “I mean I would come to see when I was ready—”
“You went to Vegas,” Carly said, jabbing a finger in his chest. “And I saw that bitch’s luggage—why the hell did you take her to Vegas, Jase? And don’t give me the bullshit story Sonny’s trying to feed me. You and Brenda went there first. Sonny and Elizabeth followed. How dumb do you think I am?”
“Brenda, shut up,” Jason said, not even turning around. He heard Brenda grumbling in the background. “In fact — can you loan Elizabeth something to wear until we get to the studio to get her things?”
“I wanna watch the show,” Brenda complained, but she crossed over to a suitcase, and unzipped it.
“Jason,” Carly began but Jason turned back to her, irritated beyond belief. How many times had he been alone with Elizabeth when Carly had called—
“It’s none of your business why I was in Vegas,” Jason said shortly. “All you need to know is Elizabeth is living here. Don’t make that face—”
“And don’t start. I’ve got enough problems without you adding to them.”
“Hey, you wanna get dirty with the muffin—” Carly held up her hands. “Listen, we all need to make mistakes. But you know the PCPD came by yesterday looking for her. Zander—” She hesitated. “Zander’s dead, Jase. And they think Elizabeth knows something.”
“I know that—”
“So please tell me,” Carly began, “that you didn’t do anything stupid—”
The front door opened behind them as Sonny came in, and Jason winced as he saw Taggert and Scott right behind him.
“—like marry Elizabeth in Vegas—” Carly’s words were spoken nearly at the same time the men walked in and Sonny just closed his eyes. Carly turned at the intrusion, saw Sonny’s face and the men with him. “Oh, damn it, Jason!” she swore.
“That’s an excellent question, Anger Boy,” Taggert drawled as he leaned against the door frame. “Care to answer it?”