Written in 55 minutes.
Morgan Penthouse: Living Room
The last thing Jason wanted to see when he opened the door to the penthouse an hour later was people sitting on the sofa. He knew Brenda would be lurking, but why the hell were Sonny and Benny with her—
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose as she walked in behind him, setting a duffel bag on the desk. Jason put down her suitcases—he’d been strangely relieved when she hadn’t just put things back into the single bag she’d brought with her in September. The majority of her clothes were now in his penthouse.
And Brenda’s luggage was still at the base of the stairs, a glaring reminder of how close he’d come to ruining everything.
“I’ll go upstairs,” Elizabeth began, but Brenda shook her head.
“Oh, no, if this trio of morons is going to be deciding how the hell to save my life, I am not going to be the only woman in the room.” Brenda sprang up. “Look, I know we got off the wrong foot when I almost married your husband—”
Jason scowled at her, but Brenda kept going, “But in a very strange way, I’m like a fairy godmother, you know? Because if I hadn’t dragged him to Vegas, Sonny wouldn’t have dragged you there either, and now I’d be married to him.”
Elizabeth squinted. “Wasn’t that the plan?”
“Yes, and I think we can all agree marrying this—” Brenda flicked her eyes at him, frowning. “Well, some people like him but it would have been a terrible mistake. Tell her, Jason—”
“Huge mistake,” Jason muttered.
“Elizabeth, maybe you should go upstairs—” Sonny said. “Brenda’s just upset with the plan we came up with—”
“Upset?” Brenda whirled around, her dark eyes flashing dangerously. “Upset? Listen, Don Corleone, just because one time in my life, I was dumb enough—” Her hands were shaking, Jason noticed, and reluctantly he looked at Elizabeth.
“This is going to sound really insane, and I am so sorry,” he began.
“But Brenda could use someone in the room without testosterone,” Elizabeth finished. Her smile was thin, but he didn’t think it was disappointed. “I understand. Brenda—”
The other woman turned back to her. “They want to send me away. Lock me up, just like Luis. I can’t lose my life again—”
“I don’t want to lock you up,” Sonny said. “I would never do that to you.” He exhaled slowly. “I suggested the island,” he told Jason. “With guards to keep Alcazar from finding her—”
“But why can’t we talk about options that keep me in Port Charles? I don’t—” Brenda closed her eyes. “I just want some control,” she said after a moment. “It’s been four years, Sonny. And I wasn’t allowed to do anything. I couldn’t contact my friends. My family. I don’t know how much time I have left before—”
“I don’t understand,” Elizabeth said, “and maybe I’m not allowed to ask this, but, um, can’t you just…” She made a wave with her hands, looking at Jason. “You know.”
Jason paused. “That’s on the table, too,” he said.
“We’ve talked about this,” Sonny said, with a warning look. “He’s protected by the government—you wanna bring down more heat?”
“You got any other ideas?” Jason demanded. “Brenda shouldn’t be so desperate to get her life back that she suggested marrying me for protection.”
“Well, that, and your sparkling personality,” the woman in question muttered.
“I thought it was about your—” Sonny hesitated. “I thought you wanted someone to take care of you at the end,” he said finally as Benny looked away.
“I can do that with a power of attorney,” Brenda said. “It’s a side benefit. But I thought I might have a better chance of surviving if Jason was standing in front of me. I never said it made sense, Sonny. I said I was desperate.” As an afterthought, she shrugged to Jason. “No offense.”
“If the man Elizabeth overheard on the pier was someone watching Brenda, Alcazar isn’t giving up,” Jason said. “He’s not going to let Brenda go. It doesn’t matter where she goes, where we send her—”
“Sonny—” Brenda turned her attention on her former fiance. “If I thought I could get away with it, if there was any other way—I’d do it myself. I just want to live again.”
Sonny held her eyes for a long time, then nodded. “All right,” he said finally. “But that’s where the two of you are out of it,” he said to her, before looking at Elizabeth.
“Don’t wanna be in it in the first place,” Elizabeth grumbled, “but Alcazar keeps shooting at me.”
Sonny and Benny left then with plans for Jason to head over to the warehouse later that evening to work. Brenda went up to her room, waiting for Jason to deliver her luggage.
Elizabeth followed her, busying herself with her own unpacking, still not entirely sure how she’d gone from listening to Courtney tell her about her future romance with Jason to married to him and back in the penthouse.
A smile flitted on her lips as she closed a drawer in the bureau. She couldn’t wait to go to work the next morning. She and Courtney were working the opening shift.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone tonight,” Jason said. He closed the bedroom door behind him, looking at her with a hesitant expression. “And I don’t know if I can call to tell you.”
“Okay.” Elizabeth sat on the edge of the bed. “Thank you.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t—” He sat next to her, drew her hand into his lap, playing with her fingers. “That I wasn’t around when you were here last. Every time I looked at you—” Their eyes met. “I was lying to you. And I hated it.”
“I know you can’t tell me everything,” she said. “And I don’t want to know. But I also need to know when you can’t say something. Like right now—I would have been worried if you left and didn’t come back tonight. I’ll still worry,” she added, “but not the same way.”
“It’s been a while since where I was mattered to someone,” he admitted. “I’ll do better this time.”
“I’ll do better, too,” she assured him. “I wasn’t fair before, and I’m sorry.” Elizabeth frowned as he reached for her left hand, his fingers sliding over her ring finger.
“Do you want a ring?” he asked after a long moment. “I can get one.”
Elizabeth pressed her lips together, considering the question. She should say yes. They were married. It was real and within a few days, everyone would know. Everyone would look at her hand and ask questions.
“I don’t know,” she said finally. “I know—I’m not sorry that we did it—that you dragged me into the chapel to win an argument—” Elizabeth smiled when he winced. “And it’s not like I’m telling you that I want undo it. I’m here. And I want to make this work. I just—”
She waited, trying to find the right words, hoping she wasn’t hurting him by being honest. He didn’t look upset—only curious. He tipped his head, encouraging her to finish.
“We got married on a whim,” she said. “We didn’t plan it. That’s not—it’s not how I want to make promises to you, Jason. You know? So, no, right now, I don’t want a ring.” She leaned forward to kiss him lightly, hoping it could take the sting out of her words.
His hand, strong and warm, touched her neck, his long fingers tilting her chin to the side to deepen the kiss. “You deserve more than Vegas,” Jason murmured.
“We both do, but I’m still glad we did it.” Elizabeth’s eyes drifted close as his mouth moved down her jaw. “Did you lock the door?”
“Yes,” Jason confirmed.
“Then if you don’t know when you’ll be home—” Elizabeth scooted back on the bed towards the headboard and grinned at him. “We should make the most of it.”
The next morning, Elizabeth breezed into the kitchen and flashed a bright smile at the cook who was busy with his morning prep. “Morning, DJ.” He saluted as she hung up her purse and went into the dining room to start the side walk.
Courtney was already there, frowning at her smile as Elizabeth joined her and started making the coffee. “I thought you’d quit.”
“Why? Because I flaked my on shift yesterday?” Elizabeth shrugged, measuring the coffee. “I promised Penny I’d cover for her soon, and Mike said it was okay.”
“But—” Courtney edged away from her. “You…were mad at me the last time we talked.”
“I was,” Elizabeth said. She pressed the on button, then turned to face the other man fully. “But then I ran into Sonny, and he asked me to go to Vegas with him to see Jason.”
“Jason—” Courtney squinted. “Vegas? What—”
“And Jason and I talked about it, but it’s okay now. It’s easy to mistake a crush for something else,” Elizabeth said. “But I don’t have anything to worry about—”
“No, not since I moved back into the penthouse.” Elizabeth stared at her hand. “Jason and I decided to wait to get rings, but—”
“Rings? Penthouse—” Courtney held up her hands, her blue eyes wide. “Elizabeth, what the hell—”
“Jason and I got married in Vegas,” she explained patiently, enjoying the flash of anger in the other woman’s eyes as Courtney clenched her jaw.
“You—” Courtney cleared her throat. “You married Jason. Jason Morgan.”
“It was spontaneous, but—” Elizabeth went around the other woman to start unstacking the chairs. “But I’m glad you told me what you did. If you hadn’t, Jason and I might not have talked. At least not so soon. And once we’d sorted things out—well, we were in Vegas—”
“This is a joke, right? Or—or it’s business.” Courtney lifted her chin. “Taggert came in here yesterday, asking about you. Zander’s dead, didn’t you hear? Is that why Sonny took you to Vegas? Did you see Jason doing something?”
“No, believe it or not,” Elizabeth said softly, “Jason married me because he loves me. And I said yes because I love him.”
“No. No. I know what I felt, what he felt—”
“I’m sorry, Courtney,” Elizabeth said, attempting to keep her temper, “but you were wrong. And it would be best if you just forgot about it. You’re married—”
“This is a trick. You’re tricking the police, and you’re just trying to be mean to get back at me. You’re probably in the guest room again,” Courtney accused, her eyes flashing as she stormed out from the counter.
“No, Brenda’s in the guest room.” Elizabeth folded her arms. “I’m in Jason’s bed.” It might be small of her to enjoy this moment so much, but damn it—Courtney had pretended to be her friend.
Hurt flared in Courtney’s expression now as her lip trembled. “But he said—he told me—he told me it was over with you—”
“He thought it was. Now it’s not. Get over it.” Elizabeth walked away from her, and didn’t even flinch when she heard the bell over the door jingle as it swung open.
“Where did Barbie go?” DJ asked, leaning out from the kitchen. “We’re opening in ten.”
“She got some bad news,” Elizabeth said, returning to the counter to finish prepping for her shift. “I’ll take care of the morning rush.”
Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room
“You don’t have to worry, Carly already left for the club,” Sonny assured Jason as he handed him a cup of black coffee. “What did you find out? Can we get a line on Alcazar?”
“It might be easier than we thought,” Jason said, “since he’s in the hotel—”
They both turned at the sound of raised voices in the hall. Jason sat the coffee on the desk just as the door flew open and Max threw up his hands. He couldn’t stop the blonde who shoved her way in without tackling her.
“Sonny—” Courtney drew up short at the sight of Jason. She glared at him. “I hope you’re happy.”
Jason frowned, confused. “What—”
“If you’re here to tell me AJ dropped dead in the middle of the night,” Sonny said, “then, yes, I’m very happy—”
“I’m not talking to you,” Courtney snarled at her brother. “I’m talking to Jason.”
“Jason would also be happy with that news—”
“Sonny—” Jason said with a shake of his head. He looked back to Courtney. “I don’t know what’s going on—”
“What’s going on is that you lied to me,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “You told me that you and Elizabeth were over, that it never really started—”
Sonny pursed his lips as Jason just stared at the other woman, baffled. “Uh, what am I missing?” He looked at Max who was waving his arms. “Max–
“So why the hell did you marry Elizabeth Webber two days after you kissed me?” Courtney demanded.
“You know,” Taggert said from the doorway where he’d just appeared around the corner from the elevator. Max dropped his head with a sigh. “The universe is really on my side these days.”