Written in 69 minutes.
Morgan House: Living Room
Elizabeth’s car was in the driveway, and Aiden’s bike had been left on the front lawn, tossed on its side. But when Jason got inside the house, it felt empty. Until he heard the shouts from the backyard. They grew louder as he went through the dining room into the kitchen and found Elizabeth on the back deck watching the kids. She was bundled up in a white coat, a blue scarf wrapped around her neck.
It wasn’t just their kids outside—it never was, Jason thought as he stood at the back door and watched as Jake and Aiden chased each other around in circles, Joss and Emma giggling while Spencer tossed a football towards Cameron. The sight of Joss’s blond hair and Emma’s dark had him flashing back to the night of the dance. The girls standing on their front lawn, Emma’s sweet smiles and Joss’s sullen eyes.
And his wife, standing and watching over them all.
She turned as he emerged, her eyes guarded. “You’re home.”
“I went to Sonny’s.” He closed the door behind him and joined her on the deck. “It’s getting too cold for this,” he murmured, watching the kids. “There’s snow in the forecast this week.”
“I know.” Elizabeth flicked her eyes at him before looking away. “I know you’re mad—”
“I don’t care that you did it,” Jason said, and she frowned, turning to look at him fully. “You think it bothers me — the act itself — and it doesn’t. I won’t apologize for not wanting my life to touch you. The violence, the danger — I know you can handle it. I’ve watched you do it for almost twenty years. That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like it.”
“But—” He took a deep breath. “You’re right. If you’d told me, I wouldn’t have let you near it. I’d like to think if I knew how much you needed it, I’d have—” Jason pressed his lips together. “I hope the answer is yes.”
“I didn’t know myself until I was in that room,” she said softly. “Before that, it really was about protecting. I’m so angry that Jordan was willing to use my past to hurt you. And even more furious that she used the girls. I never thought her capable of that kind of cruelty—”
“She came to Port Charles working undercover for the DEA,” he reminded Elizabeth. “For her, it’s about making sure no one ever questions her loyalties. That she doesn’t have any soft spots for us. She goes harder than she needs to. I understand it—”
“But understanding doesn’t mean she gets away with this. I’m looking into a few things,” he said, and she sighed. “We’ll decide it together, I promise.”
“All right.” Elizabeth bit her lip. “I wanted to protect you,” she said softly, looking back at the kids. “So you didn’t have to lie. I wanted your alibi to ironclad. I’m not sure I thought much past that or how it would feel to lie to you. I didn’t like it.”
“I know.” He slid an arm around her waist, tugged her into his side, smiling as the bump of her belly brushed against his body. “I know the feeling,” he added. “And how easy it is to hurt someone you love when all you want to do is shield them.”
She met his eyes. “You’re not mad anymore?”
“No. Sonny reminded me that I’ve done the same to you. And that I’ve taken care of threats to our family that you don’t even know about. He, uh, appreciates the alibi by the way.” Jason kissed her forehead, lingering. “Did it help?” he asked, softly. “You haven’t had any nightmares.”
“Yes. I should have done it years ago. I thought it made me stronger. That it said something about me to let Baker go through the system. But the system wasn’t built for men like him. For people who can’t be fixed. That’s what I realized, standing in that room. He was never going to stop, and I needed to be the one to stop him. I—” She licked her lips. “I almost wanted him to wake up. To know that it would be me who ended his life.” Tears shimmered. “I don’t know what that makes me—”
“Human,” Jason assured her. “It makes you human. He stole a piece of you, Elizabeth, that I don’t think you ever really got back. Maybe you never will. He didn’t deserve to die in his sleep.”
Elizabeth’s lips stretched into a humorless smile. “No. But I deserved to have a life after he stopped breathing, so it was necessary. Thank you. For understanding. For not…”
“You never flinched from me or this life. From what I’m capable of.” He took her hand in his, rubbed his thumb over her wedding ring. “I always knew you’d walk through fire for our family. I love you.”
“I love you, too.” Elizabeth snuggled against him and they looked back at their family, her hand resting on her belly. “I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when we tell them about the twins.”
Greystone: Living Room
“No one in this family should sing Christmas carols,” Joss declared, her hands on her hips. “Except Cam. He can hold a note.”
“I don’t sound half bad,” Spencer said with a roll of his eyes. He tossed another handful of tinsel at the humongous tree Sonny had set up for decorating on Christmas year. “I can outsing that townie any day—”
“You’ve lived on Spoon Island for five years out of fifteen.” Trina flopped on the sofa next to Jake who was furiously battling Morgan on the game system. “That makes you the townie, doofus.”
“Nice to know some things will never change,” Elizabeth said. She set a tray of appetizers on the table. “Leave some for everyone else. Not everyone is here yet,” she said as the kids descended on the food. “Patrick and Robin aren’t due for another twenty minutes.”
“Uncle Sonny can just make more,” Joss said. She grinned at Elizabeth, her blue eyes sparkling. “He loves to cook.”
Elizabeth flicked her shoulder, and Joss giggled, more upbeat these last few weeks. Elizabeth started to return to the kitchen, but stopped to look over her shoulder for another glimpse of Joss.
Jason and Sonny were still in the kitchen, her husband sipping a beer as Sonny slid another tray of lasagna into the oven. “Hey, did you tell them to save some food?” Sonny wanted to know.
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t count on it.” Elizabeth sipped her water. “The boys are eating everything in sight, and I’m not much better lately.” Her pregnancy had advanced rapidly in the last three weeks, and her belly had doubled in size. She and Jason were holding onto the news about the twins until she was in her third trimester.
“Well, I got a call yesterday that I thought might make the holiday season brighter.” Sonny wiped his hands on the dish towel. Pitching his voice lower, he said, “The tox screen came back negative, and the medical examiner has filed it as undetermined. Officially, the case is closed.”
Elizabeth exhaled slowly. “Are you sure?”
“Oh, yeah. And—” Sonny’s lips stretched into a smile, though his eyes were cold. “The Herald will be releasing a bombshell story in the next few days. An anonymous source told them that the commissioner knowingly put some teenage girls in danger as a vendetta. They’ve got leaked surveillance reports to prove it.”
“Will it be enough?” Elizabeth asked softly.
“If it isn’t,” Sonny said, “there are other ways. But I think a few well-placed calls and threats of lawsuits should get us where we need to be. If Commissioner Ashford hasn’t resigned by New Year’s, we can reassess.”
“Thanks, Sonny,” Jason told him.
“Now that you’re in the clear—” Sonny lifted his brows at Elizabeth. “You considering a side hustle? I could use—”
Jason choked on his beer, then set the bottle down with a thud to glare at his best friend and partner. “That’s not funny.”
Elizabeth snickered which just earned her a dark look from her husband. “Thanks, Sonny, but I’ll leave that to you guys.” She picked up a tray of cookies and disappeared out the door. Jason’s eyes followed her.
“I mean it, Jason. The case is dead. And once the investigation gets leaked, no one is going to be interested in digging it back up. The PCPD is going to want Tom Baker to stay dead and buried.”
“Good.” Jason picked up his beer again. “That’s where he belongs.”
General Hospital: Maternity Ward
Elizabeth went into labor one night in mid-June, just before the end of the school year. They’d only just finished dinner when she’d cried out in pain. Jason had left Jake and Aiden with Cameron, and hustled his wife into the SUV and to the hospital.
Though everything had gone to plan and she’d been healthy throughout the entire pregnancy, Jason couldn’t help but flash back to the last time he’d rushed her to the hospital. As she’d laid bleeding on the floor, unconscious in his arms, and then the fear that lanced through him while he watched Jake be born, and the terror of nearly losing her—
“It’ll be fine,” Elizabeth said as he sped though the night streets. She squeezed his hand as another contraction hit. “We’ll be fine,” she panted.
And then thirteen hours later, as the sun rose over the sky, the first baby was born.
Elizabeth was laughing and crying, her face flushed and hair matted to her face as a nurse laid their son on her chest. “Look at how beautiful he is,” she managed, even as the pain of another contraction whipped through her.
Jason pressed his lips to her forehead. “You both are,” he murmured.
The baby was swept away to be measured and cleaned up after they cut the first cord, Jason doing the honors. And then her labor began again as the second baby demanded their attention—
Four minutes after her brother came into the world, Elizabeth held their daughter in her arms. Both of the babies were small, but the girl smaller than her brother. “Look at her,” Elizabeth breathed. The baby screeched her discomfort and discontent with the world, and Jason could only stare at the miracle of his wife and the children she’d created.
“She’s perfect. They both are.”
Their daughter was taken to be cleaned up, joining her brother under the warming lamp. Exhausted beyond measure, Elizabeth laid back, still panting, everything inside of her on fire. But the babies were here, and they were healthy. She’d done everything she could. She forced her eyes open to look at Jason, smiling faintly at the tears staining his cheek. “What’s this?” she murmured, as he kissed her lightly. She brushed her fingers over the tears. “They’re okay. Everyone is okay.”
“Everyone is perfect,” he told her. “Especially you.” Jason smoothed her hair off her forehead. “I’ve never been here for this part.”
“Well, good thing you’re here now. There’s one for each us,” Elizabeth said as two nurses returned, each holding a swaddle.
“Do we have a name for them?” Britt asked as she stepped back into the room. “You didn’t want to say before—”
“Drake Alan Morgan,” Elizabeth said, looking at her son in Jason’s arms, the safest place to be. “And—” She looked at her daughter. “Paige Audrey.”
“Dr. Drake is going to be insufferable,” Britt offered, but laughed. “Great job, Elizabeth. I’ll check in on you tomorrow, but you did great. Congratulations to you both.”
Later, after Elizabeth had been cleaned up and moved from a delivery suite to a regular hospital room—she couldn’t take her eyes off the plastic crib at her side. At her two gorgeous babies. Jason had gone for something to eat — she hadn’t had a bite since going into labor the night before.
There was a creak at the door and Elizabeth twisted her head slightly to grin as Patrick came in. “Hey, you.”
“Hey.” Patrick kissed her cheek, then went over to stare at the babies. “You didn’t say a word about twins, Webber. That’s a big secret to keep.”
“We meant to tell people,” Elizabeth said, “but I guess I was scared. We read about how difficult the birth could be. And sometimes one baby dies before birth—I guess I thought if I didn’t say it out loud, the universe couldn’t take them away.” She bit her lip. “Silly, I guess.”
“Whatever you needed to get through it.” Patrick brushed a knuckle down the cheek of one baby. “I hear they have special names.”
“Paige and Drake.”
Patrick looked at her, grinning even as his eyes were damp. “Yeah, that’s what I heard. You—you know Steven’s going to kill us both.”
“Let him. You’ve been a better brother to me than anyone else.” Elizabeth realized for the first time he was wearing scrubs. “Are you on a break?”
“No, no.” Patrick grinned. “Turns out we had something in common. Our kids are gonna share a birthday. Robin just got moved down here from Labor and Delivery. Noah Patrick was born about an hour ago.”
“Patrick!” Elizabeth squealed, then winced “Oh. Man. Everything hurts.”
“You might want to relax for a few months after all that.” Patrick kissed her forehead. “Congratulations, Mom.”
“Right back at you, Dad.”
The door open again and Jason came in—joined by all three of their boys.
“Mom! Mom!” Aiden raced in to her bedside, his eyes wide. “Dad said there was two of them!”
“Another brother,” Jake said. “Awesome!”
“And a little sister,” Cameron said with a grin. He went around the side of the bed to look at them. “Which one was born first?”
“Your brother Drake,” Elizabeth said.
“Which means your little sister is going to have four older brothers to look out for her,” Patrick said. “God help the world when she grows up.”
Elizabeth laughed, then looked at her kids, all crowded around the crib, arguing who got to hold which baby first, and Aiden complaining because as the youngest he wasn’t going to go first—She caught Jason’s eye as he grinned at them.
She’d fought so hard to get to this moment, to have this life. She’d lied, cheated, and even killed for this family. She’d been battered and bruised, but she’d come out stronger, and so had their family.
She couldn’t wait to see what happened next.