Flash Fiction: Signs of Life – Part 40

Written in 47 minutes. And yes, I spent like three minutes searching for a song released in 1999 so that the song at the end of this part was chronologically accurate. You’re welcome.


Friday, February 5, 2000

Corinthos Penthouse: Living Room

“Are you sure?” Sonny asked. He stared down at the floor, not looking up. Not making eye contact with Jason, making him feel even worse at how things had turned out.

“There’s a chance she might be lying,” Jason acknowledged, “but she probably had this as a backup plan. The Quartermaines are going for the jugular in the divorce and custody — and Carly knew you weren’t likely to do her any favors with that.”

“Not in a chance in hell—”

“If she’d kept the baby,” Jason said gently, “she’d be fighting custody battles on two fronts. I honestly think she cut her losses. She wasn’t able to get out of town with Michael and live to fight another day. She thought I’d wait until the paternity tests came back. She planned on more time.”

And she hadn’t been wrong, Jason thought with some bitterness. Jason had been ready to wait until the last minute to come forward with all of this. What did that say about him? He dragged a hand down his face. “Listen—”

“It’s her choice at the end of the day,” Sonny said. He finally met Jason’s eyes. “And I don’t—I don’t blame you. Okay? I know I said I did, but I thought about it, and you know, you could have been right. Maybe a paternity test says it’s AJ’s kid. Better for everyone. Why blow up the situation if you don’t have to?”

“Maybe.”

“And its not like I really wanted to bring a kid into this world with that woman,” Sonny continued. “We’d have spent eighteen years screaming at each other.” He went over to the minibar, poured himself a drink.

“Sonny—”

“Even with all that,” Sonny murmured, “I still had a moment—where I thought back to Lily. When she told me about the baby. I didn’t love her the way she deserved, but I would have tried so hard for that baby.”

“I know you would have.” Jason shoved his hands in his pockets. “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, well, at least Carly is finally somebody else’s problem.” Sonny raised the glass in Jason’s direction in a mock toast, then drank.

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Jason drew his brows together, confused, when he pushed open the door and found Elizabeth watching television on the sofa. “I thought you had a class.”

“I ditched it,” Elizabeth said. She rose to her feet and crossed to him. “I wasn’t going to be able to concentrate until I knew how things turned out.”  She wrinkled her nose. “Not well, I guess.”

“She had an abortion,” Jason said, tugging off his jacket and hanging it up in the closet. “Ned  served her with the papers for the divorce and custody, so—”

“I don’t know what to say,” Elizabeth said finally. “Did—is Sonny okay?”

“Yeah.” Jason scratched at the corner of his brow. “It’s probably a good thing.”

“Probably.”

“Just—I don’t know. Would Carly have a made different choice if I hadn’t stayed quiet?” And what if Elizabeth hadn’t come around to talk sense into him? What if Jason had slipped into his old patterns, and to keep Sonny’s child safe, he’d done what Carly wanted? He didn’t know how he felt about that possibility.

“Maybe.”

“Or maybe it’s like I told Sonny—this was always in her back pocket. She could have an abortion for another month or so—”

“Longer,” Elizabeth corrected him, and he frowned at her. “New York is twenty-four weeks. I looked it up when I—” She folded her arms. “Bobbie gave me a morning after pill, but there wasn’t any guarantees, so I wanted to know. I mean, if I’d gotten pregnant after that, I think I would have terminated.” She cleared her throat. “Anyway. She had time.”

“Yeah.” Jason shook his head, clearing his thoughts. “It’s over. She’s been served, and she knows that I’m done. She’ll have to sink or swim on her own.” He drew Elizabeth close to him, framing her face in his hands. “Thank you.”

“I didn’t do anything—”

“If it wasn’t for you,” Jason said, resting his forehead against hers. Her hand slid up his chest. “If it wasn’t for you—” he didn’t know how to finish that statement. How to put any of this into words. He kissed her instead, pressing her closer, wanting to stay just like this for as long as he could.

They stood there for a long, quiet moment, and Jason thought of something. Of a silent promise he’d made to himself a few weeks earlier. “Wait here,” he said, drawing back. He took her hand in his, kissed the inside of her palm. Elizabeth smiled at him, but her eyes were a  bit confused.

Jason crossed over to a table where she’d left a radio and stacks of her CDs and cassettes. He made a face as he looked through them. He didn’t know anything about music or which song were slow or fast — He could pick one at random, but— Finally, he looked at Elizabeth. “Which one is your favorite?”

“My favorite?” Surprised, she went over to him, took the CD he was holding, tipping her head. “Why?”

“Just—” Jason sighed. “At the No Name,” he clarified, “when we danced. You wished we were somewhere else.”

“And I said that the first time we danced, it was about someone else.” Elizabeth smiled at him, her eyes lighting with amusement. “Is that what you want? Something to dance to?”

He squinted. He couldn’t tell if she thought this was stupid idea or — “Yes. That’s what I want.”

“All right.” She set the CD in his hand down, then flipped through a few of the others stacked. She opened a case, put one into the radio, then messed with the buttons. “Here. This one.”

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark

He took her hand as the music filtered through the penthouse, and drew her against him, the way they had that night at Kelly’s. But it was different now. He was comfortable sliding his hands around her waist, and her cheek against his heart—her hands on the sleeves of his sweater.

Try as I may, I can never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing

They swayed slightly, and Jason just let the rest of the world fall away. There was nothing left to worry about. Sorel was out of their lives, Carly was no longer a threat—it was just the two of them.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me

He wanted it to be like this all the time—coming home to see her face, to know that he could say anything to her and Elizabeth would always find a way to understand, even when he didn’t. That her face would never change — she knew who he was and what he did. What he was capable of.

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall
You say it best, when you say nothing at all

“I was thinking about what you said,” he murmured, and Elizabeth stirred, stepping back just a bit so that their eye could meet. “When we found out we didn’t need the entire year.”

“What I said?” she echoed.

All day long, I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you drown out the crowd

“You said you didn’t want us to just drift,” Jason continued, tucking her hair behind her ears. He would never get tired of touching her, of letting his fingertips trail down her soft skin.

Her eyes searched his, then she nodded. “Because it needed to be a promise,” Elizabeth said. “I didn’t like the way you’d told me about it. The way Sonny had phrased it.”

“That we should just stay married until we didn’t want to be anymore,” Jason clarified. She nodded.

Try as they may, they can never define
What’s being said between your heart and mine

“It keeps one foot out the door,” Elizabeth said, her fingers tightening on his sleeves. She swallowed hard. “And I don’t want that for us. To constantly worry that this is the fight, this is the moment when we’ll decide to walk away.”

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me

There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me

“I don’t want that either.” He tilted her chin up, kissed her, long, lingering. “I can’t ask you to marry me,” he murmured against her lips. “You already did that.”

“I did.” He could hear the smile in her voice, felt the curve of her lips against his own.

“I love you,” he said, and he felt her gasp. Then Elizabeth pulled back, their eyes meeting. “I love you,” Jason repeated. “So I’m asking you to stay. To make the promise. I want it.”

The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall
You say it best when you say nothing at all

“You—” Elizabeth swallowed hard. “I—” She closed her eyes, then opened them again, tears dampening her lashes, making her eyes sparkle. “I love you. And I want that promise, too. I want to stay.”

Comments

  • Loved it.
    Glad that Liz and Jason told his other ILY

    According to Nicole on July 15, 2022
  • Thank God Liz and Jason said I love you to each other. I can’t wait for Carly to get what is coming to her. Thanks for the update.

    According to Shelly Samuel on July 15, 2022
  • LOVED it! I had a tear at the end! Song was perfect! ❤️

    According to GoldenGirl on July 15, 2022
  • Perfect! That song … (waves hands in front of eyes), sniff. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    According to Felicia on July 15, 2022
  • I love the promise they have made to one another. Carly got exactly what she deserved, nothing! I do sort of feel sorry for Sonny though. I hope this isn’t the last of this story.

    According to Becca on July 15, 2022
  • The chapter was absolute perfection! I’m glad they both said they want to be in their marriage until the end for one of them and the ILY. Very impressed with how Sonny is handling this. It is a Sonny I can very much root for.

    According to nanci on July 15, 2022
  • loved it especially that last scene

    According to Pamela Hedstrom on July 15, 2022
  • Thank you for the song it made the last chapter that much better… the I love yours were so sweet!!

    According to Anonymous on July 15, 2022
  • I absolutely loved this chapter especially at the end! It was great!

    According to arcoiris0502 on July 15, 2022
  • I love all of your work, and I know this story is reaching its natural conclusion but I will be so sad to see it come to an end. It amazes me how consistently you write your characters yet how each story shows us a new or different glimpse of them. This has been one of my absolute favorites. Each of your novels demonstrates the depth of the friendship and relationship but with this one you just took it to a whole new level of intimacy. And, even more than the song portions that your incorporated into any other story this one felt like an integral part of the story. (If it’s not clear, I thought others worked, this just excelled.)
    As always, thank you for the time and talent you share with us! And, if someday you feel compelled to write a sequel for this one, I’m confident it will find a willing audience.

    According to LivingLiason on July 16, 2022
  • I love the promise to each other. I really hope Carly won’t be a problem. Sonny took the news better than I thought he would.

    According to Carla P on July 16, 2022
  • love it!
    but i didno know the song or artist
    had to google,
    glad i did
    it fit

    According to vicki on July 19, 2022