Chapter Two

July 17, 2004

General Hospital: Emergency Room

Audrey Hardy stared at the young doctor in stunned silence. “Could you—would you mind repeating that please?”

“Zander Smith had Type O blood, as does your granddaughter.” Chris took a deep breath. “Cameron is Type B. Mrs. Hardy, you do understand what that means, right?”

“Y-Yes,” Audrey murmured. She narrowed her eyes and cast her gaze towards the waiting room where Elizabeth was surrounded by her friends.

And Jason Morgan.

“When they first came in, I didn’t realize she was your granddaughter,” Chris continued following her gaze. “She was clinging to him and I assumed they were married. Mrs. Hardy, he has Type AB. Which is compatible with Elizabeth’s to create Type B.”

“I see exactly what you’re saying,” Audrey told him. “But I’m going to ask you to keep it to yourself. There has to be a reason Elizabeth didn’t tell anyone and I want to honor it, whatever it may be.”

“Of course.” Chris nodded. “But you can tell her we’re keeping Cameron a few days. He does have roseola and we just like monitor high tempers in babies so young.”

“Yes, thank you.”

Across The Room

Elizabeth stood on shaky legs. “I’m fine. Really. I haven’t eaten all day a-and there’s just been a lot happening.” She locked eyes with Jason. “We have to talk. Now.”

She turned on her heel and started to walk away. After a moment, Jason followed her.

Lucky cleared his throat. “Em, do you think—”

“I don’t know what to think,” Emily replied softly.

“This may sound like a really crazy question but it really needs to be asked.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Did we ever sleep together?”

His eyes widened and he looked incredulous. “You don’t remember?”

She whimpered. “I think I need to sit down.” Elizabeth took a deep breath. “Refresh my memory.”

“After the chapel,” Jason told her. “You didn’t want to go home. I took you to Jake’s. You…you really don’t remember?”

“Chapel. Jake’s.” Elizabeth hesitated. “Jake’s sounds familiar. We—we played pool right?”

He nodded. “You wanted to be distracted. You were drinking and after a while I joined you. And it sort of happened.” He looked away. “When you didn’t mention it, I thought you wanted to forget it happened so I didn’t mention it either.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “When I woke at Jake’s the next morning, I was dressed. You were dressed. I thought—I thought you had slept in the chair or something. You never—I didn’t remember at all.”

“We didn’t exactly…stop to take them off,” Jason admitted. He shoved his hands in his pockets. “I can’t believe that you didn’t remember.” A thought occurred to him. “I-I was drunk, Elizabeth. I never would have taken advantage of you like that if I wasn’t.”

“Taken advantage?” Elizabeth repeated, baffled. “I’m just as much to blame as you are. When you found out I was pregnant, why didn’t you ever…ask?”

“Because I knew if Cameron were mine that you would have told me,” Jason said simply. “And you didn’t. So I knew—” He stopped. “He’s mine?”

“I—I think so,” Elizabeth whispered tremulously. “He can’t be Zander’s.”

“Now I think I need to sit down.”

Bishop House

Mary stepped back from Lorenzo with some apprehension. “What could you possibly want with me?” she asked.

He chuckled. “Why does everyone assume that I mean them harm?” he asked.

“Maybe it’s the creepy way you show up everywhere,” Mary retorted. “Now tell me what you want and leave.”

“I don’t want you to give up on Nikolas,” Lorenzo told her. “I told you—its nothing sinister. Nikolas being with you suits my purpose more than he does being alone or with Emily Quartermaine.”

“What is your purpose?” Mary asked. “You must have dozens of people eager to work for you. Why do you have to do this to him?”

“Because whether he remembers or not, he is a Cassadine and that is something important.”

“And what does any of that have to do with me? Why should you care who Nikolas loves?”

“Because he’s sulking right now,” Lorenzo explained impatiently. “He’s angry because he doesn’t remember, because he knows he should love Emily and angry because he can’t stop loving you.”

“He doesn’t love me,” Mary said faintly. “He hates me.”

“He can only hate you if you mean something to him,” Lorenzo told her. “I made your debts disappear, Mary. You can do this small favor for me.”

“Chase after a man who doesn’t love me? Doesn’t want me? Can’t stand the sight me? Some small favor.”

“Do it, Mary, and you won’t regret it,” Lorenzo promised her.

“I’ll tell him you’re putting me up to it,” Mary threatened. “He won’t like you messing in his life and I won’t lie to him.”

“Good,” he nodded. “Lying won’t get him back.”

She frowned as he passed her. What an odd man.

Kelly’s

“Step One,” Maxie began. “Make her life a living hell.” They had escaped the viewing and gone to Kelly’s to grab some real food and work on their master plan.

Dillon frowned. “That’s not really very specific there, Maximiliana.”

“Don’t call me that,” Maxie scowled.

Brooke Lynn hooted. “Your name is Maximiliana? And I thought my parents were cruel.”

“It’s actually Maria Maximiliana,” Georgie supplied, helpfully.

“Bite me, Georgiana,” Maxie muttered. “Can we concentrate on ridding the world of Amy Vining?”

“Perhaps we should redefine our focus,” Dillon remarked. “My motive here is to help a friend of Emily’s.”

“I thought it was the whipped cream and feather,” Brooke Lynn teased.

“Details,” Dillon sniffed. “So before we decide Amy’s wrong, we should be sure.”

“She’s wrong,” Maxie said flatly. “Elizabeth and Jason were married to other people.”

“So?” Brooke Lynn asked. “Look, I don’t know anything about these people. Never met them, never heard of them so fill me in on who they are.”

“Elizabeth is Emily’s best friend,” Georgie reported. “And you know how close Dillon and Emily are.”

“Plus, Emily is Jason’s sister,” Dillon said, waving a French fry around to emphasize. “So I’m really just looking out for the family here.”

“And the whipped cream and feather,” Brooke Lynn reminded.

Anyway,” Maxie remarked pointedly, “they’ve been friends for ages. Since they thought her boyfriend died in a fire. It’s all very romantic actually.”

“Except for that whole they were married to other people thing,” Georgie said.

“Yeah, except for that. They were together for a while but then they weren’t. Elizabeth married Ric Lansing—”

“He’s an ass,” Brooke Lynn interjected.

“And Jason married Brenda Barrett first—”

“Dude, I so knew about that,” Brooke Lynn interrupted. “Mom was like—off the wall for days saying she knew there was an underlying sexual tension between them.”

“You wanna do this or not?” Maxie asked.

“Sorry, continue. This is all very fascinating.” Brooke Lynn nodded as to emphasize her point.

“And then they got divorced and he married Courtney last fall—Sonny’s sister.”

“Gorilla woman, check.”

“And then they both got divorced. But Elizabeth was pregnant and everyone figures it happened last fall while she was separated from her husband and Jason hadn’t married Courtney yet so if it is his kid, then technically they didn’t do anything wrong,” Georgie reported.

“He was still engaged and her divorce wasn’t final,” Maxie said stubbornly.

“Well it’s quite clear what has to be done.” Dillon shoved his plate away and folded his arms on the table. “Break into the kid’s hospital records and see what his files say.”

Georgie glared at him. “Oh, it’s so simple. Let’s just break the law,” she mocked. “And what if they say he’s not the father? That doesn’t prove anything.”

“But it would give us a place to start,” Brooke Lynn told her. “And if they say he is, the search is done.”

“It won’t,” Maxie said stubbornly. “Some people believe in their marital vows.”

“Maxie—” Georgie began.

“Marriage shouldn’t be something you do for fun,” Maxie told them. “Or to prove a point or on a whim. It’s a serious commitment and it’s supposed to be for the rest of your life.” She stood abruptly and left.

“She’s a little high strung,” Brooke Lynn observed.

“She’s just upset. Our father called last night and didn’t even ask to speak to us,” Georgie admitted. “It doesn’t bother me so much because I never really knew him but Maxie did.”

“I’m sorry,” Dillon murmured, squeezing her hand.

“Hey, I’ve got Mac, I think I got the better end of the deal,” Georgie said with a weak smile.

General Hospital: Lobby

Sara Evans approached the trio. “Hey—I’m Cam’s baby-sitter,” she began in a shaky voice, “and I was just wondering if he’s okay.”

“Of course, darling.” Audrey smiled at her and touched her arm. “Just a common childhood illness. He’ll be just fine.”

Sara exhaled slowly. “Thank God,” she breathed. “I was so scared. He’s such a good baby, Mrs. Hardy. He doesn’t cry a lot and he doesn’t fuss. He’s sincerely the sweetest baby I’ve ever looked after.”

“All right, sweetheart,” Audrey said soothingly. “Lucky, will you drive Sara home? Take her by the house to get her things. Sara—Elizabeth pays you at the end of the week right?”

“Right,” Sara said faintly. She followed Lucky onto the elevator and then Audrey looked to Emily with some suspicion.

“Did you know?” she demanded.

“Did I know what?” Emily asked innocently.

“That Jason is Cameron’s father,” Audrey said impatiently. “It’s the only explanation. Zander’s blood type doesn’t match and that baby looks too much like Elizabeth not to be her son. So who else with AB or B blood could it be?”

“Well, we shouldn’t automatically assume—” Emily began.

“Emily,” Audrey interrupted. “I’m not judging. I just want to know why she said nothing. Not to me, certainly not to Jason because if he had known, he would have done something.”

“I don’t think she knew either,” Emily admitted. “She fainted when she realized it.”

“How could she not know?” Audrey sighed. “This isn’t like not knowing who took your shoes, Emily. This is the father of her child.”

“Elizabeth would not have kept this from him,” Emily said fervently. “She’s better than that. She knows better than that.”

“Well, then how can you explain what’s going on?”

Across the room, Elizabeth and Jason weren’t having much better luck. Elizabeth was still reeling from Cameron’s illness and now…adding the knowledge of not only having slept with Jason Morgan, she’d carried his child, she wasn’t sure if up was down anymore.

He hadn’t spoken in a few more moments—too busy trying to wrap his mind around a few facts. One, that Elizabeth hadn’t been pretending that it never happened and two, he had a son.

He had a son. A biological child that was his. His blood. No one could ever take him away with the truth about his parentage.

“I—I need to see him,” Jason said finally, his throat thick. “Can…I see him?”

She blinked, trying to clear her head. “Of course you can.” She searched the emergency room for the doctor. “Dr. Ramsey,” she called, spotting him at the nurse’s station.

“Miss Webber?” Chris remarked. He approached them. “Cameron’s fever has come down almost a full degree. We’re still going to keep him for a few days.”

“That’s fine—when is he being moved to a room?” Elizabeth asked.

Chris blinked. “We generally don’t move infants to a room. They stay in the nursery but if you’d like a private room, I’m sure we can arrange something.”

“And I can stay with him?” Elizabeth questioned. “All night?”

“Sure. We generally encourage parents to do so.” Chris rubbed his jaw and slid his eyes towards Jason speculatively. “Will your friend be joining you?”

Elizabeth glanced at Jason, who still looked a little dazed. “Yes,” she decided. She motioned Chris closer. “I need…I need to arrange a paternity test,” she said softly.

Jason seemed to focus at that point. “Why do we need that?” he asked her. “There’s no other explanation.”

“I know but—I need to know for myself. I need—” she took a deep breath. “And I think you need it too.” She glanced at Chris and then pulled Jason a few feet away. “You’ll accept him without proof and that means a lot Jason, but I know you and you won’t feel safe until you have those test results in your hand.” She touched his arm. “And we’ll change all of Cameron’s records, I promise. I’ll never take him from you.”

He nodded and Elizabeth looked to Chris. “You already have Jason’s blood right?”

The doctor nodded. “And we have Cameron’s. I’ll put a rush on it,” he promised, “and arrange to move Cameron to a room. But for now—let me take you to him.”

He led them into the back, behind the curtains to one of the cribs. Cameron was lying on his back, crying so hard his little face was red. “He’s just irritated from the rash,” Chris told them. “He’s crying because he can’t scratch. But we’ve got some ointment to put on him that ought to soothe pain.”

Elizabeth made a small sound of protest and stepped up to the crib. “Can I hold him?” she asked.

Chris nodded. “Yeah, sure—you both can. You want me to tell your grandmother you’re back here?”

“Gram.” Elizabeth closed her eyes and sighed. “Tell her to go on home and take Emily if she can. I’ll talk to them both tomorrow.”

Chris nodded and left them alone. Elizabeth reached out to take Cameron into her arms but stopped and turned back to Jason. “He looks like he could use his father,” she said in a soft voice.

Swallowing hard, Jason moved next to the crib and gingerly lifted the small boy into his arms. Cameron’s crying continued but it seemed to quiet a little as he regarded this new stranger in with some interest.

“Hey, Cameron,” Jason said softly. “You don’t me and I don’t really know you but I hope that will change.” He shifted the baby to one arm and smoothed his hand over Cameron’s soft downy hair. “You have your mother’s nose,” he told his son.

Elizabeth’s breath caught in her throat and she looked at the two of them, wondering how she’d ever missed this. Cameron had Jason’s eyes.

The baby had stopped crying and was staring at Jason with a little bit of bafflement. He waved his tiny arms towards Jason’s face and his father smiled at the action. “If Monica were here, she’d probably say something about how you looked like me as a baby.”

Cameron yawned and turned his small head into his father’s chest as if burrowing in. His eyes were closed and he was completely calm. “I don’t know how to explain it,” Jason began and this time he was talking to her. He still hadn’t taken his eyes off Cameron and that melted her heart.

“Explain what?” Elizabeth asked, taking a step towards the two men in her life.

“I don’t—I don’t need a test to tell me what I already know,” Jason finally raised his eyes to meet her watery ones. “I can just feel it.”

“I can too,” she whispered. The tears spilled over her lashes and she wiped at them absently. “I’ll call Alexis tomorrow.”

“Alexis?” Jason repeated, frowning. “I don’t—”

“I need to know how to go about changing his birth certificate. Zander’s listed there. And Cam’s medical records, he’s my beneficiary in my will and my life insurance. I have to change his name on all those things,” Elizabeth explained. “As well as legally.”

“You’re going to change his name,” Jason said slowly.

“He’s your son, he should have your name,” she replied. “I don’t need a paternity test to tell me that.” She exhaled slowly. “And if you want, we can have her draw up a custody agreement. If that would make you feel better-”

He shook his head and looked back at Cameron. “I don’t need a custody agreement. I trust you.”

“Well, then.” She took a deep breath and kissed Cam’s forehead. “Welcome to the family.”

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