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May 5, 2015

She faced Nikolas.

“I was ready to say it. Then I looked down from the stage, and he was standing next to Carly. But I didn't see Jake anymore. I saw Jason. And everything changed. I didn't have it in me to tell the truth. And I'm not going to.”

“Look, you're obviously emotional right now. I don't want you to make a decision that you'll regret.

“I'm not gonna regret it. When I looked down from the stage and I saw Jason, I knew as soon as I told the truth, he'd belong to Carly... again. And Sonny. And Sam. But not to me. There was never a lasting place in Jason's life for me.”

“But there is in Jake’s?"

Elizabeth chuckled.

“Jake has wanted to be with me for months. But fate and other people kept getting in the way. It's the same story with Jason. The universe would never let us have a chance to just be happy.”

Nikolas laughed, too.

“Well, maybe that's a sign. Maybe that's a sign that you and Jason aren't supposed to be together.”

“Well, then why am I getting this chance? I…”

Nikolas scoffed.

“This is a sign. This is the universe giving Jason and me a chance. And I'm gonna take it.”

Her eyes widened at her own words. She turned and fled.

…………….

When Jake finally finished with Sloane he found Nikolas in the hallway.

“Did you see Elizabeth?”

Nikolas looked uncomfortable, but answered.

“She was here awhile ago, but she left.”

“Do you know where she went?"

“No, she left without a word.”

“Did she seem upset?”

“Honestly, I'm not sure."

………………

Jake thought Elizabeth might go home so he checked there first. Then he checked her grandmother’s house, but her car wasn’t there. He checked The Floating Rib, his own place and Kelly’s. He was now on the docks trying to think of where she might be. He looked up and saw a light on in one of the windows and he headed for it. He just didn’t know why. He knocked on the door he figured went with the window. When it opened he was surprised to see Elizabeth. Her expression grave, her eyes mournful. She didn’t seem surprised to see him although her words confused him.

“Well, if I didn’t believe it before, I believe it now.”

He came in and shut the door. He locked it.

“Elizabeth? What’s wrong? What are you talking about?” He looked around. “What is this place?”

She walked to the window and looked out. She turned to look at him.

“This is my studio. I started coming here back in high school. For a couple years it was even my home.” She saw him look around again and she gave a small laugh. “I know it’s not much, but it’s where I felt most like myself.” She looked back out the window. “That’s what Jason gave me. The confidence to be me.” She leaned her forehead against the glass. “At least for awhile."

Jake moved closer to her, but still stood on the other side of the couch.

“Elizabeth, please tell me what's wrong.”

“There were a lot of revelations tonight and the one that threw me off-kilter most came from me.”

“I don't understand."

She tried to smile to reassure him, but she couldn’t succeed.

“I know. I thought you and I could be happy together, but you don't belong to me.”

“I don’t belong to anyone. No one does.”

Her eyes slid shut and he watched the tears finally fall. She opened them again. Her voice was hoarse.

“I know. That’s not what I meant.” She took a deep breath and wiped her cheeks trying to compose herself. “Carly told us tonight who you aren't and that made me happier than you know. Then Nikolas told me who you were which devastated and thrilled me all at the same time.” She saw his questioning gaze. “I know, I know. It’s crazy, but true. And for a brief moment it didn't matter to me that keeping your secret would hurt so many people. I just wanted to be happy and that scared me so I left. I don’t want to compromise who I am or who we were just to have happiness on borrowed time.”

“You know who I am? Nikolas knows who I am? For how long?”

“For months.”

“Why did he keep it a secret?”

“I think it had to do with ELQ, but I don’t really remember. I was still in shock.”

“Who am I, Elizabeth?”

She took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes.

“You’re Jason Morgan.”

She saw the shock on his face before she looked back out the window. It might be weak but she didn't want to watch him come to terms with his identity. She didn't want to see him realize he had a wife and a son. She startled when she felt his hand on her back. She turned to face him.

“I want to say this doesn’t change anything.”

“But it does.”

He nodded.

“Is that why you didn’t say anything on stage?”

“I looked down at Patrick and Emma and I froze.”

“Not Sam?”r32;
“No, I hate her.”

He was taken aback, but she didn’t continue.

“No explanation?”

“As much as I want to tell you I can’t. Or I won’t. You have a son that you didn’t know was yours. I’m not going to ruin that for you before it’s started.”

“I can be a father and be with you.”

“You need some time.”

“I know what I want.”

“You just found out who you are and you need time, real time, to figure out all your relationships. You need at least six months, maybe a year.” He looked at her incredulously. “You have to come to terms with who you were and who you are. A lot of people will be wanting to catch up. Besides, we don’t have a great track record. You need to be sure.”

He opened his mouth to say something, but kissed her instead. He pulled her close and she clung to him. He pulled back and just held her for a few moments.

“Okay, I'll take the time you asked me to, but I’ll be back.” She followed him to the door.

She closed the door behind him and leaned against it. She slid to the floor. The tears came again.

“No, you won’t.”
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