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Now is When it Matters

They walked out to Jason’s truck.

“Ok. Can I take you home?”

“Actually, I need to go back to my apartment.”

“What if Lucky's there?”

“That's what I'm afraid of.” They made it to the apartment building and went upstairs. She paused in the hallway. “The night I left Lucky, I was so rattled I forgot all of my important papers, and I just -- I've been avoiding coming back here because I didn't want to see him.”

“Are you sure you're up for this? I can bring you back here tomorrow.”

“I need to start moving on with my life. I can't put this off any longer.”

She unlocked the door and went in. Lucky stood up from the couch when he saw her.

“Elizabeth. I'm glad you came back.”

“I'm just here to grab some papers.”

“I'm going to go check into rehab -- tonight. I'm going to get clean and sober, and when I come back, I'm going to be ready to be a father to our child.”

Elizabeth spoke before she realized she would.

“It’s not yours.”

Lucky hadn’t really been listening.

“What?”

Elizabeth took a breath to steady herself.

“The baby isn’t yours.”

She wasn’t near Jason but she felt him react.

“Come on, Elizabeth. I’m going to rehab like you wanted. There’s no reason to lie.”

She looked him in the eyes, sorry to hurt him but she knew she couldn’t let it go on.

“I will not let you use this baby as a crutch to get better. Cameron and I weren’t enough and I’m not putting that pressure on this baby.”

“That’s no reason to say it’s not mine.”

Her voice was clear and matter of fact.

“That’s not the reason. I’m saying this baby isn’t yours because it’s not. I slept with someone else.”

“It’s bad enough you’re leaving me. You don’t need to lie about the baby. Our baby.”

“My baby.”

He started to advance on her when Jason stepped between them. Jason’s voice was calm.

“Hold it.”

“Did you hear her? My wife, the whore?”

Jason’s voice was tense.

“Hey.”

Lucky looked around Jason. He started laughing.

“So, you’re giving the playboy, commitment-phobic Patrick a kid? We all know he’s going to run and leave you alone. Serves you right.”

Elizabeth resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Jason stepped to the side but didn’t go far.

“I didn’t sleep with Patrick, as I have been saying for months.”

“You’ve also been saying you’ve been faithful and now we know that isn’t true.”

She scoffed.

“Says the king of lies.”

Lucky still looked unconvinced.

“Fine. If we’re going to believe you that Patrick isn’t the father then who is? Come on, Elizabeth. Don’t be shy. Tell me who the putz is.”

“It’s none of your business.”

She turned around and went into the bedroom. Tense silence was left behind. She came back after a few minutes carrying a large file folder. Jason opened the door and she started to leave.

“You owe me!”

Elizabeth looked back and arched her brow.

“Excuse me? I owe you nothing. I gave you my love. Then I gave you my son. I sent him away so I could help you. I gave you everything and you trashed it for the pills. I’m done.”

Jason followed her out and closed the door. Neither of them said anything as they got in the car. Elizabeth did pull out her phone and send a couple of texts, but she didn’t say anything on the drive. There was still no talking even when she realized he took her to his penthouse instead of her grandmother’s. He let her into his apartment and shut the door. She turned to face him.

“I’m almost positive this baby is yours. Maybe I did the wrong thing by not telling him there’s a chance the baby is his, but I just couldn’t. I’m not trying to trap you or make you do more than you’re comfortable with. I didn’t tell him it was you because I didn’t want him to attack you. I’m not ashamed or regretful of our night together. If the baby turns out to be Lucky’s then I’ll figure out what to do and what to tell him. I just couldn’t let him use this baby—“

He grabbed both her hands and her mouth clamped shut.

“It’s okay, Elizabeth.” He stroked the backs of her hands with his thumbs and she gradually calmed. “It’s a shock, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”

“I don’t want to ruin your life.”

“You won’t. You can’t. The truth is—“

He hesitated. Her whispered voice implored him.

“Tell me.”

“I want the baby to be mine.”

…………..

Jason had convinced Elizabeth to stay in the guest room when her phone wouldn’t stop ringing. The next morning Jason introduced Elizabeth to Cody. He gave her a quick rundown of all Cody would do and what was expected from her. She accepted everything he told her and then called her grandmother. She offered to pick up breakfast and then they could talk. Cody held the door open for her as they entered the diner. She thanked him and then groaned when she saw Emily and Nikolas at the counter. Bobbie came out of the kitchen and noticed her.

“Morning, Elizabeth!”

Emily and NIkolas swung around when they realized she was there.

“We need to talk.”

She refrained from sighing out loud.

“I’m sure you think we do.”

Nikolas motioned to a table and the three of them sat down. Bobbie came over with a coffee pot in her hand.

“What can I get you guys?”

Nikolas and Emily ordered breakfast while Bobbie poured coffee, but Elizabeth stuck to orange juice.

“Come on, Elizabeth.”

“Grams is expecting me to bring breakfast. I—“

Emily was waving Elizabeth’s reasons away with her hand.

“She called us.”

Elizabeth did sigh then.

“She shouldn’t have, Emily.”

“She’s worried about you. We all are. We left you multiple messages last night, Elizabeth. You tell us Lucky might relapse and we should check on him and then no one can find you.”

Nikolas picked up his coffee mug, but didn’t drink.

“You left out a lot of important information.”

He took a slow sip.

“How could you do this to Lucky?”

Elizabeth’s mouth fell open.

“Are you serious, Emily? Do you not remember what Lucky did all summer?”

“So you had revenge sex with someone?”

She clenched her jaw and took a few breaths.

“I do not have to explain myself to you.”

“No, but you do need to explain yourself to Lucky.”

“I told Lucky what he needs to know. If and when he gets clean we’ll see about the rest.”

Emily’s voice was pleading.

“He needs your help.”

“Why?” Emily was speechless. “I’m serious. He chose the pills over and over instead of me, Cameron, our marriage. When is it my turn?”

“Your turn for what?”

“To take care of myself. From the moment he came back from the dead I have been taking care of him. And everyone expected me to. He has parents, siblings, a grandmother, friends, but every one of you insisted I was the only one who could fix him.” Her voice caught. “I can’t do it anymore. I have to take care of myself and my kids. Cameron, the baby, me. We come first now.”

“What?”

Elizabeth’s eyes slid shut and her head dropped when she heard Sam’s voice behind her. Elizabeth twisted in her seat to face her.

“Sam.”

“You’re pregnant?”

She took a deep breath.

“I am.”

Sam snorted and her voice was dripping with sarcasm.

“Well, that’s just perfect.”

“It’s really not your business.”

“Not my business? You slept with Jason!”

Elizabeth pushed her chair from the table, stood up, and pushed the chair in before completely turning to reply.

“You were not with him. You are not with him. It is not your business.”

“I love him and he loves me. That makes it my business.”

Emily stood up and moved closer.

“Wait. You slept with Jason? Is he the father?”

“I don’t have to answer that.”

“How many guys did you sleep with?”

She wanted to cry at Emily’s words, but she refused to give in to the feeling.

“Thanks for thinking so little of me, Emily.”

“Oh, Emily,” Sam’s voice was full of scorn. “We both know Elizabeth would go after Jason in a heartbeat. Lucky sleeping with Maxie was the excuse she needed.”

“Shall we talk about what you were doing that night? Jason and I have been friends for eight years. We’ve been through a lot. We did not plan to sleep together, but we did and we’re still friends. I can still look at myself in the mirror. Can you?”

“What are you talking about, Elizabeth?”

“I’m just saying if we’re going to be talking about sins we should be talking about everyone’s.”

“I’m not the one who got pregnant by someone else’s boyfriend!”

“I wasn’t your boyfriend.”

They all turned when they heard Jason’s voice. Carly was next to him. He focused on Elizabeth.

“Hey.”

“You alright?”

“I’m fine.”

He looked at Emily.

“What are you doing?”

Her face showed her surprise.

“What do you mean?”

“You of all people know an addict has to get clean for themselves. It doesn’t work otherwise.”

“I know that.” Her brow furrowed. “So she’s lying about Lucky not being the father so he’ll get clean for himself?”

“What? You’re pregnant?”

Elizabeth just barely kept from rolling her eyes and wondered when her life had become a soap opera.

“Yes, Carly.”

“And it’s not Lucky’s?”

Elizabeth chuckled.

“It’s not funny, Elizabeth. Lucky needs you. And you lying about your baby is just wrong.”

“What I find funny is that all of you think it’s your business. Let it go, Emily.”

Sam snorted.

“Oh, come on, Emily. Now that Jason got her pregnant she’s got it made.”

Carly’s eyes shot open wide. She put her hands on her hips and glared at Jason.

“You did what?”

“Carly.”

“Don’t you Carly me, Jason Morgan. It was bad enough you slept with her, but to get her pregnant?” She groaned. She looked at Elizabeth. “But I can’t fault your taste in baby daddies.”

Sam stomped her foot.

“Wait, what? You hate her, Carly.”

Carly grumbled.

“So?”

“She slept with your best friend!”

“You slept with your step-father!” Emily gasped and covered her mouth with her hand. Nikolas’s hands clenched into fists. Carly leaned in closer to Sam. “I wouldn’t go throwing stones when you live in your own little glass house.”

Sam had paled and her glance bounced around the group. She huffed and stalked out. Carly stepped closer to Elizabeth.

“If you hurt him you will regret it.”

She hugged Jason and she went into the back where she had seen Bobbie go. Jason rubbed his hand up and down Elizabeth’s back.

“So that’s how it is.”

“Nikolas, I’m tired of not doing enough or being enough for Lucky. Today just proved that. Even if this baby was Lucky’s I wouldn’t stay with him. I won’t let Cameron be second best.”

“It wouldn’t be like that.”

“Emily, he only decided on rehab because he thought I was having his child. I’m done.”

Elizabeth looked up at Jason and tilted her head towards the door.

He stepped back and she started for the door.

“Elizabeth.” She looked back at her friends. “I’m sorry.”

“I know you mean well, Emily, but it’s time to let it go. Maybe you can eventually be happy for the niece or nephew we’ll give you.”

She turned and left.

…………..

Jason guided Elizabeth down to the pier. She headed for the nearest bench and sat down. He sat down next to her.

“I’m sorry about that.”

He looked at her in confusion.

“Sorry about what?”

“Sorry about everyone knowing.”

“You don’t want people to know?”

She realized what he must be thinking. She turned and covered his hands with hers.

“Oh, Jason, no.” Her eyes filled and she blinked back the tears. “It’s not that I want to keep your role a secret. I just thought you might want to wait until it was confirmed. I don’t want you to feel like I’ve trapped you if it doesn’t turn out the way we want.”

“Elizabeth, I know this hasn’t exactly been ideal or conventional, but there’s something between us. And I’m not just talking about the baby.”

She smiled.

“You’re right.” She stroked his fingers with one hand before looking into his eyes. “I know we’re both hurt over our exes so maybe we could take it a day at a time.”

“You want us to try?” He saw when she realized the reference. “This time will be better. I promise.”

“You don’t make promises.”

“I do when they’re easy.”

She grinned and got a twinkle in her eye.

“Then I say we celebrate.”

“I know that face, Webber.”

“What face?”

He smiled back at her.

“You can’t drive.”
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