January 31, 2016
Jason was tired. Between his personal life of dealing with Carly, Sam and Danny and getting back into the swing of things with working with Sonny he was tired. Busy and tired. He was finally getting a chance to fly to Chicago to see Jake. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to be the Jason Morgan, but he could admit having a whole plane cabin to himself was nice. Once he landed he was out of the airport and headed to Patrick’s apartment in no time. He parked in the visitor’s area of the tall building and headed for the door. He was stopped in the lobby by someone at a desk and approved by Patrick upstairs before they let him on the elevator. He knew Patrick and Elizabeth were sharing an apartment until they both found homes they wanted. Patrick was waiting in the doorway to his apartment when Jason stepped out of the elevator.
“Come on in.”
“Sorry I didn’t call ahead. I couldn’t get ahold of Elizabeth and it didn’t occur to me to try you until I got here.”
Patrick shut the door behind Jason.
“They aren’t here, Jason.”
“When will they be back?”
“They aren’t coming back.”
“What do you mean?”
“They don’t live here and I don’t know where she is.”
Jason’s blood ran cold.
“What do you mean you don’t know where she is? Is she in trouble?”
“Here’s what I know. We moved here, put most of our stuff into storage, got settled into the apartment, but she was on her phone and computer a lot. Two weeks ago she promised me she was okay, but moved out with the boys. She calls me periodically but it’s not from her regular phone.”
Jason was stunned and sat down, unable to figure out what to say.
“How does she sound? Is she scared? Running from something?”
“No. She sounds fine. She sounds like herself. She's just not here.”
“Why didn’t you call me?”
“I’m her friend, not yours.”
“Well, I’m asking you to call me when you hear from her. I just want to make sure she’s okay. Her and the boys.”
Patrick put his hands on his hips.
“I will talk to her and give you a message.”
Jason didn’t like it, but he nodded.
February 2, 2016
“Jason showed up. Or whatever his name is.”
Elizabeth’s breath caught in her throat.
“Was he a problem?”
“No, but you need to be careful. I’m pretty sure he won’t just accept what I told him.”
“We’ve got a lead that looks promising. We’re going to double check it and then go.”
“Boys are good? Need me to keep them?”
“I’d love to have you watch them, but I don’t want to put you or them in the middle, especially if he turns up again. I can’t stop him from trying to take Jake right now.”
“It’s okay. Just wanted you to know I’ve got your back.”
“I appreciate it.” She wrote something down. “Tell him I called to check in. You gave me his message and I told you we’re fine. I’ll call you on your regular phone in a few minutes so Spinelli will find it when he checks your phone. Less than 90 seconds and they can’t trace me.”
“You been watching a lot of tv?”
“Maybe. I’ll call you again soon. Love you.”
April 27th, 2016
Elizabeth looked out her hotel window and admired the nighttime lights of Bratislava, Slovakia. She had left the boys with the nanny who had been with them the last couple months. Vienna wasn’t that far in the grand scheme of things, about 30 minutes by vehicle, but after so many years apart she was getting antsy to find and rescue Jason. The soft knock at the door startled her even though she was expecting it. She lifted the cover over the peephole and opened the door after verification.
“Anna, come in.”
“Did you talk to the boys?”
“Yes. They are enjoying exploring the house. ”
“Good.” She could sense Elizabeth’s nerves. “We’re going to find him, Elizabeth.”
“I know.” Her voice cracked. “I just hope he’s okay.”
Anna put her hands on Elizabeth’s shoulders.
“He’s going to be okay as soon as we get to him.”
“I have to believe that. What did you find out?”
“Our intel tells us it’s a legitimate clinic with regular patients. However, there are some special patients being treated there. They have given private nurses to as not arouse suspicion or raise any flags. We believe Jason is one of them. There are no electronic records we could find so we’ll have to go from room to room. Medications for inducing manageability are given at 8pm and 8am. We’re planning to get there at five am.”
“Good. Let’s get our make-up on go.”
Elizabeth studied her face in the mirror as she put on the dark paint so she would blend into the darkness. Her hair was in a bun and she had on a black outfit.
The thirty minutes in the van to get to the small clinic was too long and yet too short at the same time for Elizabeth. It was torture to be so close and yet so far. It was terrifying to not know what they would encounter and to not know what shape Jason would be in. She took a deep breath as the van rolled to a stop.
“We’re going the last two blocks on foot. We’ll divide up and enter from opposite ends.”
Elizabeth was with Jeremy and Phillip and they were going in the south end of the building while Anna and two others were entering from the north. Even though everyone had been given a picture of Jason he might not be easily recognizable so Anna and Elizabeth were on different teams to help make identification quicker.
“Tranq everyone who isn’t a patient. Meet back here as soon as possible. Radio contact only in case of emergency.”
Elizabeth said a little prayer and followed the two men leading the way. Security was easy to breach and they were soon at the first patient’s door. She and her partners had already worked out a system before hand. They would watch the hallways while she checked each room. They’d only run into one employee so far when he’d come out of a patient’s room. He’d been tranquilized and stashed in a supply closet. There was one more room before they would make their way to the second floor. Elizabeth slipped inside and shut the door quietly. She crept to the bed and made her way to the far end. The man in the bed had long hair and was almost too thin. As she studied his face his eyes suddenly opened. She gasped.
“Who are you?”
The sob surprised her. She tamped down the rest.
“Jason, it’s me.”
As he sat up she took just a small step back so as not to crowd him. He’d been locked up for years and she worried about him. There was enough moonlight to see his eyes. She couldn’t stop the tears anymore. She slowly reached out and covered his cheek with her hand.
“It’s me.” He sighed and covered her hand with his own. Her voice was ragged. “I’m so sorry it took me so long.”
“Now is when it matters.”
He turned and slid his legs off the bed. She stepped closer and rested her forehead on his. He pulled her close as well and just held on. She didn’t want to move, but knew they needed to get out of the building.
“Can you walk?”
He stood carefully.
She put his arm over her shoulder and her other hand around his back.
“I’ll help. Let’s go.”
Her partners walked in front and behind them and they quickly escaped.
Jason and Elizabeth sat in the back of the van by themselves. She rested her temple on his shoulder so he would know he wasn’t alone anymore. They were silent while the rest of the team talked quietly amongst themselves. The vehicle came to a stop at a nondescript building. Jason started to move when the others did, but Elizabeth tugged him back. The driver got out and Anna took his place. When they started going again only the three of them were left. Jason looked at Elizabeth questioningly as they left the city.
“We’re going to Italy.” She wasn’t sure if she should tell him everything, but knew he deserved to know. “The boys are there.”
She knew she had startled him, but he didn’t question her.
They stopped once so Jason could change clothes and they could move to seats closer to the front to make things less suspicious. Anna also pulled documents out of the back and had them ready for when they got to the border. Elizabeth was holding her breath and Jason’s hand while they waited for border patrol to look at their passports. Once they were let through she cried a few tears of relief. After five hours on the road Anna worked her way off the main roads and eventually turned onto a long driveway. At the end of the drive sat a house which looked like the roof was an umbrella as it overhung the rest of the house by a couple feet all around. Jason opened the door and turned to help Elizabeth out. Anna also got out and came around to their side. Elizabeth hugged Anna.
“Thank you for all your help. I couldn’t have gotten to him without you.”
“I’ll keep an eye and ear out to make sure no one traces him or you to here. I’ll contact you soon.”
“Thank you, Anna.”
Anna slowly put her hand on his upper arm.
“You’re welcome, Jason.”
“I’ll see you both later.”
Anna drove back down the driveway. Elizabeth gave her attention to Jason and she wrapped her arm around his torso again to help him into the house.
“I’m feeling stronger now.”
She smiled at him.
She helped him to one of the two bedrooms downstairs and helped him sit on the bed. She stood in front of him. She couldn’t stop herself from touching his cheek again.
“You’re safe here.”
“Where is here?”
“We’re in Udine, Italy. I picked a house out in the country so you won’t feel confined. I can’t even begin to guess what you have been through and I want to give you freedom. I brought the boys because I want to be here for you as long as you let me. However, if you want to recover alone we’ll go stay in the city.”
“Why not Port Charles?”
“I can’t leave you here alone, Jason.” She took a deep breath. “Please don’t ask me to.”
He reached out and gently pulled her to him as he stood. She wrapped her arms around him as well and just held on.
After a few moments Elizabeth inched back and motioned to the area next to him. He nodded and she sat down.
“I know we have a lot to talk about, but first I thought you might want to shower or eat or something. I have some clothes here but we can always get more later. You tell me what you need and I’ll do my best to get it for you. The boys are out playing with the nanny. They won’t be back for awhile.”
“I’ll take that shower.”
“When you’re done take a left at the end of the hallway and I’ll be in the kitchen.”
Before Elizabeth reached the doorway to the hallway she heard the shower turn on. She realized he had left the bathroom door open and almost went back to shut it before stopping herself. Since she was the only one in the house she left his bedroom door open as well. If she could give him freedom, even in tiny ways, she was going to do it. She entered the kitchen and started a pot of coffee for him and pulled out milk to heat for her hot chocolate. She turned the radio on but left the volume low. She was opening the refrigerator to pull out food for a picnic for the boys when she felt she wasn’t alone. She turned and saw Jason standing in the doorway.
“Come in. Are you hungry?”
“Yes, but I’d like to do something about my hair first if you have scissors.”
“Hopefully I have whatever you need. You can cut it in here if you want or outside on the porch.”
“Outside sounds great.”
She tried not to let his words alter her expression. She opened the cabinet under the sink and pulled out a plastic box. She opened the door and put the box on the picnic table. She went back inside and picked up a chair but before she could get far he was taking it from her and carrying it outside himself.
“If you decide you need help or a mirror just ask. I’ll be out in a few minutes after I make the boys’ their lunch.” She pointed to the little house out in the field. “They’ve created quite the little world out there.” Elizabeth made sure Jason had everything he needed but she was still hesitant to leave. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Elizabeth knew she couldn’t hover over him no matter how much she wanted to make sure he was alright so she made sandwiches, cut up fruit, bagged chips and cookies. She packed the little cooler she kept for the trip to the backyard and went outside. She noticed Jason had used the scissors to cut most of the extra length off.
“I could use your help when you get back.”
“Sure. I’ll just be a minute or two.”
She left him on the porch knowing he was watching her. She loved on her boys, passed the cooler to Alessia, and headed back. His expression was thoughtful but a bit confused, she thought, as she got closer. She was rendered speechless at his words.
“Who’s the third boy with Cam and Jake?” He reached out and grasped her gently by the elbows. “Do you need to sit down? You don’t look so good.”
He helped her sit down in his chair. He crouched in front of her.
“He’s my son. Aiden.” Now it was his turn to be stunned. She took one of his hands between hers. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“Going to Mexico to find Michael and Kristina.”
It had been almost 3 months to the day since Jason found out Elizabeth had disappeared with the boys. As soon as he had left Patrick’s apartment he had Spinelli searching. Spinelli searched for any money trail, any job trail, anything with Elizabeth’s name, but nothing. He even searched for anything in the boys’ names, but still nothing. He only knew she was okay because she called Patrick every week, but it was never long enough to trace where she was nor was it the same number twice. Spinelli hoped he would find something soon because he knew his mentor was tired of fighting with Sonny, Carly and Sam about his search for Elizabeth and Jake.
Almost seven years. He’d been gone almost seven years and she hadn’t known. She looked in his face and knew she had to put aside those feelings for the moment. She picked up the electric razor and tried to smile.
“I’ll talk while I cut, okay?”
She started with him, or someone who looked like him, coming back from Mexico and getting back together with Sam, of her disastrous relationships with Nikolas and Lucky and Helena got involved in the paternity. She had trouble getting the words out but told him how they thought Jake had been hit by a car and his death. She shared how the other Jason married Sam and had a baby with her and then how they thought he’d died in a mob war. She knew it only got crazier as she explained how a John Doe came into town and somehow ended up as Jason as well. She ended with Jake showing up alive and how she was busted for keeping the secret that the other man was Jason.
“But he isn’t.”
She grasped his chin gently with two fingers and tilted his head back and forth to see if the top and sides were even and straight.
“No, he isn’t.” She sat on the picnic table bench. “What are we going to do about that?”