It was a warm summer evening in Port Charles with the stars shining bright in the sky, but Elizabeth didn't even notice. All she could think about, as she drove to her destination, was why Jason had called her. Why? All he said was, 'Can you meet me tonight.' Four simple words.... But the words held so much meaning to her.
So she called her Grams who agreed to watch the boys, and here she was going to meet Jason. She remembered the last time she saw him, picking up Spinelli at the hospital. She just wished it didn't hurt so much to know she couldn't be there for him when he really needed someone. And then her thoughts went to Claudia Zacchara.
UGH. Even though she knew she shouldn't let Spinelli's words bother her, they still did. She knew Jason had no interest in the mob princess, BUT that still didn't keep her from getting angry and frustrated knowing that Claudia could see Jason whenever she wanted. Could go to his coffee shop, could go to his penthouse, could even have dinner at Kelly's with him if she wanted.
Okay, she told herself. She just really needed to just stop thinking about that. So, again, Elizabeth went back to why Jason had called her. It was like she had told Robin the other day: 'What more was there to be said?' Then she pulled up, her destination in sight, and thought to herself, well I guess it's time to find out.
As she arrived, she noticed his bike outside and her heart skipped a beat. What she wouldn't give in that moment for a ride to nowhere - to feel her arms around his firm, strong body, the wind blowing in her face, and the feeling of just going fast and being free. But it hadn't been about that with them in a very long time.
So she just sighed, got out of her car, and headed towards the door.
Once she entered, she found that the room was dark. She called out, "Jason," and then heared his voice respond.
As she rounded the corner of the bar's entrance, she simply came to a stop. There he was in his signature jeans and black t-shirt, leaning against the pool table at Jake's with a beer in one hand and a pool cue in the other. And he never looked so good.
No one else was there except them, and Jason could see the questions in Elizabeth's eyes. "I told Coleman I wanted to rent Jake's out tonight for a private party, so no one else will be here for the rest of the evening."
Elizabeth took in the room. No overhead lights were on. There was just a soft glow coming from the candles illuminating the room.
All Jason could do was stare at Elizabeth. Taking in her beauty as she stood there looking at him with those beautiful, sapphire eyes, seeing her curiosity, her love, but, mostly, just her sadness in those gorgeous orbs, it broke his heart.
"Elizabeth," he whispered.
And Elizabeth started to feel her heartbeat increase, with only the simple sound of him saying her name to send it racing. All she wanted to do was run into his arms, but she didn't. It would hurt too much.
"Thank you for meeting me." It was all he could get out, but he seemed to hope that she could see in his eyes how much it really did mean to him, knowing how hard this was for her.
"Are you alright," she asked, knowing he would probably say he was fine.
But Jason didn't say that. He looked at her, not answering right away. Instead, he marveled at the fact that she was always more concerned about others than she was about herself, even though he could see in her eyes how much pain she was in. It was just one of the many reasons why he loved Elizabeth so much. So, when he finally said, "no, I'm not," it shocked her. He could see the surprise on her face.
"Elizabeth, I keep thinking about what you said at the hospital the other day about how my life has nothing to do with you anymore and how we have our own lives now. I realized, as you said those words out loud, that it's not what I want." And, immediately, he could see the confusion and sadness flow across her face. He could tell that he was getting emotional, and he wanted to stay calm so he could get everything out before he lost his nerve.
"Jason...," she started, but he cut her off without delay.
"NO." Realizing he had said it louder then he intended to, he softened his voice. "Please, just let me get this out. I have never been one for words. We both know that I don't talk a lot or really express myself very well. I don't want to be a frozen block of concrete in this moment."
And they both smirked at that statement, feeling that connection the two of them have shared for so long, one that never seemed to go away.
So, Jason took a deep breath, let it out, and said, "so instead of me telling you how I feel, I want to show you. Elizabeth, you have been a part of my life for so long. Even when I was away, or we were fighting, or we with other people, you have ALWAYS been a part of me. I want you to see what I feel for you and why, and I thought there was no better place to start then here at Jakes - where all of this first started nine years ago."
And, as he spoke, Elizabeth's eyes started to fill with unshed tears. When Jason noticed the tears enter her eyes he knew he couldn't wait any longer to touch her. So, in three long strides, he reached her and pulled her into his arms. Enjoying the feeling of being able to touch her again, of being able to hold her, and of, hopefully soon, getting the chance to kiss her, brought a sense of peace throughout his body.
He then pulled back and looked into her beautiful blue eyes, wiping away a lone tear that had fallen with the pad of his thumb. And, in that gentle voice that he always used with her he said, "now, I know there is so much that we need to say to each other, and I know you're confused and have a lot questions, but the one thing I ask is that you don't ask any questions until the night is through. After tonight, we can talk about anything you want to.
Elizabeth stared at the man that had held her heart for so long. Looking into those piercing blue eyes that spoke of so much private emotion, she swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded yes, unable to get any words out.
Jason then released the breath he had been holding and said, "okay."
Elizabeth started to sense Jason getting nervous, so she rested her hand on his arm, looked him in the eyes, and whispered, "it's okay. We can do this slowly. We have all night.... Right?" And she gave him a small smile that didn't quite reach her eyes but made him relax nonetheless.
So he nodded and replied, "right. We have all night."
He walked over to the table they had once sat at nine years prior. Where nine years ago they had both been feeling lost and alone, he suddenly realized that he had been living through those two emotions since the day he broke off their engagement two months before. Hoping that would soon change, he picked up a small white box with a red ribbon around it and brought it over to her.
"Let's start with this gift I have for you. I had it made a while ago and planned to give it to you on Valentine's Day at the safe house, but we never made it back there, and, well, I want you to have it now."
Elizabeth took the box from him, their fingers gently touching one another in the exchange, both of them feeling the sparks surging through their entire bodies. As she started to open it, she could feel his intense gaze on her. Trying to keep her hands from shaking, she unwrapped the ribbon and opened to the box to reveal a stunning silver charm bracelet. On it was three silver charms. The first charm was a little boy with a diamond in the center, and Elizabeth knew that signified Cameron who was born in April. The second was a little boy with an emerald in the center signifying Jake who was born in May, and the last charm was a delicate silver heart which encased, what looked to be, a red stone, but, as Elizabeth looked at it more closely, tears began to fill her eyes again when she realized it was a piece of red glass just like the one Jason had given to her that Valentine's Day in her studio so long ago. Words could not describe what she was feeling at that moment, so, without any words spoken between them, she looked at Jason with the love and understanding in her eyes, knowing he would be able to see it, knowing he would realize that she understood the significance behind this gift.
"I actually thought about getting you the red vase that you had talked about so long ago, but I knew that, when you bought that red vase, I wanted to be with you... in Italy... together."
When Elizabeth found her voice, she said, "thank you. It's perfect."
And Jason just nodded his head. He then looked at her with a slight grin and asked, "would you like to play a game of pool?"
Elizabeth looked up at him and smiled, this time the smile actually reaching her eyes, and replied, "okay, but you need to break. It has been awhile since I have even attempted to play pool."
So, Jason went ahead and racked the pool balls into the triangle, Elizabeth never taking her eyes off of him. She would never get tired of watching him - watching his strong body do the simplest of tasks. It made her skin tingle and her toes curl, so that, when he looked up at her and caught her staring, she could feel herself start to get flush with a light shade of pink tinting her cheeks that spread down her neck. And all Jason could do was just stare back, thinking how thankful he was that she had stayed and given him this chance to make up for all the hurt he has caused her.
Elizabeth watched as he started the game by breaking with two solids going into the upper corner and side pocket. Then she watched him sink two more balls before he missed, and she secretly thought it looked like he had missed on purpose just so she could get a turn.
Elizabeth picked up her pool stick and started wandering around the table, trying to line up a shot. After walking around the table twice, she could see the smirk forming on Jason's face, so she finally gave up, lifted her eyebrow at Jason, and said, "alright, Hot Shot. Instead of laughing at me, why don't you help me line up a shot?"
Jason just looked at her, his smirk growing into a full blown smile, and responded, "what's in it for me?"
She looked back at him, her eyes never wavering, and teased, "well, you're just going to have to find out."
So, Jason put his beer and his pool stick down and wandered over to Elizabeth on the other side of the table. First, he helped her remember how to hold the pool stick- placing one hand, thumb and forefinger up, on the table and the other wrapped around the pool stick. Gently helping her position the pool stick on her hand on the table, he wrapped his arms around her, lining up the shot. As she sent her cue crashing, he placed his nose in her hair, taking in the smell of her. Vanilla and chocolate- a smell that was so Elizabeth. She made the shot and excitedly jumped into his arms, both of them smiling and remembering the last time Jason gave Elizabeth a pool lesson at Jake's.
They continued to play pool for several games, just enjoying each other's company, laughing about nothing and everything. Finally, after an hour of playing pool, Jason asked, "are you hungry?," and Elizabeth just shook her head no, knowing, with her stomach all in knots about the evening, she would never be able to eat. Plus, being so close to Jason had butterflies going crazy in her stomach. She knew food was the last thing on her mind.
"Well, then, let's head to our next stop," Jason suggested. And, with that, they left Jake's, hand in hand, and headed to his motorcycle.
Elizabeth just stared at it, remembering how it felt to be on Jason's bike, but she didn't move, and Jason started to get worried that maybe she didn't want on his bike after all.
"Uh, I'm sorry I didn't think to bring my truck. Do you want us to take your car?"
But Elizabeth quickly said, "no," alleviating all of Jason's fears. "I would love to go for a ride."
And, with that, Jason gave Elizabeth his helmet, she climbed on, wrapped her arms around him, and they were off to their next destination
As Jason stopped his motorcycle outside the building which housed Elizabeth's old studio, she couldn't help but smile - and not just from being on his bike, which was amazing and, in her mind, long overdue, but also for the fact that Jason had brought her here. Elizabeth always thought of this place as having a special meaning for her and Jason, and, even though, in the back of her mind, she wished he did, too, there was always that doubt when it came to Jason and his feelings.
Jason watched Elizabeth slide gracefully off his bike. He couldn't help but stare at her smile, a smile he had been wanting to see for such a long time. He thought a ride might get her to smile, or, more likely he had been hoping that a ride would have that affect on her - to help her forget about everything going on around them and let her just be.
Jason stepped off his bike, and, without even thinking, they both just automatically grabbed for each other's hands and walked, hand and hand, to a door that would lead them to a part of their past and, hopefully, soon their present and future as well.
Climbing up the stairs to her old studio, Elizabeth couldn't help but remember the last time they were there together. Jason had just been shot, and Elizabeth was carrying his baby. God, she had wanted, so badly to tell him back then, but that didn't happen, and, now, all they could do was just try to move on from all the mistakes they had made.
Jason watched Elizabeth, wondered what she was thinking, but soon was lost in his own thoughts - thoughts of being with Elizabeth, Cameron and Jake.
As Elizabeth and Jason reached the door, Jason used his free hand to get his keys out, and Elizabeth used her free hand to touch the door thinking what an original gift giver Jason had always been.
Stepping into her studio, Elizabeth looked around, thinking it still looked the same. The same ratty couch was by the window, her art table sat, again, in the center of the room, but then she turned her head to the right and saw the most amazing sight. Lined up along the wall were canvases, lots of blank canvases ready to have paint applied to them with one lone, blank canvas sitting on an easel by the window. But, along with those canvases was paint, so much paint. Elizabeth could smell the paint even without a single can being opened.
She walked over to the shelves, taking in this beautiful gesture Jason had given her. She slid her hand along the shelves but stopped when she got to something unexpected. Soup cans. There were rows of soup cans. At that point, she couldn't help but start to laugh and looked at Jason who still standing by the door with one of his famous smirks on his face.
She turned again, this time to her left, and noticed a small bookcase under the window. Elizabeth walked over, bending down to look at the various books, and found travel books. Lots of travel books, travel books on Italy, Greece, and even Uzbekistan to name a few. She smiled, again, looking at Jason who had finally entered the room.
Finally, it was Jason who filled the silence with words, speaking for the first time since leaving Jake's, "I never understood the meaning of a home until this place. You took care of me here, when I got shot that first time and the second time. No words will ever describe what that meant to me. The first Christmas I ever truly enjoyed was in these four walls. Then I left. Even back then, I knew, deep down, I didn't want to leave, but I did anyway, thinking it was for the best. It was the first time I felt like I was leaving a home, not just a place to sleep or eat, but a home. You did that for me. You always did."
Elizabeth couldn't stop herself; she started to cry, quickly brushing the tears away with the back of her hand, willing them to stop.
Jason saw her tears but kept talking, knowing there was still more to tell her, "So when I came back to help Sonny, I tried to tell myself this was the perfect place, because I knew it was close to the warehouse and knew I could trust you to keep a secret, but it was more than that. I wanted to come home, to a place where I felt I belonged, and this…" He gestured around the room. "…was the only place I knew where I could do that."
And, with that declaration, Jason walked over to Elizabeth, taking both of her petite hands in his, looked into her big doe eyes, and said, "I always want us to have this place to come to, whenever we wanted. Not the safe house but here - so I bought the building."
He then let go of her hands, dug into his pocket, and pulled out the deed to the building, handing it to Elizabeth.
And, for the first time that Elizabeth could ever recall, Jason spoke more than she did. She couldn't find the words. All she could do was stare at him with all the love she possessed. He really was the most original gift giver.
"Would you like to paint," he asked. "I wasn't sure if you would want to, but I stretched the canvases out and set one up for you just in case you did."
Elizabeth looked at the canvas, then at Jason, and, with a smile on her face, nodded yes.
So, while Elizabeth walked over to the paints to get a palette ready, Jason went over to the bookshelf and picked out a travel book, she heading to the canvas while he moved towards the couch.
For 30 minutes, Elizabeth tried to paint, relishing in the comfortable silence that was always easy between them. But she would look at the canvas, then at Jason, then back at the canvas. Realizing she wasn't going to get any painting done, she turned to him and said, "okay, I think I'm done for now," quickly covering the canvas so Jason wouldn't see that she actually got nothing done.
"Okay, let's head to our next destination." And, like they had at Jake's, they left her studio, walking hand in hand.
The Old Bridge
As they got off Jason's bike and walked to the Old Bridge, again hand in hand, Elizabeth realized, taking the cliff roads fast, the curves, the wind, it is something she would never get tired of experiencing. At least, experiencing it with Jason. And, until tonight, she hadn't understood how much she truly missed it... and needed it.
As they let go of each other's hands and leaned against the old bridge, Elizabeth looked down at the gorge, reminding Jason of another time when they had come there.
Again, breaking the silence, Jason asked, "do you remember the first time I brought you here?"
Elizabeth just smiled and nodded her head. It felt strange for Jason to do most of the talking, but, in that moment, Elizabeth liked that he was talking and, honestly, didn't want to interrupt for fear he would stop.
"You asked me once why I brought you here."
Elizabeth just looked at him and said, "you told me that you thought of this place when I was going crazy about Lucky, because it was away from everything, a quiet place where no one could bother me here."
"And I still think that, but now I think it was more." Elizabeth watched Jason as he struggled to find the right words. "I met Robin here by accident, but, you, I brought here on purpose. I guess even back then, I wanted to share a part of myself with you, a part that no one else knew. I thought I would never come back to this place. After, Robin left, and, then losing Michael, the emptiness, the feeling of nothing, wouldn't go away, and, no matter what you think, helping you when Lucky 'died' was probably more selfish then I wish to admit, because, Elizabeth, you really helped me in a way no one else could have. As we started to spend time together, that emptiness, that feeling of nothing, started to go away. So, when I came back and you needed a friend, I remembered what this place meant to Robin and myself, how we used it as an escape from everything going on around us, and I knew I didn't want to share that feeling with Robin anymore; I wanted to share it with you."
"Elizabeth, even back then, I knew there was something between us, but something that maybe both of us weren't ready for yet. Timing....that's always been our problem, and, for once, I want our timing to be right. Not just for one night, but for forever."
Elizabeth just looked at Jason and thought, for a man who doesn't know how to express himself, he sure has a lot to say.
"Don't say anything yet, there is still one more place I want to take you."
So, hand in hand, Elizabeth and Jason left the Old Bridge and headed for his bike once again.
Port Charles Park
As Jason pulled his bike up near the gates of the Port Charles Park where he had asked her to go away with him so many years before, Elizabeth couldn't help but wonder why Jason would bring her here - to this place which, in her mind, was just a painful reminder of the decision she made to chose Lucky over Jason.
It looked exactly the same except the azaleas were no longer in bloom, and it was warmer than that night so long ago.
So, as they stepped off his bike together, Elizabeth looked at Jason saying, "Jason...," with the question so visible in her eyes. "Why here?"
Jason didn't answer her at first, just took her hand in his and walked her to the fountain.
He then took a deep breath, turned to her, and took both her hands in his. "Elizabeth, when we were here together the last time I left Port Charles, I asked you to make a choice, a choice you probably weren't ready to make. I still believe, even back then, that there was something very real between us. But you were hurting, and I knew I was part of the reason. All I wanted, all I have ever wanted, was to see you smile, smile so big that it reaches your eyes and the whole room lights up - a smile, I hoped to put on your face every day. So, I thought the best way to have the hurt go away, to see that smile again, was to ask you to leave Port Charles, with me."
"And, then, I turned you down," Elizabeth said, the regret clearly evident from the tone of her voice.
"But, that's not why I brought you here - not to relive the past or the choices we may or may not have made. I brought you here as a reminder of how far we have come and, still, how far we have yet to go. I was never one for regret, and I still don't regret that, on that night, you chose Lucky over me, but I have come to realize that there are two instances in my life that I truly regret - the first being that day I let you walk out of my penthouse, the day you found out Sonny was still alive, and the second was the day I broke off our engagement.
"Elizabeth, I don't want to live with regret any more." And, with that declaration, Jason pulled out a small, velvet box from his jeans pocket, opened the box, and said nervously, "so, Elizabeth Imogene Webber, will you marry me?"
Elizabeth just stared at him, not saying a word, looked into the depths of his eyes, and saw the love, the promise, and the fear of rejection that was swimming in his beautiful blue eyes.
Fear, a funny word to be describing Jason Morgan, but that was what he felt at this moment, fear that she wouldn't take what he had to offer this time, fear that he had finally pushed her so far away that nothing he did would bring her back, fear that finally knowing, truly knowing, this was what he wanted, and he wouldn't be able to have that chance.
So, he stood there restless, and, before Elizabeth could say a word, he took the ring out of the box and placed it on her finger. He held her left hand in both of his and said, "I know this doesn't seem fair to you. All the pain I have caused, asking you to marry me, then taking it back, I want to make this right, Elizabeth."
He then turned Elizabeth's hand so she could look at the ring. It was a simple platinum setting with 3 round stones - the center being the largest with two smaller stones on each side.
Swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat, Jason began to explain the meaning of the ring. "This stone here, on the left, represents our past - a past, I don't want to forget, because it is what brought us to this point here today, to this moment. The center stone represents our present, one I only want to have with you, Cameron, and Jake. And this stone, here on the right, represents the future I want us to have, the future I hope you will give us."
Tears were now streaming down Elizabeth's face. Jason let go of her hands and then placed his own tenderly on her cheeks, not even trying to wipe away her tears, instead slowly tried to kiss them away with the gentlest of touches, touches so sweet and emotional that neither of them realized that Jason, too, was crying, at that point. And, in that moment, Jason slowly lowered his head and stopped just a breath away from her lips and said, "please, just say yes." And then he kissed her - a kiss that was full of all the passion and love that Jason felt for Elizabeth.
And, then, as quickly as the kiss started, Jason stopped it, looking into Elizabeth's eyes, wanting to give her the chance to process everything he had said, not just that particular moment but everything he had tried to tell her over the entire night.
Elizabeth looked back at Jason, her gaze never wavering, and all she wanted to do was say yes, because, really, all she had ever wanted was Jason. But, like Jason feared her response, she feared what would happen if she said yes, if she gave her heart to him and then had it ripped away again.
And, then, as she was thinking about everything Jason had said to her that night, she remembered another conversation she had once shared with Jason. Actually, it was a conversation she had with him the night Jake was conceived. It was that night when she had told Jason that you can't let fear dictate choice, and, again, that was what she was doing. So, with all the conviction she could muster, she slowly brought her mouth a breath away from his and said, "YES!"
Before she knew it, Jason picked her up off the ground, pulling her flush against his body, and started kissing her, kissing her the way he had hoped to since he first saw her earlier that evening at Jake's, and Elizabeth was kissing him right back with the same intensity, both giving and receiving, and, as the kiss grew more passionate, they pulled away, leaning their foreheads against one another, looking into each other's eyes, nodding at the same time and together saying, "maybe it's time we headed back to Jake's."
So, with smiles on their faces, they hopped on Jason's bike and headed back to the place where everything for them had started.
As Jason and Elizabeth walked back into Jake's, hand in hand, they knew things had changed. Earlier that night, they had both entered Jake's separately, feeling lost and alone, and, now, as they stepped through the door together, it was to start a new life, their life as a couple and as a family, together.
So, as they reached the staircase that would lead to Jason's old room, Jason surprised Elizabeth by gently gathering her up in his arms, one arm reaching under her legs while the other wrapped around her waist. Elizabeth seamlessly curled into him as he effortlessly carried her up the stairs.
Keeping Elizabeth tightly encased in his arms, Jason opened the door, carrying her over the threshold. Elizabeth, slowly taking her gaze away from Jason, scanned the room. It looked exactly the same... except for one thing, and, as Elizabeth noticed the change, she let out a gasp. Above the bed, there was no longer a plain five and dime picture but, rather, her painting of The Wind that she had given Jason so long ago.
She didn't care how he had found it; all she cared about was that it was here, with them, as they started their life together.
And, as her eyes made their way back to Jason, they both stared at each other with such intensity, neither being able to look away for fear that one would wake up and the other would be gone, that it would all be just a dream. But they knew it wasn't a dream; it was real. So, Jason closed the door swiftly with his foot, and, as their lips slowly made their descent towards one another's, they realized that they had finally got their timing right.