Spinelli was busy working on new software for Jason's warehouse security when his employer burst through the door, throwing his keys viciously on the desk before storming into the kitchen. Walking back into the living room, Jason fell into the oversized chair and took a long swig from his beer.
"Umm," Spinelli began, stuttering out the remainder of his nervous ramble, "I—It would a—appear that something is deeply troubling my M—Master." As Jason took another long swig from his beer, Spinelli took a deep breath before cautiously asking,
"Is there any way that The Jackyl may be of assistance to his most revered friend Stone Cold?"
"Not unless you can come up with some way to turn back time," Jason coldly returned in a vicious tone, feeling bad once the words escaped his lips. Spinelli wasn't to blame for the current events—he was—and he had no one to blame for the mess that was both his and Elizabeth's lives but himself.
"Turn back time?" Spinelli repeated, utterly confused, "Might Stone Cold elaborate on his unusually erratic train of thought?"
"I broke up with Sam," Jason emotionlessly returned.
Spinelli's eyes grew wide, "You have ceased relations with the Fair Samantha?"
"Yes, Spinelli," Jason sighed in irritation, "That is typically what happens when you break up with someone."
"B—But why?" Spinelli sputtered out, "I thought perhaps that Fair Samantha might fulfill your heart's—"
Jason quickly silenced his ward, "You thought wrong, Spinelli!" His eyes filled with deep sadness as he muttered, "Just like I did." Letting out a long exhale, Jason's tone was dejected as he said,
"I have been such a fool and ruined too many lives."
"I'm afraid The Grasshopper is utterly dumbfounded by Stone Cold's very confusing discussion," Spinelli replied, "Am I to understand that The Bodacious One is not the one who holds Stone Cold's heart?"
"No," Jason said, tilting his beer up once more for another long gulp before adding mid-breath, "She's not." Looking at the painting of The Wind above his fireplace, Jason's eyes filled with sorrow as he breathed out,
"The only person who has ever held my heart is Elizabeth."
Spinelli's eyebrows arched, "The Maternal One?"
"Yes," Jason slowly nodded, "Elizabeth—the Maternal One as you call her—who is now at the hospital having a paternity test done to see who is the father of her unborn child...Lucky or Nicholas."
"It is obvious that this news brings my Master great sadness," Spinelli regretfully responded.
"Yeah," Jason exhaled out, "I can't help but think I caused this whole mess. I left her in that courthouse destroyed. I walked away because I thought it would keep the people I love most safe, but in the end, I sent her straight into the dysfunction of the Spencer/Cassadine clan."
Standing up, Jason started towards the stairs, "I just wish the results would show neither Lucky nor Nicholas were the father, but I guess this time, it would be too much to ask for the results to work in my favor twice."
Watching his friend trudge up the stairs in sadness and defeat, Spinelli said under his breath, "Or perhaps not, as your loyal Legend of Lexicon is on the case!" Grabbing his jacket from the back of the couch, Spinelli ran towards the door, "I just hope the Maternal One feels as Stone Cold does...and can forgive his part in the betrayal of the Brothers Grim."
Jason laid on his bed, his mind going back to the unexpected meeting a month and a half earlier.
At that precise moment, Elizabeth lay on the examination table in Dr. Lee's office, her amniocentesis complete, Nik and Lucky having their own testing done, and she was alone in the silent room...her thoughts only on one person. The man she truly loved and wished could be the father of her child—Jason. Those thoughts also took her to an unexpected meeting a month and a half earlier...
Elizabeth sat on the bench on the docks. The bench that was theirs...hers and Jason's. No one could ever make her believe anything different, even though by every right she should.
"How?" she asked herself out loud, looking up to the sky, "How did I get to this place? How could I do the things I've done?"
"I can't imagine you have done anything that horrible," a familiar deep voice answered back, "and if you have, I would guess that it is probably my fault."
Elizabeth's head snapped to the side to find Jason standing at the other edge of the pier, staring at her with those same soft adoring eyes that she had missed so terribly and dreamt about every night. Her face distraught and her eyes filled with tears, she whispered, "You have no idea what I've become, Jason. It's just like Lulu said...I'm nothing but a very *friendly* person."
"You could never be a very *friendly* person and no one has any right to call you one," Jason comforted, walking over to sit down beside her,
"Why don't you just tell me what's wrong."
"Oh, come on, Jason!" Elizabeth sarcastically laughed out, "I know you already know what's been going on in my life! Don't play dumb on me now!"
"You went back to Lucky and then somewhere along the way got mixed up with Nicholas," Jason emotionlessly replied, even though the thought of Elizabeth with that scrawny little bastard and his egotistical brother tore at his soul.
"Wow," Elizabeth said in a furious awe, "It's like it doesn't even affect you!"
"I didn't say that," Jason slowly responded, his voice sympathetic, "and just so you know, it bothers the hell out of me."
"I'm sure it does," Elizabeth said, her tone full of shame as she looked out onto the water, "Your only son's mother is nothing more than...a sleeper."
Jason brought his hand up to cup Elizabeth's face, ever so gently forcing her to turn towards him as he corrected her in an infuriated tone,
"Don't ever let anyone make you believe that you are a sleeper, Elizabeth! You are a wonderful, kind, loving, and beautiful woman! Any man who can't see that is a fool!" His tone softened as he wiped the flood of tears now flowing down her face, "And truth be told, I'm a fool for walking away and probably to blame for everything that has happened since."
"You give yourself too much credit," Elizabeth defensively countered, her own pent up anger overflowing, "My whole world doesn't revolve around you, Jason!"
Jason knew Elizabeth well enough to know she was trying to protect her heart, but his own emotions overruled his logic as he softly replied,
"I love you, Elizabeth. Walking away hasn't changed that."
"Don't!" Elizabeth shouted, tears flowing down her face, "Don't do this to me, Jason! It's not fair!"
"I'm sorry," Jason said under his breath, "I—I'm not trying to hurt you, but I guess in the end, that's exactly what I'm doing, isn't it?"
"Ahhh!" Elizabeth yelled out in defeat, jumping up to pace in front of him, "Here we go again! As much as I want to hate you—I should hate you—I can't!" Looking down at him, her eyes filled with desire, "And the craziest part is...all I want is to escape somewhere to be in your arms again—to feel you holding me...loving me..." Elizabeth's voice trailed off as she bit down on her lower lip fighting the urge to follow her instinct and just run away from him.
Jason stood up, catching Elizabeth's hand to stop her mid-step, as he hesitantly breathed out, "Let's go. We can go to the safe house...no one will ever know."
"Are you serious?" Elizabeth replied in disbelief, "Let ourselves pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist? And then what, Jason? You come home to Sam and I come home to what? Nothing but two brothers who now hate me because in the end, they were just a means to fill the hole you left behind?"
"I—I don't know what to do here, Elizabeth," Jason quietly replied, his eyes filling with sorrow, "I guess I just want to give you a little happiness, even if it is for only a moment." His eyes drifting to the ground, Jason continued, "And as I'm saying this, I realize how selfish it actually sounds."
All of Elizabeth's anger melted as she watched Jason's expression fall into despair. Tightening her fingers around his, she lightly sobbed, "What about what you want, Jason? Do you want that moment of happiness too? Because if all this is just because you are trying to make me feel better—"
Jason looked up, his eyes sincere as he interrupted, "I have missed you from the moment I left you, Elizabeth. I didn't ask you to come to the safe house just because I thought you wanted it...I want it more than you could possibly know, even if it is just a stolen moment."
"I've missed you so much ,Jason," Elizabeth earnestly admitted, giving in to her heart's desires, her mouth widening into a sweet smile, "And there is nothing I want more than to escape from our worlds."
"Really?" Jason choked out, hope filling his own broken heart.
"Really," Elizabeth nodded, as she pulled him towards her and their lips connected in a tender kiss that both hearts had longed for since their last fateful goodbye. It was a passionate meeting of their lips filled with need and desire that continued during their drive to the safe house, through the night as they made love in the morning, and only ended when they had to say goodbye once more on the docks, cloaked behind the large crates in the shipping yard. Two hearts that came together for one fateful night became broken once more as they kept their promise and sadly went back to the lives they had reluctantly chosen to lead.
"It couldn't be mine," Jason breathed out, "There is no way life could be this cruel. But if it was, I don't know if I could walk away again."
As she lay on the examination table, Elizabeth had the same thought as she exhaled, "It couldn't be Jason's, no matter how much I want it to be. But even if it was, he would always play the danger card and would walk away leaving her as a single mother to three children...or would he?" It didn't matter, she thought to herself, this baby had to be either Lucky's or Nik's. There is no way fate would let her second one night stand with Jason Morgan produce a second symbol of their undying and forbidden love.
Dante Falconeri sighed as he stood in front of the apartment building on Pier 27. He typically loved undercover work, but when Mac told him to pack his things to infiltrate the Campanelli organization, he had no idea this is where the chief was sending him to. It was in a shadier area of Port Charles and was a bit run down, but you could tell someone had made an attempt to brighten the place by all the colorful flowers that adorned the front. Dante couldn't help but chuckle as he realized that it was the only bright colors on the dingy street.
Walking up the steps, he entered into the two story building, dropped his bag, and was quickly greeted by a cheerful voice from the top of the stairs, "Hi! I've been expecting you! Uncle Mac called me and asked that I help get you settled in."
"Uncle Mac?" Dante breathed out, wondering why Mac had failed to tell him that his niece was apparently going to be his landlord. Great, he thought, if she is anything like Maxie, I'm definitely out of here!
Looking up the stairwell, Dante only saw a set of petite feet wearing a pair of weathered converse tennis shoes heading towards him. As the young woman made her way down the stairs, he took in the sight of form fitting faded blue jeans with a flowing light blue shirt adorned with sparkling flowers before a wide bright smile finally revealed itself, followed by kind eyes and curly blond hair that wisped across her shoulders. Her smile is what caught Dante's attention the most, however. There was a sweet innocence behind it, definitely nothing like Maxie's wicked smile.
He had evidently lost his senses for a moment, not noticing that she was now standing in front of him with her hand extended out. It wasn't until she giggled loudly that he was brought out of his reverie.
Clearing his throat, Dante uncomfortably said, "Ummm...I'm sorry, did you say something?"
"Yes," the girl laughed out softly, "I said I'm Georgie and it's nice to meet you." Her eyes drifted down to her extended hand, which Dante quickly took in his as he chuckled under his breath.
"Sorry, I--I'm Dante," he muttered as he shifted his weight, "Mac didn't tell me that you ran the building...and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I am a little shell shocked here--you seem very different from your sister."
Georgie's eyes narrowed as her expression fell and her tone turned sharp, "Do you have a problem with my sister?"
"N--No," Dante quickly protested, "That's--That's not what I meant--"
He was unable to finish his sentence as he watched Georgie burst into laughter, almost as if she was mocking him. Not quite sure how to take her sudden change in mood, Dante found himself looking at her in confusion and humorously asking, "Mind letting me in on the joke?"
"I'm sorry," Georgie sweetly replied, "It's just your expression, it was so funny!"
"Oh," Dante laughed, glad that the mood was light again, "I guess I was just worried that I had offended you."
"Believe me," Georgie told him with a wide grin, "There aren't too many people in this town that don't have a problem with Maxie. She can get a little out of hand at times and people don't understand her the way I do."
"An acquired taste, I guess," Dante chuckled, "and I agree...she can be quite a handful!"
"Yeah," Georgie nodded, "But I love her. Sometimes I envy her spontaneous nature."
"You shouldn't be envious," Dante enthused, "I'm sure you have many special qualities yourself. Take now, for instance. I can see you are very kind and see good in those that may make it hard to find."
"Now how would you know that?" Georgie grinned, "You just met me."
"That's what makes me a good detective," Dante smiled back, "I can read people very well, like the way your eyes lighten when you talk about Maxie...there's a kindness that is undeniable."
"Well, thank you," Georgie bashfully replied, "Now, why don't I show you to your new apartment?"
"Sounds good," Dante politely returned, picking up his large black duffel and following Georgie up the stairs.
When they reached 12C, Georgie opened the door to reveal a small one bedroom apartment with a tiny kitchenette and large windows that revealed the busy street activity below. It was obvious that this was an older building in need of some repairs as shown by the severely chipped paint on the brick surfaces of the walls and the 60's style yellowed counter tops and worn mismatched cupboards in the kitchen, but it was also obvious that Georgie had attempted to make it a bit more homey. There were newly hung beige curtains along the windows, a large blue vase with fresh flowers on the kitchen counter top, intricately knitted blue and white placemats on the rickety dining room table with a centerpiece of wildflowers in the middle, and a handmade brown and beige afghan along the worn outer edges of the couch.
"I know it's not much," Georgie began, almost sounding sympathetic, "but I tried to liven it up a bit."
"Its fine," Dante happily returned, "and I appreciate you going out of your way to make it comfortable. "
"Well," Georgie said, looking around the room,"I like to think it feels a little more like a home now, even though it is only temporary for you. I actually just started working as the landlord a couple of weeks ago. Mrs. Jennings, who used to run this place, has been very sick as of late and asked me if I could help out. She's not able to pay me much, but I'm kinda having fun with it, so I don't really care. Between my paycheck here and at Kelly's, I'm able to pay for my tuition at PCU."
"So, you are working two jobs?" Dante asked in awe, "That's impressive...I mean, two jobs, school...do you ever take time for just Georgie?"
"Not much," Georgie smiled brightly, "but I do make time for 'just Georgie' on rare occasions."'
Laughter quickly filled the small room as Georgie and Dante started laughing, a new found friendship quickly forming as their eyes danced in humored unison. Dante liked the sweet innocence of his new landlord and hoped in between his own work and investigation, he would have a chance to get to know Georgie better.
cautiously, but clumsily, walked into the lab area of General Hospital, tripping over two chairs before making it to the area where the paternity tests were run. In a long white lab coat and heavy looking plastic glasses, he quickly found the computer and accessed the patient numbers for Elizabeth's, Lucky's, and Nik's vials that, as luck would have it, had not been tested yet.
Luck was definitely on his side as apparently, there was a huge back log of vials awaiting testing along the vast counter space. It was obvious that his homework had paid off as well, as Spinelli had arrived to the lab at just the right moment. It was late and there were actually only two lab employees working before the night shift crew came in and they were both out on calls to other floors.
Nervously, Spinelli gazed around for unaccounted-for peering eyes and thumbed through the numerous bags until he came across the treasure he had been seeking. Looking down to find red tags across the specimens that had been processed, Spinelli quickly ripped off a red tag and placed it across the bag, tossing it into the "Done" box.
Intertwining his fingers, Spinelli dramatically pulled up, cracking his knuckles, and began furiously typing into the computer.
"Let's see," he proudly thought out loud as he typed, "One Lorenzo Spencer, otherwise known as the Lucky The Loser....99.9% No Match. Done!"
"And, of course," Spinelli wickedly grinned, "One Nicholas Cassadine, otherwise known as the Prince of Dark Heritage...99.9% No Match. Done!"
If it weren't for the fact that Spinelli had been in the kitchen on the night of Jason's return from his rendezvous with Elizabeth, he would have never known about their night together and his knowledge was something that he had surprisingly been able to withhold from Jason.
That night, he watched Jason walk up to the painting Elizabeth had given him of The Wind so long ago and breathe out, "Oh, how I wish things could have been different, Elizabeth. I just hope you know what being with you tonight meant to me. I miss you so much...and I love you more than you could ever know."
Spinelli stared out into space with wide eyes as he closely listened to Jason walk up the stairs and close his bedroom door. Feeling it was safe, Spinelli quickly made his way up to the regrettably pink room, the familiar scent of Vanilla floating in the air, making the realization even more clear. Sitting down on his bed, he wondered if he hadn't been wrong about who his Master had truly belonged with, because it was obvious in his tone that the love he felt for Elizabeth was immeasurable. Pushing the thoughts from his mind, Spinelli went to work on fulfilling his best friend's heartfelt wishes...he just hoped that in the end, both he and Elizabeth would understand his treacherous motives.
"Now for the cross reference to the previous little dude's testing which revealed his Stone Cold genetic link, a force of ultimate greatness," Spinelli continued, furiously typing away to find the link to Elizabeth's previous paternity test, "and voila! It does appear that Stone Cold and The Maternal One's second night of long awaited passion has produced yet another little miracle!"
As he quickly walked back towards the elevators, Spinelli hoped for two things...One, that Elizabeth's child would look exactly like its mother, so no one would ever be the wiser...and two, and most importantly, that his misguided deed brought happiness to Jason and Elizabeth's life once more.
This time can be different, Spinelli thought to himself, surely Stone Cold will see that.
Little did Spinelli know, however, while his heart was in the right place...fate had already intervened...
Their Saving Grace, NC17: Chapter 2: A Crossroads, The Place You Long To Be...
Three Days After The Paternity Test...
Well, Elizabeth thought sarcastically, here we go. D-Day. Determine the Daddy Day.
Her teeth gnawing her bottom lip, Elizabeth wondered again how she got to this place. Most would think she was filled with regret about being single and pregnant with her third child, but that was actually the farthest thing from the truth. Elizabeth had always dreamed of having a house full of children--four to be exact--to make up for the childhood she was robbed of. She had sworn since she was very little that when she had children they would know they were loved and there sure as hell wasn't any way she would walk away from them like her parents did. Unfortunately, she couldn't speak for their fathers...a fact that broke her heart on a daily basis.
While she knew that Lucky and Nicholas would step up to the plate and try to be there for the baby, whichever brother ended up being the father, they weren't exactly the healthiest of relationships. A groan passed quietly from her lips as that thought flowed heavy on her mind. It wasn't like Lucky wasn't a recovering drug addict and Nicholas...well, she wouldn't even go into the insanity that flowed through his family line. Helena would be a threat for the rest of her and her child's life, because it was obvious the cruelty in that woman would make her live to be at least 150.
Then, tears began to glaze over her vision as another reality hit her...if she were to be completely honest with herself and have any wish...it would be for Jason to be her child's father, even if it did mean she would remain a single mother to three children for the rest of her life. But she knew in her heart that Jason was without a doubt her least possibility. They had been more protective that night at the safe house than she had ever been in her lifetime. As she exhaled loudly, Elizabeth couldn't help but think about the many ways she felt protected that night in Jason's arms...the way he held her, touched her, kissed her, unconditionally loved her...
For Elizabeth, Jason was her heaven in so many ways...and her hell in so many others.
Did that make her a horrible parent? she thought, to want Jason, who had walked away from their son, Jake, to be this child's father? How could she possibly want that?
Because, her heart called out loudly, just like Jake, this child would be a part of Jason. A symbol of the love you have shared despite fate's cruel blows. Something to hold onto when he is completely gone from your life. Something to keep hoping, dreaming, and loving him in your heart like you have for the last ten years.
eyes staring out into nothing as her thoughts consumed her. It wasn't until she felt Lucky's hand on her shoulder and heard him call out to her that she returned to reality, "Elizabeth? Are you alright?"
Quickly wiping the tear from her face, Elizabeth looked up and forced out in a smile, "Fine. Just nervous I guess."
"Everything will be fine," Lucky calmly stated, "Either way, I want you to know that I will always be here for you."
"Yeah," Nicholas sighed out from behind him, "So will I, so let's get this over with."
"Nicely said, Nicholas," Lucky turned to chastise,, "It's not like Elizabeth isn't nervous enough about this already."
"What?" Nicholas gawked back, "All I said was--"
"Let's get this over with," Elizabeth interrupted in irritation, standing up and leaving Lucky and Nik to stare at her in nervous surprised gazes as she walked to the office window to let the nurse know they were all there and ready to see Dr. Lee.
Elizabeth couldn't help but sense the nervousness that flowed from Dr. Lee's nurse the instant she looked up to see Elizabeth standing at the desk. It became even more unnerving when she walked back towards Lucky and Nik and heard the nurse harshly whisper into the phone, "Dr. Lee, they are all here! Yes! I know they are early. I'm--I'm sorry, but I get the feeling these two gentlemen aren't just going to let me put Miss Webber in the room by herself! What am I supposed to do?"
Turning back, Elizabeth purposefully walked back to the desk and leaned in front of the nurse, who had just hung up the phone, and hesitantly asked, "Is--Is there something wrong with my baby? Why does she want me in a room by myself? Where is Dr. Lee?"
"I'm afraid I cannot answer any of your questions, Miss Webber," the nurse apologized profusely, "But Dr. Lee is on her way from Labor and Delivery and should be here any moment."
"O--Okay," Elizabeth stammered out, her hand instantly going to her stomach in a protective fashion.
Obviously her face showed the same overwhelming concern as she walked back to stand with the two brothers as Lucky quickly asked, "Is everything alright?"
Elizabeth could only force out a whisper as tears brimmed in her eyes, "I--I don't know. The--The nurse said something about Kelly needing to talk to me."
"Is it the baby?" Nicholas questioned intently, his own voice filling with concern.
"The baby is fine," Dr. Lee called out to them gently as she walked in the office, "I just wanted a few moments alone with Elizabeth, that's all."
Tears of relief flowed down Elizabeth's cheeks as she looked over at her friend and exclaimed, "Oh, thank goodness!" Her eyes then narrowed in confusion as she asked, "Then why do you want to talk to me alone?"
Elizabeth watched as Kelly nervously looked between Lucky and Nik as her thoughts screamed out at her, "No! Surely she's not going to say the baby is--"
Kelly interrupted the finish of Elizabeth's wonderment by reluctantly saying, "I just think we need to talk...and not in here. I'm afraid it wouldn't go very well."
"Neither of them are the father," Elizabeth breathed out before she could stop herself.
As Lucky and Nik turned to stare at Elizabeth in stunned shock, their eyes widened in disbelief, Kelly anxiously confirmed, "N--No, Elizabeth. The tests confirmed that neither Lucky nor Nik are the father of your baby. The lab cross-referenced and found--"
Immediately, Elizabeth darted towards the door in a furious panic, shouting above her, "I--I have to go!"
"Elizabeth! Wait!" Lucky yelled out at her, catching her wrist as he huffed out, "E--Elizabeth, you--you can't just leave without telling us what the hell is going on!" His eyes frantically darting back and forth, searching for answers through her tear streaked face, Lucky hesitated a moment before exhaling out, "Who is the father of your baby?"
"I would like to know that myself!" Nik bellowed out loudly, causing Elizabeth to jump, "Who the hell else have you been sleeping with, Elizabeth?"
"Enough!" Kelly shouted out above him, "Elizabeth is still my patient--"
"It's okay, Kelly, they have a right to be angry," Elizabeth broke in, her tone full of shame as she looked at Nik moving her gaze to address Lucky as she choked out, "I'm sorry, but I just can't right now. Just know that I never meant to hurt you again..." A flood of tears washed down her face as she sobbed out, "I never meant to hurt either of you." With all the strength she could muster, Elizabeth yanked her arm from Lucky's hold and ran out the door as fast as she could, leaving Lucky and Nik frozen in place.
His fury overflowing, Nik turned his attack towards Dr. Lee screaming out, "Tell me who the father is! Who is it?"
Dr. Lee braced herself in a hard stance as she quietly replied, "I'm sorry. The only thing I am allowed to tell you is that you are not the father. Anything else will need to come from Elizabeth."
"Fine!" Nik yelled, looking over at Lucky, "What about you, Lucky? Any ideas on who Elizabeth is running to right now?"
Lucky was still looking out the glass door in shock and dismay, the hallway that Elizabeth had run across only moments earlier now completely empty as he said in a despairingly tone,
"Well, if I take a step back and look at their history, I'm guessing Elizabeth is running to Jason."
Nik swung his hand back to shove one of the office chairs to the ground as he growled, "Jason? Again? Are you serious?" Throwing his hands up in the air, he ranted, "What is it about him that the women I love feel the need to love and protect? He's nothing but a thug! A criminal! How can Elizabeth be foolish enough to do this twice? What in the hell is she thinking?"
Lucky somehow had managed to tune out the rest of Nik's cursing rant as his eyes continued to focus on the emptiness in front of him. Running his hand through his hair and then letting it fall to exhaustively rub across his neck, Lucky muttered slowly under his breath,
"Oh, Elizabeth...what have you done? In the end, why do you always end up with Jason?"
Dante sat on his couch trying to concentrate on the video surveillance tapes blaring across the screen on the computer in front of him, but found himself looking up more frequently than not at the clock on the wall. It was almost 5:15 p.m., the time when Georgie had been stopping by to bring him food from Kelly's after her shift.
It had only been three days, yet Dante felt himself anxiously awaiting her knock on the door. There was something about Georgie Jones that had taken a hold around both his heart and mind. Maybe it was the innocence...maybe her sweet, kind, and giving nature...or maybe it was the way her lips curled up ever so slightly when she smiled widely at him, which she did quite often causing his heart to inflate instantly.
Georgie was always so happy and animated during her visits. It was actually a refreshing change to the women he had met as of late. Except Mac would kill you if he knew that you were spending more time thinking about Georgie than you were on these tapes, Dante's subconscious called out, and if he catches wind of Georgie's visits, that will probably not go over well either. Too much of a chance for something to happen.
The last part was true enough. Dante knew he was going to have to be very careful of how close he got to Georgie while he was undercover. In the mob world, eyes were everywhere and he was sure that even though his very public "fallout" with the PCPD over Sonny being his father and Mac's proof of bias was convincing, there would still be skepticism, especially from Campanelli's organization. The one thing that Dante knew would work to his advantage though was that it appeared Sonny bought the whole charade too, which would help Dante to align himself with Campanelli when he faced his father head on and refused to work for him.
Much to Dante's delight, his thoughts apparently made time pass quickly as he was drawn from his deep contemplation by a light knock at his door. Jumping to his feet, he quickly ran over and stood for a moment to take in a deep breath before slowly opening the door to find Georgie's wide smile waiting to greet him.
"Hi!" Georgie enthusiastically said, teasingly waving a paper bag in front of him, "You are in luck today. Mike was testing out a new oven and made way too many pies!"
ante eagerly and dramatically motioned with his hand for Georgie to enter, causing her to giggle lightly as he laughed out, "You know, if you keep this up, I'm going to gain 20 pounds in the next month!"
Georgie turned back to look at him in amusement, "I could always just stop bringing you dinner, you know? Make you cook for a change!"
"Yeah," Dante chuckled, "Let's not go that far. As I told you yesterday, I'm a horrible cook!"
Georgie began giggling once more as she walked over to the dining room table to empty out the bag. Slowly closing the door, Dante watched as Georgie bounced around laying out the styrofoam boxes, humming softly under her breath.
Walking up to stand behind her, Dante cordially asked, "So, how was school? You had what today....English and Geometry?"
"No," Georgie laughed out humorously, over enunciating her words as she exclaimed, "English and Astronomy!"
"Right," Dante shrugged in embarrassment, "Astronomy."
"I'm actually already in Calculus, thank you very much," Georgie proudly informed him before her voice faltered slightly in disappointment, "In fact, I have a test tomorrow that I'm afraid will cut our evening short tonight."
"Wow," Dante said in amazement, trying to mask his own disappointment over her early departure, "Sounds like you are quite a brainiac."
"Not even close, but I did learn some pretty cool stuff in Astronomy class today," Georgie eagerly replied, turning towards Dante as she finished up setting the table to enthusiastically explain as her eyes sparkled brightly, "Did you know that the biggest moon in the Solar System is around Jupiter? It's called Ganymede and is 3,280 miles in diameter. The second biggest moon is around Saturn. It's called Titan and its 3,200 miles in diameter. It makes me want to get my dad's old telescope out of the attic and put it up on the rooftop here. The clear skyline above us would make it perfect for stargazing and seeing what I can find out there."
Dante's smile continued to widen as he watched Georgie excitedly talk about her lesson, which was both entertaining and infectious. When she finally stopped for a breath, he quickly suggested, "Well, if you bring it over, I'll be happy to set it up for you."
His eyes softening as Georgie bashfully turned her eyes to the floor, he kindly added, "Maybe you could show me some of this Astronomy stuff you've learned. I've never really taken time to notice anything about our solar system but the stars above my head."
And there it was...another giggle to tuck away in his memories as Georgie sweetly returned in a soft voice,
"O--Okay. Maybe I can bring it by tomorrow night after my class, if you aren't too busy that is. I don't want to interfere with your work."
"Well," Dante sighed out, "For now, I'm just watching some video trying to figure out their schedule, you know? The way they work, who is in and out at what times. That's pretty much all for now until our next step."
Georgie crossed her hands over her chest as she looked at Dante with intense curiosity, "What's the next step? Finding your way in?"
"Yeah," Dante nodded, "Which is not going to be easy."
Georgie shifted awkwardly as she said in a worried tone, "Guess I shouldn't ask too many questions, huh?"
"Probably not," Dante breathed out, "Your Uncle Mac probably wouldn't be pleased if he heard I was talking about this with you at all."
"Yeah," Georgie replied, fidgeting anxiously on the end of one of the styrofoam containers.
Dante leaned in slightly, gingerly reaching out his hand to lay on Georgie's arm, his tone soothing as he said, "Hey, you alright?"
"I just don't like the position you are going to be in, I guess," Georgie reluctantly told him, "It all sounds so dangerous, especially from what I have heard about the Campanellis."
"I'm a good cop," Dante quickly assured her, "I'll be fine. I promise."
Her concern for his well being touched Dante more than he could imagine. She was actually worried about him, even though she barely knew him, which made Georgie even more endearing to him.
Clearing his throat slightly, Dante decided to change the subject and asked, "So, what time do I need to finish up my work by tomorrow night?"
A wide smile crossed Georgie's face again, much to Dante's relief, as she shyly replied, "About 8 o'clock?"
"Sounds good," Dante replied, clearing his throat again as his heart skipped a beat in anticipation, "So, this..." He brought his hands out to either side above the table, chuckling, "is quite a dessert table you have set up here! How many pies did Mike make anyway?"
"Ten," Georgie laughed out, leaning down to pick up a larger box, "But I did manage to sneak out a hot roast beef sandwich and fries too."
As she placed the box in Dante's hand, their fingers grazed against one another and they both were obviously affected by the electricity that flowed between them. Quickly turning back to the table, Georgie nervously sputtered out, "So, I didn't know what you liked as far as the pie, so I brought a little of each. There's apple, cherry, blueberry..."
Georgie continued to uncomfortably babble about the desserts as Dante watched with a humored grin, in awe of both her beauty and her sweet reaction to their touch. He found himself completely enamored by the young woman...and excited about their upcoming rooftop adventure.
Down below, in an alleyway on the opposite site of the street, one of Campanelli's men was on his cell phone, "Yeah, I found him. Looks like Falconeri is staying at that apartment building Tony followed him to after he got canned at the PCPD and emptied out that room at Kelly's. Right now, he has some cute little blond delivering his food." The man paused briefly, listening intently as he looked up at Dante's window, "Got it. I'll keep an eye on him and snoop around to see who the blond is. Who knows? She may end up being of some use if things don't go our way."
Elizabeth ran as hard as she could all the way down to the docks, her face completely drenched from her continuous tears, startling several people as she practically ran them over in her haste. She had to get there—to their bench. If she could just make it there, Elizabeth felt like she would be able to breathe again. It was her safe place...a place where she could make the pain fade, if only slightly. Right now, her chest felt like it was caving in as she tried to take in hyperventilated short breaths...the pain she felt almost unbearable.
Her mind was running just as frantically, if not more so, than her body. Thoughts flashing so quickly it was making her dizzy. Jake's face, Jason's face, the night they spent together, the way he made her forget their reality...it was so beautiful...a perfect memory...and yet reality now sought its revenge as it smacked her in the face for a second time. But even still, it didn't change the fact that she wanted this child more than anything in the world.
I should be happy, she thought to herself, this—this is what I wanted. I wanted Jason to be the father. Deep inside, I wanted another baby with his eyes, his crooked smile, and his loving heart. I even wished and prayed for it! But now, to have to face him, to tell Jason that he is the father of our second child together, I just—I just don't know if I can do it! I don't know that I can bear the thought of having to listen to all the reasons he feels we can't be together and have my world blown apart again when he walks away.
Her chest heaving, her breath coming out loud and choppy, her cheeks wildly flushed in her panicked state, Elizabeth was relieved to make it to the bottom of the stairs next to their bench. Her frantic run came to a screeching halt, however, when she rounded the corner to find Jason, who took one look at her and jumped up from the bench, his face instantly flowing with deep concern.
"Elizabeth?" Jason worriedly called out to her, rushing to her side, "Are—Are you alright? What's wrong? What is it?"
"I—I..." Elizabeth huffed out, her dizziness increasing as her body began to buckle from her panic attack. She immediately lost all of her breath causing her feet to give out from under her, sending her hard towards the ground.
Jason swiftly caught Elizabeth mid-fall, scooping her up into the safety of his arms, fear flowing over his rugged features as he fiercely stated, "I'm going to get you to the hospital. It will be alright, Elizabeth. I'm here...I'm right here."
"N—No," Elizabeth weakly panted out, "B—Bench. P—Please. P—Promise. O—Okay."
Jason pulled her tightly into his chest debating on whether to do as she asked or do what he felt in his whole being Elizabeth truly needed. As he felt a ragged breath roll through his black shirt onto his chest, Elizabeth seemed to relax slightly against him and he decided to do as she asked...at least for the time being.
Slowly, Jason walked over to the bench, looking down at Elizabeth's now shaking body in his arms and carefully sat down, never releasing the strength of his hold on her. Gently, he eased Elizabeth onto his lap so that he could bring his hand up to cradle her face, tilting it up in an attempt to gaze down into her eyes for any answers they may hold. But, Elizabeth had them squeezed shut as she continued to try and catch her breath, unbeknownst to Jason that she was unable to look at him just yet.
As Jason gazed down at her, his own eyes filled with unadulterated love, he noticed her beautiful features were stained from what he knew was a flood of heavy tears. He lightly caressed her cheek, slowly and carefully running his thumb over the stains as he cradled her trembling body in his arms. There was nothing he wanted more than to ask a million questions in that moment, but Jason knew that all Elizabeth wanted was to be held and that was exactly what he was going to do...in a tense and reluctant silence.
After a couple of minutes, Elizabeth's chest began to ease in its ferocious heaving causing Jason to sigh softly in relief. She was calming down, which was good. He knew this couldn't be healthy for her pregnancy and still contemplated whether or not to try and talk her into going to the hospital to get checked out. But first, he needed to find out what had sent her into this frantic tailspin in the first place.
His fear-filled eyes never leaving her face, his fingers gently trying to ease her obvious pain as he ran them slowly across her petite features, Jason watched as Elizabeth gradually began breathing normally again. Another sigh of relief passed through his lips as Elizabeth slowly fluttered her eyes open again instantly locking in his adoring gaze.
"I'm sorry," Elizabeth slowly exhaled out, lifting up slightly and feebly attempting to push herself out of his lap towards the empty spot on the bench "I—I guess I look like a complete idiot, don't I?"
Jason instantly pulled her tight into him, forbidding her to move, "You just stay put for a bit. You're fine just where you are...and you do not look like a complete idiot."
Elizabeth did as Jason asked, relaxing back into his strong frame as she sobbed out, "Oh, Jason! You—You have no idea what a mess I've made of everything!"
"Why don't you tell me?" Jason cautiously inquired, "Did Lucky or Nik do something to hurt you when you got the paternity results?"
"No," Elizabeth weakly but emphatically denied, wondering how Jason knew where she had been, "I ran out before they could even say anything."
"So," Jason uncomfortably sighed, "I take it you didn't get the results you wanted." He had no idea who Elizabeth wanted the father of her unborn child to be, but it seemed obvious that she didn't take the results well.
"Actually, I did," Elizabeth reluctantly replied, surprising him, her tone shameful as she looked up at Jason with a gaze full of despair, "That's the problem."
Jason peered down at her in confusion, his eyes narrowing as he breathed out, "I—I don't understand."
Elizabeth faintly lifted her hand, placing it on Jason's cheek as she whispered out, "Jason...you...you are the father of this baby."
Jason's eyes grew wide, his whole body going numb, as he breathlessly choked out, "W—What?"
"Jason," Elizabeth murmured softly, another barrage of tears flowing from her eyes, "This—this is our baby."
Jason's arms quickly wrapped around Elizabeth tightly, pulling her into his chest as his face lowered until his lips were on top of her head. It was his chest that was heaving now, but not in despair. No, the feelings Jason now felt were joyous elation as he let out a nervous laugh filled with overwhelming excitement and love as he choked out, "It's mine! I can't believe it! This is really our baby!"
Back at the penthouse, Spinelli sat in front of his computer, a proud smile crossing his face. He knew it was wrong to invade Jason's privacy by eavesdropping through the easily hacked lens of the PCPD cameras, but he wanted—needed—to see this moment.
Since he left the hospital, Spinelli had anxiously anticipated this meeting—the instant when his best friend's wish came true. While he couldn't hear the words that were spoken between Elizabeth and Jason, he could see by Jason's now ecstatic expression that Elizabeth had told him a deceitful truth, although she had no idea of the deceit itself.
Closing the top of his laptop to allow them the privacy he had deprived them of moments earlier, Spinelli quietly thought out loud, "I have given you the much needed first step, Stone Cold. The Jackyl can now only hope that you fulfill your long overdue destiny with The Maternal One...the only woman who brings to your life the love you so richly deserve. I just hope that if the truth comes to light, you can forgive me and know that you deserve this. You deserve...your family."
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.