(adj.) not able to be revoked, changed, or undone; unalterable
Palms sweating, he rubs them harshly against his jeans, berating himself for being so damn nervous. If there were anyone in this world he didn't have to fake it with, that he didn't have to be nervous around, it would be her. She understands and accepts him like no other woman he has ever met before. This shouldn't be that hard. Yet, there he stood, palms slick from the beads of sweat, as he mentally prepares himself to knock on her door.
"Jason?" her voice catches him by surprise, causing him to spin around as she makes her way over to him. "Hey. I knew I saw your bike downstairs. Did you want to come inside?"
"Uh, sure." he shakes his head, waiting patiently as she unlocks the door. "How's your painting coming along?"
"Its not quite where I want it to be, but its getting there." she admits as she drops the cardboard boxes onto the floor. "Did you want to see it?"
"I know better than that." he turns down the offer. "I actually came here to ask you for a favor."
"You need a favor?" she looks at him in disbelief, giving him her full attention at this point. "Sure. Okay. Anything I can do, you know I will."
"You might want to hold off on that." he replies truthfully. "Because this is a big favor."
"Like I said, if I can, I will."
Inhaling deeply, he holds it for a few seconds before letting it back out, knowing he had to get all of this out as calm and clear as he can manage. Lucky had returned some time ago and that put his request on the back burner for a while. He would never make such a request with her thought to be dead boyfriend just coming back to life.
Up until two days ago, he had been almost certain the two would rekindle their unbreakable lock, as they had put it, but then the prospect of that was squelched for good when Elizabeth blew up at Lucky over something that he had said. It was then that he realized her love for Lucky hadn't returned like many had thought it would. Giving his request a new life.
Since he protected her from that lowlife at Jake's, their friendship has become something they have both come to rely on. His life having hanged in the balance at one point and he can certainly say that he wouldn't be where he is at this point without her in his life.
Which brings him to why he is currently at her place of residence. Sure, its not exactly life or death, as it had been when he took refuge there, but it would be close to it if he didn't find a way to prevent one situation that seems to be quite common in his world. Marriage of convenience.
He has heard the stories passed along from enforcer to enforcer, but he never really thought much of it until it affected one of the enforcer's he knew quite well. The one piece of advice that his friend had to tell him was to get ahead of it before it found its way to his door.
If it were to ever happen, Jason knows it would be because of Sonny and he can't let that happen. Especially not with the whole situation going on between Sonny and Carly. No. He had to close off that possibility for good and Elizabeth is the only person he can think to help him do just that. The only person he'd want to help him.
"Let me get this straight...you want to get married and pay my way to Italy?" Elizabeth looks at him skeptically. "The country I have wanted to visit for so long and I would want for nothing the entire time I'm there while I'm practicing my art with the off chance of actually making a career out of it?"
"I just have one question."
"Just one?" he counters, utilizing his turn to look at her skeptically.
"How is it that I'm doing you the favor?"
"I know it seems that I'm doing you the favor, but you're looking at it the wrong way." Jason insists. "You'll be married to me. Carrying my last name and every aspect of what being married means. Are you sure you're ready to give up your single life to be married to me?"
"You don't seem to understand what you're giving me." Elizabeth counters. "You're not only giving me my trip to Italy, all expenses paid, I might add, but you're giving me a chance to live out my dream, Jason. I think I can give up a love life in exchange for that. Not that dating is even something I care to think about for the foreseeable future."
"What about your family?" he questions, needing to hit all bases before they go through with it, unsure if he was talking her into or out of his request.
"What about them?" she counters. "I don't speak with my parents and my siblings are off living their own lives. Don't even get me started on my grandmother. Now that I've officially ended things with Lucky, she won't even speak to me unless its concerning Lucky and the possibility of getting back together with him."
"Yeah, well, that's my family for you." she shrugs. "If you're sure about this, I'll do it, I'll marry you. But you do realize the irony of your request, don't you? You want to avoid a marriage of convenience by entering into a marriage of convenience."
"I get it, believe me." he assures. "But I'd rather be married to you by choice rather than marrying someone else due to circumstances."
"That makes sense." she agrees. "Okay. So, when do you want to do this?"
"I've got some things to set up, but I should have everything together by tomorrow morning." Jason says after some thought. "Is that okay with you?"
"Tomorrow morning works for me." she assures. "Will you be picking me up or do you want me to meet you at the courthouse?"
"I'll send Johnny to pick you up." he replies. "In case I haven't said it already, thank you for doing this for me."
Knowing better than to counter his gratitude, Elizabeth simply smiles softly, allowing him to place a soft kiss upon her forehead before making his exit. She wasn't sure what good it would do Jason for him to be married to her, but she'll accept that somethings about his world will never be made clear to her no matter how long she knows him.
Making her way over to the cardboard boxes, she lets out a soft laugh, having brought them home to pack up her things that she hadn't needed in order to donate them to the charity down the street. Looks like the boxes will be put to more use than just that. She had been planning to leave town soon, but she wasn't expecting it to be this soon.
With a shrug of her shoulders, she accepts that things must happen for a reason and gets started packing up her studio. Best to get it over with now before the emotions of leaving hit her in full force, something that's bound to happen now that its only a matter of days before she leaves this town behind.
Once she packed up what little she owned, Elizabeth makes her way over to the painting propped up on the easel, wanting to finish it before anything else in her life changes. It was no question what she would be doing with this particular painting, having had one recipient in mind while she was painting it, knowing that it would be cared for as if she were the one that it belonged to. Sitting down on the stool, she gets to work, finally seeing what she had been missing when she first started the painting.
While she gets lost in completing her painting, Jason is making his way through town, getting everything set for two impending weddings. His to Elizabeth and Sonny's to Carly. With Sonny and Carly's wedding as a cloak, he's able to prepare for his own wedding without raising any suspicions, leaving none the wiser until after everything is all said and done. Putting in a few calls to Johnny and Bernie, he gets them started on what he needs done before ending the calls and focusing on the technical parts of the weddings.
Sonny's wedding is to be held in his penthouse with he and Alexis standing in as witnesses. That wedding, however, isn't set to go down until the end of the week. His wedding needs to take place tomorrow, ensuring that Carly can't use him as an out for her wedding with Sonny. Something that he doesn't doubt will happen now that she has already made it clear that she would jump at the chance if he were to give it to her.
His wedding to Elizabeth has a similar type of venue, but its not his home that it will take place in. Thanks to his extremely persuasive grandmother, his wedding to Elizabeth will be taking place in the Quartermaine estate with her and Reginald as witnesses while Justice officiates the marriage. It'll take place during the day while everyone else in the house is set to be out of the house, giving them ample time to get married without any interruptions from anyone else in the house.
He suggested that he send over a decorating team to set up the family room for the wedding, but his grandmother wouldn't hear of it. Once the family is out of the house, she will have her own staff set up the decorations, promising that everything at the house will be set for them to get married. All he had to worry about was the legalities and leave the decor to his more than willing grandmother.
With Justice handling the marriage license, the last things on his list are the rings, which he's about to pick up as soon as sales person stops fawning over him. He understands why women do it, but he sometimes wishes that they would have more self-respect than that. Sonny had placed his order a few days back, so, it's ready for pick up.
Jason will have to throw a few extra hundreds into the mix to have his wedding rings ready within the hour, but its not a problem for him. A second trip to the jewelers would send up red flags and he couldn't allow that. Carly was just too good of a snoop and she would soon find out that he planned to marry Elizabeth. Something she would definitely not approve of, eventually leading to one of her plans coming into play, and that never bodes well for anyone. No. It has to be done today.
Making his selection to add to his order, Jason answers the woman's question with a yes, watching as her smile deflates a bit at the fact that he would soon be married and 'off the market'. With a soft smile, she accepts his order and assures that it would be done as soon as possible. Accepting her assurance, Jason takes a seat to wait for the rings to be done, not wanting to leave the store for any reason.
"Morgan." he states, answering his cellphone.
"What's the hold up?"
"They're putting the finishing touches on the engravings." Jason says, not exactly lying since that's what he's waiting for, just not for Sonny's set. "Should be done soon."
"Fine. Just get them here when they're done." Sonny says simply. "I want to put the engagement ring on Carly's finger tonight."
"It'll be there well before your dinner." Jason assures. "Just focus on your cooking. I'll be there when its done."
He wasn't all that surprised to get the call from his friend. For nearly a week now, Sonny has been all over the place in regard to his wedding to Carly. Admittedly, Jason hadn't been too thrilled with the idea of the two getting married, constantly reminded of their affair, but he knows its for the best. He and Carly never would have worked the way she wants them to. He just has to remember that whenever the anger starts to bubble to the surface.
Paying for the rings once its completed to his satisfaction, Jason makes his way over to Sonny's penthouse to drop off the rings before heading home, needing to set up the second part of his arrangement with Elizabeth. Once they're married, they'll have an early lunch with grandmother at the estate before he drives her to the airstrip and watches the plane take off with her on it. Leaving town will be good for her. He isn't sure how he knows that to be true, but he does. After all she has been through since Lucky died and came back to life, he just knows that leaving will do her a world of good.
"Ready?" Johnny voices from the other side of Elizabeth's studio door the next morning. "I'm supposed to have you at the estate in ten minutes."
"I'm coming." Elizabeth says loudly, staring intently at her reflection in the mirror, pleased with the dress she had bought the other day. "I just need to put my coat on."
Content with the way she looks for what would be her first wedding, legitimate or not, Elizabeth makes her way out of her studio and leaves to the estate with Johnny. She could tell that he wanted to comment on what they were about to do, but she also knows that he wouldn't. Years of working for Sonny has taught him when and where to voice the thoughts running through his head. This, obviously, not being the time or place to speak on things he had no stake in.
Guiding her into the estate, he directs her to the room that Lila had cornered off as the bridal quarters, where the elder woman was currently waiting for her arrival. Closing the door once she was inside, Johnny positions himself outside the room, ensuring that Jason didn't get any ideas. Though he fears Jason on a business level, he fears what the elder woman would do to him if he didn't follow her instruction to the letter.
While the two women have a heart to heart on the foundations of marriage, Jason overseeing the final touches to the family room, knowing that his grandmother would have his hindquarters if he were to allow anything to be done out of her specific requests. Marriage wasn't something he considered for his future after things ended with Robin, but he finds that this is as good a way to get married as any.
If he allowed himself to think on it, he would have to admit that he would have wanted to have his sister stand by his side, but he knows that's not likely. Not at this point in time, anyway, especially with his choice in the bride-to-be. Like many in that town, his sister has this undying desire to have Lucky and Elizabeth together. Hopefully one day she'll come to see what he has, that the two didn't belong together, but he'll have to accept reality as it stands for now.
Before long, the ceremony commences and Justice proceeds to say all the things that is to be said at a wedding. When he gets to the point of requesting that anyone with any objections speak now or forever hold their peace, Jason glances at the few people in attendance, before meeting Justice's eyes again. Certain that none would speak against the union, Justice continues with the ceremony. Allowing the two to speak their own vows as requested by Lila.
"Jason Morgan. From the moment I met you, I knew there was something different about you, something that had me relating to you in ways I couldn't truly comprehend at the time." she says wholeheartedly, knowing that this was nothing like her vows with Lucky that fateful night, but that it would mean equally as much, but in a different way. "And then you saved me and I knew that you would always be a part of me. Though you may not have known it, you have become my solace, my place to exist without judgement. You have shown me more acceptance and understanding than anyone ever has before. Today I make you a promise that I will always be that for you. No matter where life takes us, no matter what happens from here on out, I will always be your solace. Of that much I'm certain."
"Elizabeth Imogene Webber, you are one of the few people in my life that I literally can't live without. Before you saved me, I thought I knew how much your friendship meant to me, but the time in your studio proved just how wrong I had been." Jason voices honestly, emotions tugging at him at the pure emotion shining through her eyes. "You are more than a friend to me. There are no words for what we are. All I know is that no matter where life will take us, no matter how far apart we may be, I will always be your solace. My home is your home now. It will always be a place free of judgement and full of understanding. Today I make a promise to never take the trust you've given me for granted. I will never take you for granted. Of that much I'm certain."
The usual vows of for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others as long as they both shall live, is spoken and the two say their respective I Dos. Though normally this would be the point in the wedding where the groom shall his kiss bride in a sensual lip lock, Jason merely leans forward and places a long, lingering kiss to her forehead. A gesture that elicits a soft smile to touch Elizabeth's lips as he pulls away to meet her eyes.
"Thank you." he whispers to her as the others head to the dining room for lunch. "I'll never be able to repay you for this."
"Same could be said for you." she replies with a soft smile, their hands joined together. "We will always have each other, won't we?"
"Till I draw my last breath." he promises. "I hope you'll be happy in Italy."
"I hope the same for you here." she admits. "Promise you'll visit me one day?"
"I will." he promises. "It might not be anytime soon, but I will."
"Good enough for me."
"Come on." he says, releasing his hold on her hands to link arms with her. "We should join the others before grandmother starts to worry."
Enjoying one of the most unprecedented yet gratifying lunches he's ever had, Jason and Elizabeth say their goodbyes to Lila before Johnny drives them to the airstrip where his private plane is waiting for her. He knows that he should have been more prepared for her departure, but it just didn't seem as real as it does in that moment. She's really leaving. Choking back the tears that threatened to fall, Jason pulls her into a warm embrace at the foot of the stairs, needing to hug her one last time before she leaves.
"Johnny will be your only guard for now." Jason explains as the guard boards the plane. "Two others will join him as soon as I can work it out with Sonny. It shouldn't happen right away, but word will get around that we're married. When that happens, I need you to be mindful of your guards, okay? I can't stand the thought of anything happening to you."
"I promise." she voices with conviction. "You know, I never did ask you how you felt about giving up your single life."
"To you, its worth it." he assures. "We'll talk again soon."
"I'll hold you to it."
Neither feeling the need to say much more than that, Jason places one last kiss upon her forehead before watching her board the plane, knowing that she would soon be in the country she had only ever dreamed of. Staring after the plane as it made its way down the runway, Jason make a silent prayer that things would start to work out for Elizabeth in the best ways possible. Its the least that she deserved after all she has been through.
Lingering for a short moment after the plane takes off, he accepts that its time to head home and back to his life. Glancing down at the ring resting on his left hand, Jason is overcome with a sense of security, knowing what the ring stood for and knowing that nothing in the world could ever take away from that. They may not have married out of love, but in his opinion they had married out of something more important. They married out of friendship. Something that he's certain will outlast any marriage within that town. Of that much, he's certain.
A/N: I can't even begin to tell you how much your reviews and messages have meant to me. Thank you for reviewing one-shot and I hope to continue to provide our lovely couple to you all. This isn't a one-shot, but I'm still uncertain of how long or short this will be. I have a pretty decent idea of where this will go, so, it shouldn't go into hiatus at any point. I hope you enjoy this and I look forward to hearing from all of you. On to write the next chapter. It'll either be set a few years into the future or it'll be a chapter about Carson's wedding and Elizabeth's arrival in Italy before skipping ahead to the future in the third chapter. We shall see.