First, Last, Always


Sitting down on the cold ground of the bridge over Black Stone Canyon, Elizabeth takes a deep breath as she relaxes against the side of the bridge, allowing her back to lay flush against the cold cement. Right in this moment, Jason is with Carly going over the terms of the meeting with the five families, his entire focus exactly where it should be, on the situation at hand. After their talk the other night, she wonders just how her boyfriend will be once this is over. It seems as if this situation is opening his eyes to things he hadn't seen before and she can't help but wonder where that'll leave him once Sonny returns.

Jason has already admitted to her that he is starting to rethink his position within Sonny's organization, seeing more and more that he's not quite the partner he had been lead to believe he was. All he has ever known is being Sonny's right hand, from the bottom to the top, he always knew that his place is right by Sonny's side. Until recently, he believed that he and Sonny shared the same level of respect in regard to each other, but the more Sonny pushes, the more he's seeing that he might have been projecting his own thoughts upon Sonny.

"Emily." Elizabeth answers her phone after it rings a few times. "Hey."

"Hey." Emily replies with a slight smile. "Where are you? You busy?"

"Um..." Elizabeth glances around at her surroundings before shaking her head. "Don't worry about it. What's up?"

"I was thinking, if you weren't busy, maybe we could hang out today." Emily suggests. "Its been a while since we just hung out, you know?"

"Wish I could." Elizabeth replies regretfully. "But Jason needs my help today."

"Liz, I get that you and my brother are in love and all that, really I do, but you're my best friend." Emily says seriously. "I need you to be my friend today. Please."

"Emily..."

"Don't. Not that tone." Emily sighs. "Please, Liz. It feels like this is that turning point and I don't want to lose you as my best friend."

"I love you, you know that." Elizabeth says wholeheartedly. "But Jason needs me right now. Losing Sonny...its been difficult for him and I just need to be by his side right now. You can understand that, can't you?"

"Of course I can." Emily says after a brief moment. "But Liz?"

"Yeah?"

"You won't have Sonny's death as an excuse forever." Emily points out. "Something has changed between us and you need to figure out if you're willing to help me fix it or let our friendship fall apart."

Letting out a deep breath, Elizabeth shoves her cellphone back into her pocket, thankful that Emily had ended the call when she did. It wasn't like she was wrong, something has changed between them, but Elizabeth just isn't sure what that was exactly or if it could really be fixed at this point.

Its not like she can actually talk to Emily about her relationship with Jason or the things that he divulges to her in confidence. There's so much about her life with Jason that she can't share with Emily and it puts a wedge between them that Elizabeth just doesn't know how to get around.

"Hey." the sound of her boyfriend's voice catches her by surprise as he lowers himself down beside her. "You okay?"

"I didn't hear you drive up." Elizabeth voices when she glances to the side and notices the bike is parked just shy of the bridge.

"You were pretty lost in thought when I came up." Jason replies, lifting her chin with his finger to have her gaze meet his. "What's going on?"

"Do you think you'll ever regret it?" Elizabeth finds herself asking as she situates herself to face him completely. "Letting me all the way in...telling me everything...do you think you'll ever regret it?"

"Where's this coming from?"

"Just answer me, please." Elizabeth says almost pleadingly. "Do you think you'll ever regret it?"

"No." Jason says with conviction. "Now can you tell me what's going on?"

"Its nothing really." she replies after a moment. "Just...with things changing between us...between you and the organization...I can't help wondering if we're going to make it past this."

"You don't think we will?"

"I want us to. More than anything, I want us to be forever." Elizabeth says wholeheartedly. "Things have just been changing so much lately..."

"Everything I've done is only to bring you closer." Jason voices after a moment of thought. "Letting people in has always been hard for me. I've lost some people because of it. I don't want that for us."

"Jason..."

"I love you, Elizabeth. That's not something I say lightly, you know that." Jason says firmly, taking her hands into his before continuing. "I want us to be partners in everything we do. You need to tell me now if you can handle that before we get any deeper into this."

"What about Sonny?"

"Sonny's my problem." Jason says simply. "Its you and me. Can you handle that?"

"If you're sure...yes, I can handle it." Elizabeth says with conviction. "I just hope you know what you're getting us into."

"I do." Jason assures her before placing a soft kiss upon her lips. "No matter what changes are happening, I won't let us end, you can trust that."

"I believe you." she replies. "I love you, Jason."

The two of them sit together for a long while, simply allowing the silence to fall over them, before they rise to their feet and make their way back to town. Locked away in the safety of their studio, Jason begins to explain everything that has gone down since they last saw each other, successfully shocking her to her core with all that has transpired between Jason and the head of the five families.

Since Sonny's last phone call, Jason has been digging deeper into Courtney, needing to understand why Sonny's so insistent in him being the one guarding her. What he found only proved to bring up more questions than answers, pushing Jason's hand in asking questions he hadn't been wanting to ask in regard to Sonny ever.

"You don't think Sonny faked the threat over the organization just to get you together with his sister, do you?" Elizabeth dares to ask her boyfriend, unable to think that Sonny would go through all this trouble just for that.

"I honestly don't know." Jason admits. "All I know is that too many things aren't adding up and I'm tired of all the half-truths."

"And you think that Mr. Giambetti can help you figure things out?"

...

"Will you help me?" Jason asked Maximus.

"I will." Maximus agrees after a moment of thought. "Only if you truly understand what my assistance entails."

"I do." Jason assures. "If its true and he's playing me...it'll be done."

"Good." Maximus states as he rises to his feet. "We've found ourselves in an entirely new age and its time we have people in charge that think more like you and less like Corinthos."

"Only if I've been betrayed."

"You have. You know it, I know it." Maximus said with a wave of his hand. "This inquiry is merely a formality. I expect great things of you, Morgan."

...

"Yeah."

"Okay." Elizabeth takes a deep breath before meeting his eyes. "What can I do to help?"

Jason knows Sonny better than even Sonny is comfortable with and it pains him to think that he Maximus is right. Knowing Sonny the way he knows Sonny, every instinct in his body screams for him to see what's right in front of his face. Sonny's main fear since he had taken claim to Lily's father's organization is that one day someone will rise up and take it from him.

Only two things truly matter to Sonny, power and money, both he gets in abundance as the head of his organization. The mere thought of losing it keeps Sonny awake at night, fearing that one day he'll be replaced in the same fashion as his predecessor. If that's what's fueling Sonny, there's only one ending to this situation that Sonny will allow to happen and Jason can only pray that he can go through with it if it comes down to either him or Sonny making it out alive.