Jason is reeling from Sonny and Carly's betrayal and befriends someone unexpected which ultimately changes the course of his life. Along the way, he meets Elizabeth and they form a connection. Will circumstances tear them apart and if so, can they find their way back?
A/N – So….this is AH. I basically switched around events and participants. There's some angst in this one, but that only means the rewards will be even better and it's not consistently a downer. I'm only updating my site (Tapatalk - Drawn to You), and this site.
Chapter - 1
It only took one fateful day to turn his colorful world into black and white. One profound collision had blown apart his universe and the lives of the people he had once loved or befriended. Where before, his life was full of laughter and hope, he now existed in a vacuum of violence where cynicism, distrust, and paranoia ruled the day. His world had lost all its vibrancy and he existed to protect a man he gave up everything for, only to be shown that loyalty was expected, but not returned in kind. After another brush with death, his life is evolving yet again. The blinders had come off and he no longer felt a need to repay the man he thought had saved him from a vacuum of nothingness brought on by fear and anger.
Finally, he faced some hard truths and it took one very vibrant and smart woman to put him in his place. Most would find their new friendship an odd, but she will have his loyalty for life because she respects and protects him, something he's only gotten from brutality and manipulation in the past, whether that be from him or used against him. It had been a long time since he had truly smiled or felt lighter and she is the reason why he is actually thankful that he didn't die that day in the snow.
Epiphany started moving to the beat as she mimicked the character on the screen. The dancing game is her favorite and that along with the advice of her new friend has helped her lose thirty pounds in three months. Even when, in his delirium, he told her she is beautiful inside and out and shouldn't change a thing, she had explained to him that it is something she wants to do for herself.
He glances at her and shakes his head, something she caught in her peripheral vision.
Smirking, she still can't believe he hasn't learned that she pretty much has eyes in the back of her head.
"Can you come here?"
She rolls her eyes and does a few more moves. "A little dancing won't kill you."
"I don't dance."
"You could if you wanted to."
"My hips don't move like that."
She snorted. "I don't think they have any problem moving back and forth, from what I've heard."
He fought a grin. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
"You couldn't handle this."
"Are you doubting my skills?" It's true, he was like a horny teenager right after the accident, but he had settled down quite a bit. Just like everything else in his life, it wasn't his dick that got him in trouble, it was usually his mouth. Not having a filter, had pretty much pissed off a lot of people which is part of the reason he learned to listen and not talk. However, his current friend and guardian angel isn't fond of grunts and nods and had laid down the law quickly; repeatedly telling him to use his words and not settling for anything less.
"Considering how truly fine you are, I have no doubt that we could break a few beds."
His eyes shot to her. "You've actually broken a bed?"
Epiphany laughed. "I like to bounce." She slightly turned her head in time to catch his jaw drop. "Quit letting in flies and get your pretty ass over here."
"Now you're calling me pretty?" Where is his gun when he needs it? Oh yeah, she hid it from him, muttering about arrogant-ass mobsters ruining the town with their dick length contests, but he is determined to find it.
"If the shoe fits… Are you coming or not?"
He sighed and then put his book down and walked towards her.
"Now, was that so hard?"
She adjusted the settings, so they could both play and then the music started.
"This is ridiculous."
"If only I could get a video…"
"Then I'd really have to kill you."
"Like you'd ever do that, you love me."
"Now, you're sounding like Carly." It hurt less every time he says her name. Her brand of love had almost gotten him killed and he'll never forgive her. There were too many infractions. She had already ripped his heart out concerning Michael and then she had to sleep with Sonny and betray him. Her kind of love, he could do without.
"Jason Morgan! You take that back."
He laughed, missing a beat.
"Now, I've got you."
"That's what you think."
This was the fourth time she had begged him to play and now, he is starting to get the hang of it, although, he probably looks like a complete idiot.
"I didn't drag you out of the snow six weeks ago for you to beat me."
"If I win, you do the dishes."
"Now I know you have lost your ever-loving mind."
The game ended right after Piph gave him a little hip bump, making him miss his step.
Piph laughed. "Whatever. You know you wish you had thought of it."
They plopped onto the couch. Jason had come a long way in the last month and a half. When Epiphany had found him in the snow and he begged her not to take him to the hospital, it went against everything she believed in, but thinking of her son, she went along with it because Stan respects Jason.
It was touch and go in the beginning. Jason would wake up long enough to mutter a few words and that was about it. He had made it clear that Sonny and Carly couldn't know where he was, so she agreed since she can't stand either one of them. After three weeks, he finally started coming back to life and they had some long talks about his life and choices.
It was hard to undo all the damage Sonny and Carly had done to his psyche. Soon, she gave up trying to unravel that mess and just asked him what he wanted. At first, he really didn't know. Working for Sonny had changed his life in a dramatic way, just like the accident. After the brain injury, Jason was like a blank slate and they were the wrong people to teach him anything. When Carly took Michael from him in a hurtful way and then he had lost Robin, it had made him go inward. Gone was any humor and in its place, he shoved all his emotions away and then robotically went through life, closing himself off because he felt like he couldn't go back on his word. Sonny had taught him the importance of loyalty, in fact, loyalty above all else was a common mantra. All he has is his words and actions, everything else is gone. The more he worked for Sonny, the more the line between good and bad blurred. Jason is a powder keg, and Epiphany is scared that when he finally blows up at his so-called best friends, they may not be breathing afterward.
Four weeks into his recovery, he got an infection and a few days after that, he was in a world of hurt, but luckily the meds Stan got for him helped and she was able to get him back. She never asked him how, but the smirks she kept getting from Johnny O'Brien at the hospital said a lot. When she shared her suspicion with Jason, he let her know that if Stan goes to Johnny he'll be looking out for him.
"I need to exercise."
"I know, but you still need to take it easy. Your body is traumatized."
He sighed. "I'm tired of being tired." After the accident, he had worked out a lot and he's not used to being so weak because it makes him feel vulnerable.
"I have something I have to tell you."
His head turned towards her. "What?"
"I have a conference for the next two weeks in Florida."
"I'll be fine." He needed to get it together, so he can deal with Sonny and that meant that he had to leave sooner than later which would be hard on her.
"I don't trust you not to leave, but do you trust me?"
"Yes." Epiphany had saved his life and now he considers her a friend who has his best interests at heart.
She loved that he had no hesitation.
"I have a friend who is willing to help you."
He starts to object, but she holds up her hand.
"I'd trust her with my life. She's a good person and is going through a rough patch too.
"What if I don't like her?"
Epiphany grinned. "I thought you trusted me." Aside from the nature of his business, Elizabeth Webber is perfect for Jason, the problem is that she has been mourning her dead boyfriend for the last year and is having a hard time moving on.
"When do I meet her?"
"She's coming to dinner tonight."
"And she knows that no one can know that I'm here?" He isn't sure when that will change, but he hopes that in a few weeks he'll be ready to face everyone again. Things are definitely going to be different.
Epiphany leans her head on Jason's arm. "I'm worried about you."
He appreciates the sentiment. Epiphany is teaching him what a real friend is and he's realizing that Carly isn't it and now, he has no illusion about Sonny either. It was hard after the accident because he really didn't know how to react to things appropriately and he truly felt that after Robin left, Sonny and Carly were all he had left. "I'll be fine."
"No matter how hard you pretend to be, you have feelings and they hurt you enough that you shut yourself off. You've become part of our family now and Stan looks up to you." The guys aren't that far apart in age with Stan being nineteen, but life had been much harder on Jason and he seemed older than twenty-five, but at the same time, the accident had made him have to re-learn things and in some areas, he is like a teenager. Sometimes, the maturity gap between the two is jarring.
He held her hand. "That means a lot to me. Not many people give me a chance and usually just see some brain-damaged thug."
"You are not just your job. I just want you to open your mind to other possibilities. If you can survive that accident and thrive, you can do whatever you want."
"And what if I choose to stay in the business?"
"Then, I'll deal with it. I'm not going to abandon you. God has a plan for you and I just don't think you could see it before because you were stuck."
"I don't know what else I'd be good at." Truth be told, he loves the adrenaline of his job and he is good at it which helped him overcome his anger.
"You wouldn't be the first."
She squeezes his hand and then releases it and retreats to the kitchen. Sometimes, Jason seemed so vulnerable that you just want to wrap him up and protect him from everyone and everything. If she could make him stay here, she would because he's so relaxed and probably more like himself than he has been in a long time. When she decided that she was all in and wanted to help him, she had been thinking of her son. What if someone walked away from him for any reason? Jason had been through hell after the accident and she had basically gone into mom mode and tried to guide him as she helped him heal.
For Jason, Epiphany is a godsend and one of the few people in his life he cares about. While he didn't see Stan much, when he does stop by, they get along well. Stan is on the go a lot, visiting friends and being a computer nerd. When Sonny had waved money in front of him, he took the job and Jason had always kept an eye out for him.
Epiphany sang as she cooked and set out to make some good comfort food for Elizabeth. By the time she had everything in the oven and most of the chicken fried, the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it," Jason said rising slowly. The game had made him a little sore. He hated being so slow.
When the door opens, and Elizabeth sees Jason, she is shocked.
Her eyes nervously dart between him and the space behind him. "Did I knock on the wrong door?"
"That depends, can I see some ID?"
Her head tilts. "I don't remember Emily saying you have a sense of humor."
"I don't—well not really." They knew of each other but hadn't spent any time together. The last Jason had heard, she was mixed up with the Spencers.
"Can I come in?"
Epiphany poked her head around him. "Jason Morgan, I know you have better manners than this."
Jason smirked. "Come in, Elizabeth."
She hesitantly moved inside. For some reason, he makes her a little nervous. He's much taller and muscular, usually with a scowl or a blank, cold expression. Deep down, she didn't think he'd ever hurt her, but not only is he a bad boy, he also has quite the reputation and seemed like he could easily fly off the handle from the little she had witnessed.
"I'll be right with you," Epiphany said.
Her eyes shifted from Epiphany's back to Jason. "So, you're who I'm watching?"
"Do you have any allergies?"
They sat on the couch.
"What foods do you hate?"
"Vegetables and soup."
Epiphany rolled her eyes. "You love my soup."
"No, I don't."
"Yes, you do."
Jason shook his head as Elizabeth fought a smile.
Feeling calmer, she pushed ahead. "I'll warn you now. I ramble when I'm nervous."
"Do I make you nervous, Elizabeth?"
The way her name rolls off his tongue makes the hair stand up on her arms and she blushes—something that fascinates him. "Maybe a little bit…"
"I won't hurt you."
Her head tips up. "I know because Epiphany would kill you if you did."
Epiphany grinned. "Elizabeth, have you given any thought about nursing school?" She hates that Elizabeth works at the diner and while she is talented artistically, nursing would give her the ability to make some money and still sketch and paint on her downtime. At nineteen, Piph didn't want her to get trapped into a career that wouldn't give her a growth plan.
"Yeah. My Gram said that she will help me pay for it."
"You don't sound thrilled," Jason said.
"I—it's not that simple. I love to sketch and paint, but that doesn't pay the bills."
"Are you still working at Kelly's?"
She nodded. "Epiphany thinks I have way more to offer."
He slightly smiles. "Sometimes it's easier to follow your head, but you won't be happy unless you follow your heart."
She thought about it for a few minutes. "Epiphany let me tag along with her at the hospital when I volunteered, and I did like helping people. Sometimes, you must go with your head because it's the best thing for you. I don't want to rely on anyone else."
"I get that, and in the end, it's your choice. Don't do anything to please other people and that includes Epiphany."
Piph sat across from him. "And you don't do things to please me?"
He smiled. "Sometimes I do, but it's because I want to. You've been good to me."
"You both are at a crossroad."
"Tell me about it," Elizabeth said.
"You can't spend your life kissing Sonny and Carly's ass," she said to Jason. "And you can't spend your life wondering about what ifs. At some point, you have to claw your way back and move forward."
Liz met Piph's pointed gaze. "I know."
"Who is hungry?"
Liz's face lit up. "Do I smell mac and cheese?"
"Yup. I can't have a lot of it, but I promised Stan I'd save him some."
"You snooze, you lose," Jason said.
A/N – So, what do you think so far?