A/N: Okay, we've all heard the rumors about Elizabeth and Zander's drunken tryst to explain Becky's pregnancy. If it were up to me, there would be no question whom the father is, Jason. Here is how I think that plot might unfold. Warning: Some actual spoilers!

~*~*~*~

"Why don't you come home with me tonight?" Rick posed.

Before Elizabeth had a chance to respond, Zander interrupted, "Have either of you seen Emily?"

"I saw her earlier dancing with Nikolas." Elizabeth offered and immediately regretted.

Zander, obviously unhappy, continued, "How long ago was that?"

"May five or ten minutes?" Elizabeth guessed.

He turned and took off and immediately she realized that it might have been better for her friends if she had said nothing at all.

"Well, Elizabeth, what do you think?" Rick asked.

Suddenly she remembered the question he had posed.

"Not tonight," She started and he was obviously upset, "I think it would be too fast. But I had a nice time tonight."

He smiled, "Then maybe we could so something tomorrow?"

"We'll see." She offered with a smile and then left him standing there.

She walked out in the brisk night air and let out a sigh. She was not ready to start back up with Rick. He had hurt her, lied to her, and his vendetta against Sonny was not as buried as he had suggested. She did not want to get caught up in another web of lies only to get hurt more by this man. She would not allow herself to, despite the fact that she stilled cared for him.

She laughed at this, how could she still care about him after all he had done?

She realized then that she needed to do something, something that would keep Rick at a distance, at least long enough for her to sort out her feelings and assess the situation rationally.

~*~*~*~

Zander already had a suspicion of what he would find when he found Emily. But despite this he was still shocked to see her and Nikolas together. His immediate reaction was to storm in there and start yelling at them both but he realized that this would not help anyone. He settled for banging his fist against the door of the cottage before rushing off into the night.

~*~*~*~

"You've got to make a choice, Jason, me or your job."

"Why?" He asked, shocked at her ultimatum.

"Because I'm afraid of loosing you. How many times have Carly and Sonny come so close to loosing each other? I'm not as strong as Carly, I don't know what I'd do if you did not come home."

"You don't have to worry, Courtney, I'm careful."

"So is Sonny, Jason, but he is still constantly in danger. You both are. I'm afraid. The only way to settle this is for you to make a choice."

"If you are asking me to choose between my job and our relationship, you are not going to like the answer. This is not a business you just leave, Courtney. You know that. Long before you came into my life I made the choice to be in this business."

"So what are you saying, Jason?"

"You know. You knew before you married me. You had every chance to leave but you didn't. Why now?"

"Because of Carly, and Morgan. I don't want to start a family with you one day and have you not come home the next."

"Courtney . . ." He started, but she walked past him and slammed the door.

~*~*~*~

"Elizabeth?" Zander asked, surprised to see her at Jake's.

She turned, "Hey."

"What are you doing here?" He asked, sitting down on the bar stool beside her.

She looked at the beer in her hand and sighed, "Trying to stop myself from making a mistake."

Coleman came over and delivered a beer for Zander.

"So, why are you here?" She asked as he took a sip out of his beer.

"Trying to forget mistakes that have already been made."

She studied him curiously, "What happened?"

"Found Emily, shouldn't have gone looking. I knew it, I guess I just had to see it for myself."

She guessed it had something to do with Nikolas but said nothing.

He took another sip of his beer and let his gaze linger on the ring on his finger. He almost laughed as he took it off and left it on the counter.

"I'm sorry." She offered.

He turned towards her and smiled, "Karma."

She looked at him confused, "Karma?

"I stole Em away from Juan, it's only fair that someone steal her away from me." He scoffed, almost laughing.

"Oh, Zander . . ." She starts and takes his hand into her own.

He notices that she is not wearing her wedding band, "So, is it safe to assume that your date tonight with Rick did not put a stop to the divorce proceedings."

Her eyes met his, "He wanted me to come back home tonight as if one night changed the fact that he lied to me, drugged me, and kidnapped Carly."

He laughed slightly as he took a sip from his beer.

"The sad thing is, I actually considered it."

"What stopped you?" He asked, curious.

"The horrible truth . . ." She started and she slightly laughed, "I still love him. After everything he put me through and all the lies, I still love him."

"I know how that is." He offered, "I knew what was happening, I could see it between them, but I just did not want to see it. I wanted to believe that our love would save our relationship."

She watched his eyes as they suddenly had a long away look.

"I know exactly how you feel."

He snapped out of his trance and turned to her, met her eyes, and knew that she was wholeheartedly telling the truth.

"I know what Rick has done, it scares me what he might have done. I tell myself that I'll only get hurt if I try to salvage our relationship. But in my heart I still care for him and that is why it's so hard. I just need a little while to step back and rationalize the whole situation, but I cannot when he is there whenever I turn around. I just wish . . ."

"Wish what?" He asked, intrigued.

Her eyes met his, "That I could just get him to back off for a little while so I could have the time I need to figure it all out."

~*~*~*~

Jason walked into the bar completely ready to drown his sorrows in beer. He hadn't been drunk in a while and this evening's events seemed the perfect opportunity to do such.

He took a seat on the bar stool and Coleman turned around and handed him a beer.

He took a sip and looked around the bar just so he could focus on something and disallow his mind to wander. It was then he noticed the purse.

"Coleman, someone left this." He said, handing the bartender the purse.

"Must've been the pretty little thing that just went upstairs." Coleman offered.

"Was she alone?" Jason asked, worried.

"No, went upstairs with a guy she was talking to at the bar."

"Did she go willingly?" Jason asked.

"Like it is your business." Coleman offered.

Jason was not at all surprised that Coleman had just sat by and watched as a man took a woman upstairs. More likely then not the woman would not have gone if she had not been drinking. He was worried but there was nothing he could really do about it. He did not know whether the woman went up willingly so he was in no place to pass judgment.

~*~*~*~

"Haven't been in this room in a while." Elizabeth offered as she sat down on the bed.

"I don't remember you ever coming up here."

"I knew someone whom rented this room before you."

"Lucky?" He guessed.

"No." She offered and he could tell she was not in the mood.

He sat down on the bed beside her, "You sure this is what you want?"

"We both know what this is, Zander."

He nodded.

He moved closer to her on the bed and then took his hand and put on the back of her neck, moved her lips closer to hers, and slowly let his lips touch hers. The kiss was soft and chaste and then he pulled away. He caught the look in her eyes as he wrapped his free arm around her waist and pulled her close to him.

This time she leaned in and kissed him, it was just as the other one had been, soft and chaste.

They both fell slowly down onto the bed, their hands hesitantly running over the other's body. Somehow his shirt became unbuttoned and it now lay on the floor next to the bed. His hands slowly found their way to the bottom of her shirt and as he attempted to inch up the fabric she pulled away.

~*~*~*~

From within the purse, which Jason had found, that Coleman had placed behind the bar, a cell phone began ringing.

Coleman, without the decency to leave a person's stuff alone, took it upon himself to answer the phone.

"Hello. . . What right do you have to ask me who this is? . . . Elizabeth? Must've been the gal that just wondered upstairs, hope she's not your girlfriend buddy . . . It ain't your business whom she wandered upstairs with . . . Yeah I'll be sure to give her the message, I'm writing it down now . . ." Coleman lied, "Okay, I'll be sure to tell her your message, buddy . . ."

"Did you say Elizabeth?" Jason asked, intrigued.

"Yeah, my guess is it's her phone."

"The woman that went upstairs, was she small, petite, with brown hair?"

"Yeah . . . you know her?"

Just as he started to grow concerned and was about to answer, Coleman interrupted.

"Speak of the devil."

Jason saw that Coleman's eyes were focused behind him and he turned in time to startle Elizabeth and stop her in mid-stride.

Coleman held out the purse, "This must be what you came down for."

She pretended not to notice Jason, walked up to the bar directly next to him, and took the purse from Coleman, "Thanks."

She started to leave when Jason stopped her, "Elizabeth?"

She turned to face him and he let his eyes wander over her. Her hair was loose curls framing her porcelain skin. Her eyes were covered in a frosty shade of eye shadow and her lips stained a deep red. His instantly noticed her lips swollen from a kiss and the pit of his stomach turned at this sight, assuming whom she had been upstairs with.

"I'm not really in the mood, Jason." She offered, his eyes never leaving her lips.

Zander came down the stairs and interrupted the moment, "Elizabeth, your forgot your jacket."

She tuned to face him and took the jacket without a word. Zander turned to meet Jason's eyes and saw hidden within their depths resentment.

Elizabeth turned back to Jason and read him just as she always had been able to, and she could see that he was obviously mortified with the sight before him.

She turned back towards Zander, "Thanks for tonight."

She had whispered it low so that Jason might not hear but he did. She turned and started up the stairs to leave.

Jason stood up to follow her and Zander got in his way, "You are the last thing she needs tonight."

"You should be with your wife." Jason offered coolly, and moved out of Zander's path so he could get up the stairs.

"Would be if she wasn't otherwise occupied." Zander yelled up the stairs.

~*~*~*~

Elizabeth sighed as she looked around the dark parking lot. She wrapped her coat around her and let the image of what she had almost done play through her mind. She almost went to bed with Zander, her friend, Emily's husband, because she was upset. No matter what her mood, nothing warranted sleeping with someone she didn't love. She had made that mistake before, with Zander, and she was not going to do it again.

"You were there for their wedding." Jason said as he emerged from behind her.

"I know." She said, refusing to meet his eyes, "And I'm technically still married myself."

He finally got her to meet his eyes. The eyes of a man she had once known so well. The eyes of a man whom she had once been able to say anything to. And all the sudden, for a brief moment, it was as it had been between them.

"Nothing happened. I got up there and I couldn't go through with it. I made a promise to myself after I was raped that I would never * be * with someone if I did not love them. I broke that promise to myself once before and I refuse to do it again."

He knew exactly what she was referring to. The image of Zander and Elizabeth together was forever etched in his memory.

"Then why did you go upstairs with him?" He asked, curious.

"For all the wrong reasons. I did it to hurt Rick as much as I did it to make myself feel better."

When Elizabeth mentioned Rick it was like a stab in his side. He said nothing and just listened.

"Rick keeps trying to prove to me that he has changed. And part of me wants to believe him, to believe in the man I fell in love with, but another part of me knows that the man I fell in love with never really existed. He was a lie. And tonight I felt myself believing in that man again and I had to do something to stop it."

"Why here? Why Zander?" He asked.

But she didn't have to say why she ran to Jake's, he already knew.

"Zander found Emily with Nikolas. He was upset."

She looked at him and could tell that something was wrong.

"Why are you here?" She asked, curious.

He did not answer right away but she read him and knew what had happened, "Did something happen with Courtney?"

He had been afraid to let his guard down with her but he sensed the sincerity in her voice.

"She gave me an ultimatum, her or my job. She knew what I did when we got together, but now she wants to make me choose. This life is the only life I know, I don't know if I can do anything else."

"Maybe she is afraid, afraid that one day she might wake up and you won't be there."

He looked up and met her eyes, "Is that why you pulled away?"

She was startled by the question.

"I know about your life and your job, how much they mean to you. I saw what it did to you that winter when you stumbled upon Sonny and Carly and thought that you could not do your job anymore. I would never ask you to walk away from the only life you know. You're careful and I trust your judgment when it comes to your job. It just hurt when you pushed me away thinking that I could not handle it. You knew that I do not want people making decisions for me, but that is what you did. You decided what was best for me when you knew more than anyone how much I hated it."

He noticed her shivering despite the jacket she had on. Before he realized what he was doing he took off his own jacket and held it out to her. The offering started her but she took the jacket and wrapped it around herself. She did not waste the words to say thank you because he could read it in her eyes.

"I wanted to be with you Elizabeth but I did not want you in danger. You've been kidnapped, shot, your studio was wired with a bomb . . . I did not want my life to hurt you because you already had been hurt so much. I still do not want this life touching you, that is why I walked away."

"But straight into the arms of Courtney?" She spit out before she knew just what she was saying.

"I'm sorry." She apologized.

"Don't." He started, "Don't ever apologize for how you feel."

"I told you after Kristina's funeral that I did not care about getting hurt. All that mattered to me was being with you. It hurt more when you pushed me away then any bullet ever could."

She continued, "That is why I ran to Rick, he was the opposite of you in every way. I let myself fall in love with him so I could try to fill the place in my heart that you left me with."

"I did not want to fall in love with Courtney. I convinced myself after Robin that it was something I could never have. I fell for you because there was no chance of us being together. Your whole life was Lucky and I thought I was playing it safe. But when he came back and I thought I lost you I felt empty. I stayed away so that I would not complicate your life but you were the one that came to me. I couldn't help but love you. After you broke up with Lucky we had our chance and I realized what you meant to me and I realized that I'd rather have you out of my life and safe then have you in my life and in danger. I never wanted to see you hurt like you did that year Lucky was gone. So I took the easy way out, pushed you away, so that I could protect you."

It was in this moment that Elizabeth realized that all the feelings that she had attempted to erase from her memory were still there and they came flooding back like a tidal wave. Suddenly she wanted nothing more then to have him hold her like he use to. She forgot all about Rick, the months they had fought each other and been apart, and felt at ease with Jason, which she had not felt in a while. More importantly, she felt safe.

But then the realization crept over her that he was married, that he was out of her reach. She let out a sigh of regret.

Now all she desired was one perfect moment with this man. To have him hold her in his arms like he had done so many times before and she had taken for granted that he would always be there to do that for her.

He saw the pain in her eyes, pain that he had never wanted to cause her. He had pushed her away so she would not get hurt. But he realized that pushing her away had only made her hurt more.

He held out his hand and she took it. He pulled her into his arms and held her there. He could still feel her shiver under his coat and pulled her tighter to him. While he held her he felt his shirt moisten and he realized that she was crying. While he looked down at her she realized he was staring and let her eyes wander to his and they met.

Before he knew just what he was doing he leaned in and let their lips meet. At first it was soft and innocent, they were both afraid; he did not want to startle her or make her feel pressured and she did not want to allow herself to get close to him because he was with someone else. But slowly their reserves crumbled, the kissed deepened, and his tongue traced her lips begging for entry and she allowed.

(To keep the rating PG, I've decided to allow your minds to imagine what happens next. But to make sure we both have the same idea, it results in Elizabeth being pregnant without any involvement from Rick, Zander, or Lucky in the conception process!)