Author's note: 74 days later. (Thanks Jenny, for that 70 day mark!) :hangs head: I'm sorry guys. I could give you some line like, "real life got in the way of updating" but I have no excuse. I've written, and re-written this chapter approximately 28 times. I've changed the course of the story about 20 of those times, and this is what I've come up with. So I was really trying to get this done by Friday because well, out of everyone asking me when I'm going to update this, Asia's been extremely pushy (and I love her for that) and well, she's out of town for the week and I promised I'd have it done by the time she got back. God help me if I don't. Hopefully the interest is still here for this story and that this update doesn't disappoint. Enjoy!

Love, Daisies, and Troubadours – Chapter 10

Courtney stood in front of the door to Sonny's other house and hesitated. She could still hear him inside, moving around, so that was good, at least he wasn't gone yet. She took some relief in that. She raised her hand but the door swung open before she could knock and her fist fell gently against his chest before she could stop it.

"What are you doing here?" He questioned, looking at her, his eyes roaming from head to toe. "I think you've said everything you needed to say."

She took a deep breath, hoping she could find the right words to say because she was pretty sure she only had one chance. It was now or never.

"Not everything," she said finally. It wasn't much, but she hadn't really planned this out. "Jason I—"

"Made it perfectly clear to me already," he interrupted. He nodded at her hands and only then did she realize she was still clutching the books. "Good, you got them." He turned and walked back into the house.

"Yes," she answered. She followed him in, careful not to trip on the suitcases that stood packed by the door. "Thank you, I mean… thank you isn't enough, Jason, this was the sweetest thing that—"

"It was nothing." He cut her off again.

"Oh." As she watched him move around the living room she realized exactly what he had gone through not an hour before when he had shown up in her room. She pulled her lower lip into her mouth and kept her eyes trained on him as he obviously tried to keep himself busy. "Jason."

"What?" She winced at his tone.

"It wasn't nothing," she said softly. She watched as his shoulders straightened briefly and then slumped again. She walked over to him and placed her hand on his back. "I'm sorry," she whispered.

"You've already said that," he said, shrugging her hand off and moving away. "You said what you felt and I told you I respected that. I don't want you to regret saying it, not if you meant it."

"And that's it?" she asked, her voice rising slightly. "You're not even going to fight me on it?"

He turned and looked at her finally. "I did fight you on it Courtney. I'm the one that came to you; remember? You've got it in your head that it won't work, and you're determined to not even consider the fact that it could. You're the one willing to forget about the last few months just because of one stupid fight with Sonny and one lie that you won't even let me explain." He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. "That's what you wanted Courtney, and that's what you'll get."

"Damn it Jason, that's not what I want! I love you!"

Her words hung heavy in the space between them as they looked at each other. Courtney wanted the floor to open up and swallow her. She hadn't meant to say that, not at all. The words had been out of her mouth before she could stop them and now she couldn't take them back and there was no way he hadn't heard them and he wasn't saying anything back, he was just staring at her. Why was he just staring at her?

Her legs, just like her vocal chords, decided to work against her and she found herself moving towards him. Her entire body betrayed her then, as the books she still held dropped from her hands and she pressed herself against him, bringing his head down for a kiss.

Jason didn't resist her, but he didn't respond to her either. This wasn't going at all like she had planned, even though she really hadn't planned it in the first place. She tightened her grip on his shirt and continued to kiss him. She invaded his mouth without permission and was pleased when she finally felt his arms go around her.

She closed her eyes as he returned the kiss, and smiled against him, as he was the one to deepen it, although she happily obliged. His hands inched underneath her tank top to draw lazy circles against her skin as he began to walk her backwards out of the living room and towards the bedroom. His shirt fell from his body halfway across the room. Hers was cast aside a few steps later. She opened her mouth to speak but before she could he kissed her again, as he guided her back until they were in the bedroom. She couldn't help but smile as he kicked the door shut and this time she was the one to walk them backward until his legs hit the edge of the bed and they tumbled forward.

Courtney's eyes slid open and landed on the clock next to the bed. She had been asleep for less than an hour but it felt longer to her. She rolled over and frowned at the fact that she was alone. Wrapping the bed sheet around her tightly she let the events of the afternoon play over and over in her head. Sure, she hadn't intended on telling Jason she loved him that exact way, but it had worked out for the best. They had made up, they had fallen into bed together, and while the circumstances had been a little too dramatic for her liking, being with Jason had been exactly how she had imagined it. It had been better than the trashy romance novels she used to sneak out of her mother's room when she was younger and it was definitely better than it had been with AJ. It had been everything she had expected and more.

Except that she woke up alone. That little detail had never been a part of her fantasies or expectations, but here she was. She listened intently searching for sounds that Jason was in the bathroom, or any of the other rooms, but the house was silent, save for the birds she could hear outside the window.

She got out of bed then, and went about methodically picking up her clothing, which was strewn everywhere, and putting it back on, piece by piece until she was fully clothed. The fact that his clothes weren't anywhere to be seen didn't go unnoticed by her. "Jason?" she called, walking towards the kitchen. Still no sounds came from within the house.

Courtney swallowed the lump that was quickly rising in her throat as she looked around the room. The books that she had dropped in the middle of the room were now sitting stacked on the table near the door. She shifted her glance to the floor and sure enough, the suitcases that had been there earlier were now gone.

She fell unceremoniously onto the couch as the harsh reality of what had really happened that afternoon hit her. She had said she loved him and that was it. Not another word had been spoken between them. She tried to remember if anything had been said after he carried her into the bedroom but she couldn't come up with a single word. There had been no breathless whispers, no proclamations of love, nothing.

He hadn't said I love you.

He hadn't said goodbye.

She heard footsteps coming back up to the front door and she straightened up as it began to open. He was coming back. She knew he wouldn't leave just like that.


Courtney let out the breath she had been holding and sat back against the cushions. "He's gone?" she asked quietly as Carly came further into the room and sat down next to her.

Carly nodded. "What happened?" she asked gently. "I thought that with you coming over here, you two would fix things, that you'd end all of this nonsense and everything would be all right. But Jason just got on a plane and headed back home so what happened?"

Courtney laughed shakily. "You know more than I do, at least he said goodbye to you." She drew her knees up against her chest and blinked back the tears she didn't want to cry in front of Carly.

"What are you talking about? He didn't say goodbye?"

Courtney shook her head. "I don't know what happened," she confessed.

"Tell me what happened," Carly coaxed. Courtney nodded, knowing there was no way she could get out of it.

"I told him I loved him," she began. "And I guess that was the last thing I should have done."

"He left while you were sleeping?" Carly screeched a few minutes later. Courtney winced at her town and she apologized. "Sorry, I shouldn't have yelled, but what the hell was Jason thinking? Why would he do that?"

"I don't know," Courtney sighed. "I thought we were going to be okay when I came over here. I thought that if I explained to him that I didn't mean what I said before, that I was just scared, that he'd accept that and we'd move forward again. Carly, by the time I got here he had changed completely. He was cold, and he wouldn't listen to me and he tried to tell me that I was right and that it wouldn't work and I couldn't handle it and we weren't really fighting because Jason refused to show any emotion and I didn't know what else to do so I told him I loved him and yeah." She shrugged helplessly. "He left the second he could without me noticing."

"He's a coward," Carly spit out.

"No he's not."

"Yeah Courtney, he is. He's in love with you and that scares the shit out of him because he doesn't know how to deal with that so he ran. That's being a coward."

Courtney shook her head. "I can't blame him can I?" she asked. "It's not his fault he doesn't know how to react to all of this. It's my fault for throwing everything possible at him today, I should have known better than to do that. Of course he ran, what else was he going to do?"

Carly stared. "I can't believe you're blaming yourself," she said incredulously. "Courtney, in no way is this your fault. You didn't do anything wrong, you're not the one who left."

"I left first," she pointed out. "I walked out of the police station. I told him it was over earlier today."

Carly shook her head. "You were angry and you were scared," she said dismissively. "But you came to your senses and now he's the one running scared." She stood up. "Come on, let's go."

"Go?" Courtney echoed as Carly pulled her up by the arm.

"Yes, we're going back to Port Charles."

"Carly, no." She tried to protest but Carly cut her off.

"Are you really going to give up on Jason just like that? After all of this, you can really just throw in the towel and go on with your life?" She sighed when Courtney didn't answer. "Come on Court." Her voice softened a little. "Okay fine, don't think about Jason right now," she relented. "But at least come back with us, work things out with Sonny. He feels badly Courtney, he wants to talk to you."

"He'll be happy to hear about this, I'm sure."

Carly laughed at that. "Oh no he won't. Believe me, he's going to be pissed that Jason is treating you this way."

"Well I don't want that either," Courtney protested. "I don't want the two of them to fight. Not over me."

"Only one way to solve that then," Carly said with a shrug. "Come on, we've got some packing to finish before we go."

Courtney allowed herself to be pulled out of the house and across the lawn to the other house. She didn't necessarily want to go back to Port Charles, not now especially, but she had nowhere else to go really, and while she knew it wasn't going to be fun, she knew she couldn't just leave things with Sonny the way there were.

As for things with Jason, well, she wasn't sure what was going to happen there. She half-listened as Carly kept muttering about kicking Jason's ass, but she stayed silent throughout the whole tirade.

If things were meant to be, they'd be able to work through this and pick up where they left off, but if not, then she'd have to accept that and figure out where to go from there.

As of right now though, she wasn't going to get her hopes up. Things seemed pretty clear to her. Too bad though, as Carly was rapidly forming a plan all on her own.

A.N/2: So don't hate me too much for this chapter; it's just how it ended up. Oh, and it's now actually 78 days later… and 32 rewrites, for those of you counting. (It's Sunday, so I missed my Asia deadline, but she has gracefully accepted my apology and won't be demanding my head on a platter or anything like that. Not yet anyways.) But now I actually know where it's going to go from here, and I really don't think it'll be another 70 days before I update. LOL, leave your feedback, but keep the hate to a dull roar!