Harley and the Mole
Jason Morgan loved his wife.
Honestly, he did.
When he thought about it, he had to admit that it was pretty impossible not to love Elizabeth Morgan. She was kindhearted, generous, and loving. It didn't matter who it was, if someone was hurt or in need of help, she was always there, sometimes even to a fault. A great mother, she put the needs of their children ahead of her own needs, never resting until both Cameron and Jacob were happy and content. She worked hard as a nurse, loved hard as a mother and wife, and always seemed to be able to make time to play as well. Not only was she a beautiful woman on the inside, but, on the outside, it was safe to say that she had everything he needed to remain satisfied.
In fact, Elizabeth was pretty damn near perfect… at least in his book. Although she didn't condone or even support his lifestyle, she accepted it, no questions asked. When he came home hurt from work, she bandaged him up, kissed the wound better, and fed him gallons upon gallons of disgusting soup until he was well enough to fight back and escape her taunting clutches. If a job came up where he had to go out of town or had to stay out late, she was always understanding and sometimes even sympathetic, waiting up for him or at least making sure that there was something for him to eat in the fridge when he came home.
Hell, she even liked his bike.
So, that's why he felt guilty for constantly noticing her one and truly annoying flaw. His wife had a bad habit of never really stopping to sit down and eat a meal. She would nitpick at the kids' breakfast, skip lunch at work so that she could run errands during her break time, and, at night, when they sat down as a family for dinner, she had to worry more about making sure the food ended up in Cam and Jake's mouths and not on the floor or flung across the room. So, to combat her lack of meal time, she snacked. She snacked on goldfish crackers, something Jason himself had never even heard of until his son started to eat solid food, grapes, pretzels, star shaped cheese slices (what did they do with all those scraps?), and, most of all, candy. His wife was a candy addict with a sweet tooth the size of his right bicep.
They had been married for over a year, and it seemed like for every holiday, there was a candy for her to snack on. Easter brought duck and egged shaped sweettarts. How the woman ate the sour things, he'd never know. In the fall during both Halloween and Thanksgiving, she munched on candy corn, and, at Christmas, it had been red and green hued peanut M&M's. If there wasn't a holiday, she would find some kind of bite sized candy at the grocery store to fill her scrub pockets with. Sometimes it was starbursts, those, thankfully, had wrappers, sometimes, it was lemon drops, something even worse than sweettarts, and, other times, he would find her eating chocolate covered raisons at an alarming rate. Now, that Valentine's Day was less than a week away, she never went anywhere without her little, scripted candy hearts that he personally thought tasted just one degree away from being chalk.
The candy in and of itself wouldn't have been that big of a deal. After all, if Elizabeth wanted to rot her teeth out of her jaw, who was he to stop her? Thanks to her job, they had great dental insurance, and, other than giving her dentist a migraine every six months when she visited his office, there was no harm to her snacking away on sweets all day so long as she didn't pass the bad habit down to their kids. What bothered Jason was the fact that she habitually left the candy lying around the house, sometimes in the oddest of places.
He'd find it in their sheets at night when he was completely exhausted and all he wanted to do was collapse, cuddle up to his wife's soft, warm form, and fall asleep for at least six hours. He'd find it in the saddle bags of his bike, and it made him wonder if she put it there just in case they had a few moments to themselves and went for an impromptu ride to nowhere. He'd find it in his toolboxes, stashed away under the couch cushions, and accidentally dropped in his motorcycle boots. The kids were always complaining about ruined clothes, because his wife would forget about having candy in her pockets and would do a load of laundry with purple sprees and burnt red Boston baked beans hidden away in the confines of her scrubs. He'd even once found jellybeans tucked away in his padlocked gun box. How? At that point, he hadn't even cared enough to ask. It was simply par for the course. His wife's candy was everywhere in their house; of course, it would one day find it's way into the steel lock box he kept his spare glock in.
Luckily, on the grand scale of life, Elizabeth's little flaw wasn't really important, and their lives continued at a normal pace for a happily married couple. Sure, they fought. She would become annoyed with him for his typical male tendencies as she called them – leaving the toilet seat up, tracking mud all throughout her clean house, or forgetting to stop by the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk so the kids could have cereal for breakfast the next morning. And, in turn, he would get irritated with her for always harping on him to pick his dirty clothes up at night and put them in the hamper, and he hated it when she would use the last of the toilet paper and not put a new roll on the ring. Generally, though, they were a happy family, and, with Valentine's Day approaching, he was only reminded of how much he loved his wife.
Although he wasn't into the holidays and despite the fact that he found them rather inane and ridiculous, the fourteenth of February held special significance to Elizabeth. Since the very first Valentine's Day they were together back when Jake was still just a baby and they were hiding their relationship from the rest of the world, he tried to make the holiday special for her. Not that anything he would ever do could erase the horrible memories from when she was fifteen, but, if he could make her forget about her rape for a few hours, if he could add good memories to a day that once only brought her sadness and pain, then Jason would do anything and everything within his power to do so.
This year, though, he had no idea what to get his wife, and it wasn't like he could get away with a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, or even a piece of jewelry… not that he'd want to. Long ago in their very complicated and very lengthy past, Elizabeth had once told him that he was the most original gift giver, and, since then, he always tried to live up to his reputation. The more meaningful, the more unique the gifts were that he gave his wife, the more she cherished them, and the look on her face when he surprised her was well worth the hours of thought that went into every little trinket or remembrance that he purchased for her. Jason was determined that this year, that this Valentine's Day, would be no different.
Sitting in one of the non-descript, practically unidentifiable sedans the organization owned, he relaxed back into the driver's seat he was occupying, kept his eyes trained on the motel door before him, and pondered the various things Elizabeth said she wanted or needed and the things he felt she should have. With his mind both occupied on the stakeout job before him and the mental task at hand with coming up with a gift for the mother of his children, time seemed to pass by quite quickly, helping ease the monotony of his day.
At midnight, relief would come in, and he would be able to go home. Although the kids would both be asleep, Elizabeth might still be up waiting for him, and, after not seeing his wife since that morning when she and the boys had left for the hospital with Francis, he was eager to pull her into a tight embrace and kiss away any signs of exhaustion marring her otherwise flawless face. That's what – going home to Elizabeth, Cameron, and Jake – made his hours doing nothing but sitting in a car and waiting for a new enemy to make a move worth every last tedious second.
Glancing at the clock, the father of two realized that it was past five which meant that his family would be at home, and he would be able to reach Francis on his cell for an update. Hitting speed dial three, the only two numbers above the elder guard's being Elizabeth's cell and their home number, he waited, albeit impatiently, to hear his friend and employee's deep, always pleasant… unless you pissed him off, and Jason knew better than to do that… voice on the other end.
"Before you even ask," the guard prefaced his next statement, "they're all fine. Elizabeth's in the kitchen cooking dinner, Cameron's upstairs doing his homework, and Jake is trying to get Harley outside to play in the snow. By the way, hello to you, too, boss."
Despite himself, Jason laughed silently. "Very funny, Francis. Do you always have to give me a hard time?"
"You mean, it's not in the job description? Damn," the older man grumbled, his sarcasm well hidden but still evident, "I could have sworn that was one of the prerequisites on the bodyguard application I filled out for you and Mr. Corinthos years ago."
Ignoring him because, if he didn't, the dark haired man could go on for hours, the father of two asked, "how was Cam's day at school?"
"Pretty uneventful or so the little guy said," his family's main security lookout explained. "He got an A on his spelling test, beat Morgan at the 100 yard dash when they raced in gym, and painted his Mom another interesting picture in art class."
"Is it hanging up on the fridge so I can see it when I get home and Elizabeth can explain it to me?"
"As far as I know," Francis assured him. "As for Jake, he was better behaved today in daycare according to Andrew. There was no glaring, so no parents had to be called down to sooth their frightened kids."
Watching through a pair of binoculars as his target opened his motel door far enough to pay the pizza boy, Jason grinned at the story about his youngest son. "I have no idea where he gets that from."
"We'll blame it on the unfortunate Q genes he unwillingly inherited," the bodyguard quipped, earning himself a rather loud guffaw by his boss.
"Her day went… alright."
The husband and father knew that tone. "What are you not telling me?"
"It's no big deal," his family's protector reassured him. "I just noticed that she was a little off today."
"What do you mean by off?" He knew there was no reason to be worried, that if something was seriously wrong with his spouse, she would come to him and tell him about it herself, but, if anything, Jason was protective, and it was entirely possible that he was a tad overprotective. Just a tad, though, - a smidgeon, perhaps.
"I don't know," Francis finally elaborated. "She just seemed a little snippy with her coworkers and slightly fed up with her job."
"Well, if you worked with those immature idiots, you'd have your bad days, too. Not everyone is as lucky as you to have a boss like me."
"Truer words," the guard mocked, "have been spoken… many, many, many times before."
"So, you're unhappy with your employment? Was that your own unique way of turning in your two week's notice?" After sharing a laugh which replaced the need for the older man to answer Jason's joking, rhetorical question, the dirty blonde changed the topic and refocused their dialogue upon his family. "Don't worry, though. I'll talk to Elizabeth, poke around to make sure that everything's alright."
"You're a good husband, Jason. I knew you would."
"But, other than that, everything's okay?"
"Everything's great around here," the bodyguard reiterated his previous judgment from before. "I'll be here until you get off, and, when I leave, Milo is going to be replacing me. How's everything on your end going? Any change?"
"No, the bastard still has himself holed in like a rat. At this rate," the father of two groused, "it could be days before he makes a move."
"And you'd rather he just do whatever it is he has planned and get it over with so that you can make your next move and take him out?"
"Yeah," Jason agreed with his friend's assessment of his work theories, scrubbing a strong, tan hand over his stubble covered jaw, "especially with Valentine's Day coming up. If the bastard's still hiding out by then, I'm going to have to call someone in to take over my shift watching him so I can spend the day with Elizabeth."
"Do you have something special planned for the Mrs.?"
"Not yet, but I'm working on it," he confided.
"Alright, sounds good, but I have to go. It's time for my perimeter check."
"See you later, Francis," Jason signed off, hanging up his phone.
Tossing the small cell back onto the passenger seat before him, he picked up his binoculars and went back to work, concentrating his mind on figuring out what to get Elizabeth for Valentine's Day. He had less than a week to figure his gift out, get it ordered, and get it delivered, and, if nothing else, he would make damn sure it was original. After all, Elizabeth, even with her candy obsessed bad habit, deserved nothing less.