Johnny O'Brien, the love of Elizabeth's Webber life, was most definitely not in love with her.
Because Lulu Spencer, the bleached blonde woman sitting across from her was the supposed love of Johnny O'Brien's life.
None of which sat well with Elizabeth at all.
It didn't help that Jason Morgan, her best friend, had withheld this oh so important truth prior to this dinner.
Not to mention that he was on his fourth beer, stuffing his face with rolls, and blatantly ignoring her glare.
Nothing about this night was turning out the way it was supposed to.
"John was telling me you have a gallery opening in a few weeks?" Lulu cooed, brushing her blonde hair gently from her shoulders, as she leaned against Johnny so that their shoulders were touching.
Since when was that a nickname he ever cared for?
As long as Elizabeth could remember he had been Johnny, or Johnny O, or O'Brien, but never fucking John. Or John O, which sounded like a ridiculous name for a shitty super hero. And John O'Brien? It sounded like the name for a fucking door to door vacuum salesman, and unless the love of her life had changed his profession, this was seriously a problem.
"Elizabeth?" Johnny asked, raising his eyebrows at her.
She met his tender gaze briefly, getting lost in the curve of his nervous smile, and it was only after someone kicked her, presumably Jason, that she was able to focus. "Uh, the art opening," she nodded, taking a deep breath, and reaching for her second glass of red wine.
Tequila, now that was what she needed, but she had a feeling that if she ordered a round of Patron heads would turn at the Port Charles Grille.
"The end of the month," she said, plastering on a smile, and looking across at Lulu.
She was somewhat pretty. If you got passed the bleached blonde hair and pasty, freckled skin. Elizabeth had pale skin, but it was creamy and beautiful, the only physical trait she admired about herself…At least Lulu's eyes were nice. Big, round, and blue, though they widened far too much when got excited, which was all the fucking time.
"That's so exciting," Lulu replied, clasping her hands together, and Elizabeth cringed, worried she was going to start clapping. "John says you're very talented. I would love to see some of your stuff."
She was calling Elizabeth's paintings stuff?
Her abstract series on Italian landmarks?
Her charcoal self-portrait that brought the gallery owner to tears?
Her paintings were not stuff. They were the blood, sweat, and god damn tears of the past four years of Elizabeth's life. How dare this stupid, little tramp come along and not only steal the love of her life, but also insult her by- "Elizabeth?"
She shifted her attention back to Johnny, staring into his soft, chocolate eyes, only to have their trance interrupted by Lulu leaning over to give him a disgustingly loud kiss on the cheek.
Swallowing hard, she reached for her wine, desperate to wash away any desire to upchuck all over the beautiful, white tablecloth. That was mostly because Edward Quartermaine would probably charge her to have it dry-cleaned, which she would refuse, but then he would sue her…And well, she wasn't in the mood to put all her eggs into one basket for a stained tablecloth.
Especially when it was Lulu Spencer's fault.
"I have to go to the ladies room," Lulu announced, as if saying she had just donated a million dollars to fund cancer research.
Elizabeth glanced at Johnny, briefly wondering if he was going to applaud. Instead, he looked across the table at his friend, raising an eyebrow at her, and tossing his head towards his girlfriend.
"Oh, well," Elizabeth said, placing her cloth napkin delicately down on the table. "I'll go with you."
"Great," she replied, flashing her a toothy grin. "We need to have some girl talk."
Jason grunted beside her, quickly stuffing another roll into his mouth, and waving at the waiter for another beer. Gripping the arms of her chair, Elizabeth stretched her short legs, and dug the heel of her stiletto into her best friend's shin.
"Son of a bitch," he growled, spitting pieces of bread onto the table.
"Jason," Johnny hissed, gritting his teeth, and motioning towards Lulu.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes in disbelief. Leave it Johnny O'Brien, the only person who knew words that would make a sailor blush, to find a woman turned off by cursing. Judging from Lulu's appearance; a neatly pressed khaki skirt, and a starched, button down blouse, with a pale blue sweater tied over her shoulders. She was the kind of girl that Johnny made fun of in high school.
Or maybe she was the kind of girl who made fun of Johnny?
"Are you ready?" Elizabeth asked, when she realized Lulu was still sitting down.
"Of course," she replied, clutching her purse tightly in her fist, making sure not to ruin her perfectly manicured nails. "John?"
"Sorry about that, baby," he murmured, getting up and hurrying around to the back of her chair.
Elizabeth nearly gagged, and probably would have thrown herself down on the floor into a hissy fit, had she not seen Jason shaking his head from the corner of her eye.
Asshole, she mouthed, and he not so slyly gave her the finger, as he held out his hand to take a fresh beer from the waiter.
Jason Morgan was going to get one hell of a talking to the second Elizabeth got him alone, and maybe even a black eye. He knew why she was so excited to see Johnny, and that she finally wanted to be honest about everything she's ever felt, and Jason had failed to mention that Johnny had found the love of his life.
It had been over a year since O'Brien left town for Europe, where he planned on expanding his coffee business with Jason, who refused to travel for business ventures. According to him, Europe was meant to be seen, not worked in, and Jason only used his passport for recreational purposes.
When she arrived at the Port Charles Grille just an hour ago, Elizabeth's knees were shaking, and her stomach was filled with butterflies. They spent years avoiding their feelings, finally making admissions the day before Johnny was leaving town. In a way, she was anticipating this moment from the very time he left, and she knew that he wasn't just coming back for business, but also for her.
So imagine Elizabeth's surprise when she threw herself into her other best friend's arms, after being apart for a year, only to have her eyes land on the tiny, blue eyed, blonde behind him.
"Elizabeth! It's so good to meet you!" the blonde had shrieked, throwing her arms around the brunette the second that she and Johnny stepped apart. "John has told me such wonderful things about you. I'm so excited to finally know the girl behind all the stories."
Elizabeth had smiled meekly, failing to catch Jason's eye over the girl's shoulder, and that was when his ignorance began. She was surely going to make him pay for this later.
"This is Lulu," Johnny said, taking the woman by the hand, and grinning at Elizabeth. "I've been dying for you to meet her from the very second I laid eyes on her."
Swallowing hard, Elizabeth put on a tight-lipped smile. "Well, it's nice to meet you," she lied, extending her hand, only to have the girl throw her arms around her again.
This time Elizabeth caught Jason's eye, and he held her gaze long enough to mouth sorry, before looking away.
Well, Jason could have told her Johnny was bringing home some trick he picked up in the Red Light District.
Glancing at Lulu, she quickly retracted that thought. There was no way this woman had come from Amsterdam. It had to be Paris. Or London. Somewhere sophisticated and stylish, and her parents were obviously investors in the coffee business. And that had to be why Johnny was involved with her.
Of course, Elizabeth was wrong.
Johnny had thrown an arm over her shoulder, pulling her into a headlock as he pressed a kiss on the top of her head. "What do you think about her?" he asked seriously. "You know how much your opinion matters to me."
I like her shoes, she thought to herself. Though she knew a woman that looked like Lulu couldn't appreciate five-inch stilettos.
"She seems great," she murmured, swallowing the lie as if that would make it disappear, and that was enough to please Johnny.
During their first drinks, Johnny and Lulu gave a poetic retelling of their romance. Well, everyone had drinks but Lulu, because the petite gal didn't believe in drinking alcohol, and reminded John to watch his intake.
Apparently, they bumped into one another at the Eiffel Tower, while Johnny was very drunk. And somehow she found it adorable, giggling that she knew she had to save him from himself. They had dinner every night the following week, and the rest was just history.
Yes, they had said just that, and then exchanged some terrible lover's gaze that told Jason and Elizabeth they were thinking about one another naked.
It was just disgusting in every possible way, and now, Elizabeth was standing in the ladies room at the Port Charles Grille, watching this love-of-her-life thief powder her nose.
"I have to admit," Lulu murmured, catching Elizabeth's eyes in the mirror. "I was so nervous to meet you…From the very first night that I met John, all he talked about was you, the girl he'd left back home…And I thought for sure he was in love with you, but he quickly assured me you were just his best friend."
Sighing happily, she slipped her compact into her tiny, Kate Spade bag, and turned to face her. "I assumed that maybe you were in love with him, but he laughed that comment off too," she continued, placing a hand on Elizabeth's shoulder. "I know he holds you in the highest regard, and it's really important to me that you like me, and think I'm good enough for him, Elizabeth…I really do love him."
"I can see that," she squeaked out, her voice shaky, as Lulu pulled her into yet another hug.
Seriously, she was giving Elizabeth a hardcore uh-oh feeling with all this incessant touching.
"I mean, I know that if you said I was rotten or terrible, he would probably run away from so fast," Lulu said, stepping back from the hug. "And I just…Well, I think I've loved him from the very first time-"
"I get it," Elizabeth interrupted, as the door swung open, and two elderly women hobbled inside. "You obviously make him very happy. He's nothing like the man I remember."
She laughed, well, kind of. Some may have called it a snort, but Elizabeth wasn't in the mood to get into technicalities at this point.
"My mother always said that behind every good man, there is a fabulous woman," she replied with a grin, her eyes wide and sparkling.
Okay, they looked more mad and crazed than anything, but Elizabeth was attempting to be kind.
"And I just want to be that fabulous woman for him," she finished, clasping her hands together, and staring at the brunette.
Elizabeth wondered if she should clap, or pull out a trumpet, just something to make her stop staring at her like that. "I understand," she replied, flashing the worst fake grin at the blonde. "I'm glad he's happy…With you."
That seemed to be enough for Lulu, and she grabbed Elizabeth by the hand, and led her back into the restaurant. She linked their fingers tightly together, bumping shoulders with Elizabeth, as if she were some old girlfriend.
Dear God, why did she suddenly feel as if she were living out some Sweet Valley High novel? She read this book, and she knew how it ended. The good girl always got fucked in the end. And not in a good way, either.
"Sorry that took so long," Lulu called out, letting go of Elizabeth's hand, to stand behind her chair as she waited for Johnny to pull it out.
Elizabeth noticed Jason start to get up, as if to do the same for her, and she shot him a mean glare, to which he shrugged and rolled his eyes. She really might kill him if she was alone with him long enough.
"You know girls when they get to gabbing," she continued, smiling sweetly at Johnny.
Elizabeth gagged under her breath when they shared their thinking about each other naked gaze, and she felt Jason's foot stomp her's beneath the table.
Asshole, she mouthed again, flinging her napkin at him.
"Settle down kids," Lulu laughed, as she stepped around Johnny to take her seat, only to stop suddenly and gasp loudly. "John, what's that?"
Jason swore under his breath beside her, and Elizabeth craned her neck trying to figure out what in the hell Johnny and Ms. Paris were over there looking at.
"Well, uh, I guess now's as good as time as any," Johnny replied, smiling painfully at his girlfriend.
Stooping down, he picked something up off the floor, and a soft murmur came across the restaurant.
"John!" she exclaimed, placing a hand against her chest.
Oh, hell fucking no.
"Lulu…" he replied, and Elizabeth glanced at Jason, who was hanging his head, knowing damn well not to look in her direction.
Reaching for her wine glass, Elizabeth plastered on a smile, knowing she had to get tequila soon.
Especially if she ever wanted to forget the size and cut of the diamond ring nestled in Johnny O'Brien's palm, cementing the fact that the love-of-her-life was most definitely in love with someone else.