Part Six

Prompt #11: Nothing's as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas.
~ Kin Hubbard

Jerkface was late.

All he had to do was show up on time, and he couldn't even manage to do that without screwing it up. It figured, though. The man was hopeless. And annoying. And she hated him.

"Ah, Miss Webber, you're early," the creepy yet pleasant at the same time... an odd combination... private dick greeted her as she stepped into the lushly appointed office.

"No," she corrected him. "Jason's late."

That was her story, and she was sticking to it. If she admitted that she was early, then she'd have to admit that she was scared, that she had fled her hotel room (where she had stayed the night before rather than the ogre's penthouse) as soon as she managed to scrounge up enough courage to do so, ignoring the fact that, when she got to the judge's office, she'd be stuck there waiting for the asshole to show up and meet her. Her life sucked, and Christmas was no longer her favorite holiday.

"Well, you look lovely," the Spinelli dude complimented her. And she had to agree with him. She did look hot as hell. "Only...," he started, and then stopped, and then began again, tempering his tone. "Are you sure... black was an appropriate choice to wear today? Black's the color of mourning, of funerals. Today is a joyous occasion. And don't even get me started on the leather."

So what? Morgan the Meathead could wear leather but she couldn't? "Maybe in your book today's joyous," she countered. "After all, you're getting paid to be here."

"Yes, but you're getting payback."

The P.I. had a point. However, unwilling to concede, she merely shrugged her shoulders in an apathetic manner. Needing something to distract herself, Elizabeth asked, "you never did tell me how you got all those injuries."

"All in the line of duty," he replied. When she glared at him, cocking her hips at a haughty angle and fisting her hands upon them, he relented, backtracked, and even went so far as to look sheepish. "I take my work very seriously."

"Yeah, no shit," she remarked, glancing around the judge's chambers where they found themselves cloistered together at the moment.

He ignored her. "When I take a case, I promise my client that I will go above and beyond in order to get their desired results. Working for Ms. Barrett-Corinthos was no different, and getting two such disparagingly different individuals together... in the biblical sense... was not the easiest task I've ever been assigned."

"Hence all the sabotaging," she guessed.

"Precisely."

"Yeah, but, take that first night for instance, how did you even know that Jason would be on the same road that I was?"

"That, Miss Webber," Spinelli replied smugly, "was pure, whimsical chance." He tried to reposition himself in his wheelchair so that he was more comfortable, but the numerous casts he wore prevented such accommodation, and the private detective ended up in the very same spot he had been in before. Frowning to himself, he eventually continued, "anyway, I was performing recon, following you, when I noticed both your vehicle and Mr. Morgan's leave the shopping district and head in the same direction. Taking advantage of the coincidence and my impressive knowledge of all the backroads in Port Charles, I took a short cut, got to that particular bridge before the two of you, and then ran in front of your car. My goal was for you to crash and for Mr. Morgan, whom I was told had a knight-in-shining-leather complex, to save you."

"Yeah, well, so much for that plan," she taunted him.

"I will admit that the events of that evening did not play out the way I had anticipated, but they did set a chain of events in motion that led us to where we are today."

She was silent for a few moments as she thought about what the P.I. had said. He had a point, but she still thought his actions were quite excessive. Perking up, though, she had a thought. "Hey, where did you end up hiding that night. I looked for you, but I couldn't find you anywhere."

"I dove off the side of the bridge, buried myself under a drift of snow, and then waited for the two of you to leave before crawling out and relocating my own vehicle."

"Any injuries?"

"A broken foot, but I was able to wear a walking boot."

Wanting to know more, she prompted him. "So, then, the next day, you moved my tree and lit a candle beside it, hoping to... what? Start a fire so that Jason would ask me to stay with him?"

"Precisely."

"You're fucking twisted," she accused the private dick, glaring at him. "That was my grandmother's house. It's been in my family for generations. I can't believe you could be so cavalier with someone else's home. And what if I would have gotten trapped in the fire?"

"Ms. Barrett-Corinthos would not have allowed that to happen. As you can recall, she sent Mr. Morgan there to see you that evening, and, if it's any consolation, I did somehow manage to burn off all my eyebrows when lighting the candle."

She had been wondering about the detective's odd looking face. At least that answered that question. "Yeah, because your vanity is worth as much to me as my freaking house, jackass."

"Is it a sign of affection from you when you call someone a nasty name? I've noticed you call Mr. Morgan all sorts of mean things, and you are here today, waiting to..."

"No, I call him an asshole, because he is an asshole, and I called you a jackass, because you are a jackass," Elizabeth answered petulantly. "Get on with the rest of the injuries. They're the only thing brightening my day at this point."

"Well, I tripped going down Mr. Morgan's stairs after loosening the riser, breaking my right arm, and then I fell off your roof after sabotaging it, fracturing several ribs, my pelvis, and my left leg. With so many injuries, the doctor insisted that I use a wheelchair. I must admit, though, that I like moving on wheels. I'm less accident prone this way... probably because it limits what I can do so much, and I find the chair itself can sometimes be quite convenient."

"You're such a..." But then the door opened behind her, and Elizabeth froze, her insult towards the floppy haired P.I. going unfinished. Clenching in miserable fear, she waited to see who was behind her, suddenly feeling nauseous. "Please tell me that's just a cleaning lady, or someone looking for a bathroom, or maybe even a cop looking to arrest me for being such a freaking moron?"

"I'm afraid not," a voice she didn't recognize answered. So, the judge had arrived. "I didn't get my times mixed up, did I? The ceremony is supposed to start at 5:30, correct?"

"You're perfectly right, your honor," Spinelli replied, earning himself a glare from Elizabeth.

"No," she corrected. "Morgan's late."

As if sensing her less than cooperative mood, the judge simply nodded before moving to sit behind his desk and getting started on some paperwork... no doubt paperwork that she would eventually play a key role in finishing. While he scribbled away, and the private dick shuffled his wheelchair back and forth as though looking for the optimal spot to watch her eventual execution, Elizabeth paced. And she bit her nails. And she swore underneath her breath. Despite her agitation, though, time seemed to slip through her shaking, sweaty fingers, and, before she knew it, the door opened behind her yet again. Without even having to turn around, she knew exactly who was there.

Jerkface had arrived. "Where the hell have you been," she berated him, receiving a baffled glance in return. "You're late."

"I'm right on time. You're early."

"Ha," she challenged, laughing mirthlessly. "Like anyone would be an eager beaver when it came to shackling themselves to you."

Ignoring her dig, he tossed her a black, velvet box. "Here," Jason countered, "put this on."

Despite the fact that she loathed him, despite the fact that she bristled under the weight of his order, and despite the fact that a part of her wanted to chuck the box back at his stupid face, Elizabeth knew what came in containers that small, that soft, and the truly feminine side of – the one that was insanely curious – simply couldn't not look inside. What she found shocked the hell out of her.

"What. Is. This?"

"It's your engagement ring," he told her, smirking. "It's something blue, and it's new... to you, but it's also an antique, so it's old as well. The case is borrowed. I got it from my grandmother."

"You've got to be shitting me. Jason Morgan is into wedding traditions?"

"Hey, I've been a best man a few times... all for Brenda and Sonny. She was a dictator when it came to this type of sentimental crap."

As they moved to stand beside each other, positioned before the judge's desk, Elizabeth rolled her eyes as she grudgingly admitted, "it's... nice. What kind of stone is it, by the way?"

"A blue diamond."

Her fiance had bought her a freaking blue diamond? Holy sweet mother of godzilla! And it wasn't just a carat or two; it was ginormous. Oh, and then there was the fact that there were two additional side stones as well, but they were just regular diamonds. Slacker. What the hell had she gotten herself into by agreeing to their farce of a marriage?

In her mystified stupor, she missed the judge standing up. She missed him clearing his throat, and eyeing them warily, and beginning his long-winded speech. By the time she tuned back in, she was already bored, and there was no way she was going to listen to some pompous, overbearing man of the court wax poetic about what had to be the most un-romantic wedding of all time. So, half way through his soliloquy, she interrupted, "yeah, can we just skip all this mumbo-jumbo and get to the meat and potatoes already?" With another thought, she added, "oh, and I'm definitely not saying the traditional vows." Without waiting for confirmation from her asshole of a soon-to-be husband, Elizabeth stated, "we'll make up our own."

But, surprising her, Jason merely raised an interested, curious brow.

"Very well, then," the judge allowed. "Since this is your preference, Miss Webber, why don't you go first for us."

"Whatever," she agreed. Looking at her grouch of a groom, she held out her hand. "Do you have a ring for yourself, Morgan?"

He slipped a simple, white-gold band into her palm, and then she began. "Look, I hate you. You're an overbearing, insufferable, hotheaded, mean-spirited, chauvinistic pig of a man, and the only reason why I'm agreeing to marry you is because Brenda has this coming to her. Big time! So, until divorce do us part, you can be Mr. Elizabeth Webber." Shocking her further, the jerkface chuckled – he chuckled – at her vows. "Your turn."

"You're mouthy, and rude, and totally insane, but you have a nice ass, and your boobs are of a decent size, and I have a feeling the only time you're ever quiet is when you're completely sexually satisfied... in and out of bed. And I can do that for you, and you're right. Brenda deserves this, Mrs. Morgan. So, yeah, until death do us part, you'll be my wife." A matching band was daintily placed after her engagement ring.

Before she could interject, before she could wind her arm back and punch him in his conceited, bratty, freaking gorgeous ass-face, the judge quickly announced, "by the power vested in me by the state of New York, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride."

She went to back away before Jason could do just that – kiss her, his vows obviously attesting to the fact that hate begets lust in his book, the stupid ogre, but, before she could, she felt something collide with the back of her legs, propelling her forward, her mouth already open to loudly protest the pain shooting through her ankles and up her calves when her husband's lips came barreling towards her own. Just as she realized how exactly she had come to find herself in such a deplorable embrace – the freaking private dick rammed into her with his goddamned wheelchair, Jason already had possession of her mouth, and he was taking it – and her – for all she was worth.

"Brenda put all this time and money into making sure that the two of you became a couple, so the only way to really get vengeance upon her is to make sure that she doesn't get to reap the rewards of her effort." As Jason's lips branded her own, as his tongue conquered her tongue, as his taste blended with her own unique flavor until Elizabeth couldn't tell their essences apart any longer, she heard the P.I.'s words from the previous day sweep through her memory. After all, it was his promise of retribution which had led she and her new husband down their dastardly, dark path of marital destruction. "Get married, live together, do everything that Brenda would have wanted for you, but exclude her from it. Beyond that, keep it a secret from her for at least a year, and, then, next Christmas, reveal everything to her, rub her face in the fact that, while it was her work which brought the two of you together, she'll never receive credit for it. It'll eat her up, even more so than if the two of you never saw each other again for the rest of your lives."

By the time her first kiss as a wife ended, Elizabeth was out of breath... and loving every single dangerous second of it. While her husband was still an asshole, and while she hated him with every single fiber of her awesome being, Jason Morgan could kiss! "Merry Freaking Christmas to me," she mumbled under her breath, biting her tender lip and wondering just how long it would take for them to leave the judge's chambers and get back to the penthouse where the real wedding celebration could start.

"Sign the license," the judge ordered them, shoving the sealed document across his desk where two pens were dutifully waiting for their hands to take possession of them. And they both did so, without a single qualm or hesitation.

"Let's go," Jason commanded, and, for the first time since she had met him five days prior, she didn't mind listening to what he told her to do.

As they passed through the threshold of the judge's office, she could hear the private dick who had caused their whole freaking marriage in the first place chortling with unconcealed glee and self-satisfaction. "Just don't knock her up," he warned Jason, "because that'll definitely give up the game and ruin the plan!"

Suddenly, all Elizabeth wanted from Santa was a year's supply of condoms. She had a feeling her husband would be more than willing to help her out with that.