This chapter didn't come as easily as the other six, but oh well…
Thank you, vlalita. I do too; I remember when Mac yelled at Elizabeth for the whole Lucky/Maxie thing and I think that with as close as Elizabeth is to Emma, Patrick, Anna, and Robin, she could be close with Mac too, if GH gave it a chance. Anyway, I figured since Robin is her adoptive sister in this story, Mac and Elizabeth would be close through that.
Thank you, Devil Jolie! (Which reminds me, I messed up affect v. effect last chapter – I always manage to do that…) You know Jason, he's one of the most obstinate people there is, but hopefully Emily did get through to him.
She sure does, Carla. Thank you, I put two quotes there as reference to what I had done in the story and the other one was just my favorite Liason quote.
That's very true, Virgy15. Laura told Bobbie out of concern for Elizabeth and the two thought they were alone, but you know that Amy, always around every corner. As of this point, Sam will be leaving Elizabeth alone because she doesn't want to wind up dead, but anything can happen. Thank you!
Thank you, babeboo1968!
Thank you, Guest. Keep in mind that Sam isn't carrying any kid – she did, but she miscarried, and that's why Jason accepted her proposal because he thought that rejecting her would just make her more upset…or something; I don't know, Jason's thought process in this story is confusing even to me, at times.
Thank you, lrobinson01. The Three Stooges! Lmao!
He desperately needs a clue, Twisted Musilah.
No Jason and Sam confrontation in this chapter, but perhaps y'all will still find something to like…
"Oh Robin, you're gorgeous!" Elizabeth exclaimed. "I mean, not that you're not gorgeous otherwise…" she stammered.
Maxie waved a hand, effectively cutting her off. "What Liz is trying to say is that you really should listen to your cousin more often because as always, I'm right about this dress."
Robin laughed. "Have I ever told you that your ego might be worse than Patrick's and Matt's combined?"
"Yes, many times. Now turn around," the blonde said absentmindedly, scrutinizing the wedding dress.
"I was one hot bride, but you know Robin, you might just top me," Brenda noted.
Robin blushed. "Oh please, Brenda, who's the model here?"
"Me," Brenda answered, casually.
"Exactly," Robin nodded.
"You're gorgeous and you know it," Elizabeth told her sister.
Robin glanced at herself in the mirror and the other three women could detect the slightest hint of a smile. "Well maybe just a little."
"Try more like a lot," Maxie said. "You won't be a prettier bride than me if I ever get married and believe me, that is the last thing on my mind because I'm definitely going to have a career first, but you will be a beautiful bride. Buy the dress."
"And if I don't?"
"I'll never leave you alone about it," Maxie shrugged.
"Alright, alright, I'll buy the dress."
"Good," Maxie smiled. "Now was that really so hard?"
"Maxie, you know Robin; she doesn't like anything extravagant," Elizabeth noted.
"'Nuance?'" Robin raised a brow. "Has someone been helping Georgie study?"
"Ew, no way," her younger cousin shuddered. "But I might have listened to her once or twice."
Robin slipped out of the wedding dress and grabbed three other dress bags, handing them to each of the women. "Okay, now your turn."
Elizabeth didn't like the idea of modeling in front of anyone and decided to wait until the other two were done trying theirs on. Maxie announced that hers wasn't frilly enough and Brenda thanked Robin for choosing a pink dress that still managed to match the color scheme.
When she couldn't procrastinate any longer, Elizabeth slipped into hers and the three women gasped.
"Liz, you have curves!" a shocked Maxie shouted. Her reaction was understandable, as Elizabeth often wore clothes based on comfort, rather than style.
"You look beautiful, Elizabeth," Brenda nodded, approvingly.
"You're going to outshine me," Robin laughed.
"Oh no, no I won't," Elizabeth assured her.
"Beautiful," came a fourth, softer voice.
Elizabeth whipped her head up and caught Brandon Summers looking briefly at her before turning around. She blushed and made her way over to him.
"I'm sorry, did you say something?"
"Only that you look beautiful," he said in that same Southern brogue that sent shivers down her spine.
"Tha – thank you," she stuttered.
"You're welcome," he smiled.
"Are those for your girlfriend?" she said, gesturing to the earring box he held.
"No, no," he chuckled. "Sister. Her birthday's coming up and Cooper Barrett told me to look into this place."
Elizabeth looked at the earrings and smiled. "Well I wouldn't say I'm an earring expert, but I do think she'll love those."
He smiled in return. "I noticed you aren't wearing a ring…boyfriend?"
"Uh uh. Single."
"Well then, I know this is sudden and that we only met today, but I was wondering if you might consider grabbing dinner, say, this weekend?"
"I would love to go to dinner with you. Did Mac put you up to this?"
Brandon looked astonished. "No, miss, he didn't have anything to do with it."
"Call me Elizabeth," she smiled.
"Yes, alright, Elizabeth," he said, softly.
Elizabeth noticed that the line had cleared and nodded in the direction of the cash register. "You should go pay for those earrings…" she trailed off.
"Of course," he paused. "So should I pick you up or meet you somewhere?"
"How about you get my number from Mac and then we can figure everything out? He'll be more than happy to give it to you," she laughed.
"Sounds good," Brandon smiled. "I'll see you later."
"Yes," Elizabeth nodded. "See you later."
She felt someone dragging her backward and then almost fell over when three women crowded her and started shouting out inquiries.
"Who's that?" Brenda asked.
"He's so hot!" Maxie exclaimed.
"You're going on a date with Brandon?" Robin asked.
"Details!" Brenda insisted.
"He's so hot!" Maxie repeated.
"I can't believe this; you're actually going on a date!"
"He's Southern, right? He totally sounded Southern."
Elizabeth tuned out the questions and smiled softly, her mind already wandering to the weekend.
He raced down the road, at a dangerous, reckless speed, enjoying the freedom racing gave him. It didn't take his mind off a certain brunette, which was why he had gone racing in the first place, but it did clear his mind for at least a little bit.
Johnny stopped the car and got out, running over to his nephew's gravestone while thinking, not for the first time, that if Jason Morgan had kept his promise that night, the kid wouldn't be buried under all this dirt in the first place.
"Hey, kid," he said, placing the yellow toy car with the other presents. "I should've come sooner, I know." He paused. "I went racing today; remember me telling you I'd take you when you were older, but we couldn't tell your mom? I know this toy car isn't as good as the real thing, but maybe it works as a substitute. Do they have racing wherever you are? I bet Grandma's taking good care of you. Tell her hi for me, will you?"
He sighed. "I wish you were here, kid; your mom, she pretends to be happy, but anyone who knows her knows better. You were the light of her life, you know that, right? Cheesy, I know, but true…
"Aunt Robin's getting married," he smiled. "Yeah, to Uncle Patrick. None of us thought he'd ever take the leap, but it's about damn – sorry, kid – it's about time he did. You'd make a good ring bearer, you know? I know, you'd rather run around naked than in a suit, but I think you'd be awesome. Robin gave Robby the job, but he's kinda old for ring bearer and he's not happy about having to wear a suit, either.
"Remember Aunt Georgie? She's something else, isn't she?" he smiled. "Can you believe it, kid? Your Uncle John has a crush. Pathetic, I know." He shook his head, as if he couldn't believe it himself.
"Uncle Spin's just as weird as always and Aunt Brenda and Uncle Sonny are fighting, again." Johnny rolled his eyes at the mere mention of Sonny, although the man didn't anger him as much as Sonny's partner-in-crime. "Spin tried to get your mom signed up for a dating service, but of course she turned him down.
"Just…do me a favor and keep watching over your mom, okay kid? I know she's strong, but even Elizabeth needs help every now and then. I'm worried about her and you know I hate worrying about anyone. "
Johnny glanced at the various presents and smiled. "I don't know why we leave you all these gifts, but you'd love this car, and this pumpkin. I bet Elizabeth gave you the pumpkin and Brenda probably brought you the pink flowers. You'd hate the pink flowers, but you know Aunt Maxie, she'd scream if we gave you…black flowers, or something. Although you'd either want blue or none at all, right? Kid who loves cars and motorcycles – yeah, I'm leaning toward none at all."
He shook his head again. "Damn, I never talk this much. I need to get going, kid, but know how much we all love and miss you and maybe you could put in a word with the man upstairs or whoever to make sure your mom's happy again? Put us all at ease?" Johnny briefly caressed the gravestone. "I'll come back soon. Promise."
Elizabeth walked into Kelly's, Robby a few paces in front of her. After she and the girls had finished dress shopping, a desperate Mac had called. He and Felicia wanted to have a rare night alone and since Georgie was working a shift, Maxie was finishing up a project for her fashion class, and Robin was over at Patrick's, Elizabeth assured him she would gladly baby-sit. Of course, this meant half an hour of Mac's gloating that Brandon had asked him for her number, and Robby's insistence that he was too old for a baby-sitter, but Elizabeth had merely laughed.
"Robby, why don't you grab us a booth?"
"Sure," he nodded, running over to choose one while killing monsters on his Game Boy.
"Elizabeth! Baby-sitting duty?"
"I'm sorry I couldn't take him tonight."
"Don't worry about it, Georgie; you're working. It's completely understandable."
The younger girl smiled and grabbed her notepad. "Alright, what can I get you two?"
"Robby will have a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake – if you could somehow get a salad in there, it would be great; I know he doesn't like it, so just sneak it to him somehow so he still gets his veggies. I already ate dinner; go ahead and get me an orange cranberry muffin and a hot chocolate."
Georgie shook her head. "I'll never understand how you can drink hot chocolate in this heat."
"It's not impossible," Elizabeth laughed.
"No, just…weird. Anyway…how are you? I know it was Jake's birthday yesterday."
"I wouldn't say I'm fine, but it does get a little easier every day. Never easy, but easier," Elizabeth confided.
Georgie placed a hand over Elizabeth's. "You know you can talk to me any time, right?"
"Yes, I know," Elizabeth smiled. "Have I ever said how glad I am to have you in the family?"
"Yes, but you can always say it again," Georgie laughed.
She glanced around the diner and looked at Elizabeth apologetically. "I'm sorry; I should get back to work…"
"Of course. I should get back to your brother."
"Maybe if the crowd thins out long enough for me to have a break, I'll come join you guys."
"We'd like that."
Elizabeth took the food from Georgie and headed over to Robby.
"So, buddy, how's school going?"
Robby groaned. "All the teachers expect me to be as smart as George or as talkative as Max. Did you have that problem, Lizzie?"
"Not exactly," Elizabeth shook her head. "I mean, sometimes, yeah, I'd get to a class like science or something and I'd be expected to be a whiz at it, but you know her, she's really smart and me, I pretty much blew off any class that didn't involve a paintbrush and a canvas."
"But you're smart too," Robby protested.
"Thanks," she smiled. "John had trouble with the art teacher; she was convinced he'd be the next Picasso if he just focused. Don't blow off high school like I did, okay? I'm lucky I made it to college."
"No worries. George won't let me; anyway, Dad would go ballistic and I wouldn't be able to hang out with Michael." He said the latter in a tone that indicated the world would cease to exist if he didn't get to hang out with Michael Quartermaine.
"By the way, he still doesn't know what his dad sees in Sarah," Robby informed Elizabeth.
"None of us do, but he must see something," she shrugged. "AJ's smarter than most people give him credit for."
Robby bit into his burger and proceeded to continue his game while Elizabeth took slow bites from her muffin, savoring the sweet taste. She heard the door open and looked up, expecting to see Brandon.
"Jason," she whispered.
Her charge quickly looked up from his game and gifted the enforcer with a look that both Johnny and Mac would be proud of.
Jason noticed Elizabeth and stuffed his hands into his pockets. "I, uh, I can come back later…"
"No," she shook her head. "You have just as much right to be here as anyone."
"No, it's okay. I was just getting chili, but I can go somewhere else..."
"Jason. You're gonna stay here, okay?"
"Are you sure?" he asked, searching her gaze.
"Yeah. I'm sure."
He went to get his food and Elizabeth looked briefly in his direction. Georgie was as polite with him as she was with everyone – a significant difference from the attitudes of Elizabeth's other family members toward Jason, Robin included.
"Did Dad say someone asked you out, Lizzie?" Robby asked, putting his game away and digging into his shake.
"Mac told you someone asked me out?" she questioned, raising an eyebrow. Mac normally didn't confide in his son about his nieces' relationships.
"No, I heard him telling Mom when she asked how you were. He gloated a lot."
Elizabeth laughed. "Yeah, one of Mac's cadets asked me on a date; I thought about turning him down, but he's really cute and –" Robby made a gagging sound at "cute" "Oh be quiet, like you don't think any girls are cute – and he seems nice and plus it would get your dad off my back, so why not?"
"You're going on a date?" Georgie gasped, joining them.
"I really can't keep anything secret anymore, can I?" Elizabeth giggled. "Yeah, one of your dad's cadets asked me for a date this weekend and I agreed. I mean, it's not like I had any other plans or anything."
Georgie smiled. "Good, Elizabeth. I'm glad. You deserve to be happy."
"So do you," Elizabeth noted. "If I remember right, your last date was before you and Dillon broke up, which was…how many summers ago?"
The younger girl waved her hand. "I'm too busy for dating."
"Maybe if you weren't in every club that school has…" Elizabeth laughed.
"I'm not in every club," Georgie said.
"Almost every club," her brother teased.
"You're no help, Robby."
"Anyway, I'm happy. You aren't," Georgie shrugged.
"It's just one date, you know," Elizabeth emphasized. The people in her family expected too much from one date, she realized. She wouldn't be surprised if both Maxie and Mac were already planning her wedding to Brandon Summers, although they would be sadly disappointed when they realized Elizabeth had no intention of ever re-marrying.
"One date can always turn into another."
"Since when did you get so romantic?"
"Who knows; maybe I've been listening to Maxie too long."
The door slammed shut and Elizabeth looked up, started. She glanced around the diner before noticing the seat Jason had occupied only moments ago. He was gone.
Dr. Ewen Keenan had always considered himself a gracious man; perhaps a little secretive and shady, but gracious nonetheless. He did his job without complaint and he liked to think he helped people – not always in an orthodox manner, but sometimes in order to get the job done, you had to become a little creative. This, however; this was his unpleasant past coming back to bite him. One little job that started out as a way to pay his bills while he searched for a position in a private practice and now he might lose his medical license for good.
"I told you not to call," Sam hissed again.
"Like I told you, we have a problem," he insisted, tapping his fingers on his office desk. He knew it was risky calling his former partner through this line, but it was a risk he was willing to take at present.
"What problem could that be? We haven't worked together in over a year; it can't be anything that important. Don't tell me it's because Elizabeth rejected you, again."
"Listen to me!" he shouted, frustrated, not only with Sam but also that Elizabeth Zacchara had not once, not twice, but thrice rejected his offer for dinner. He blamed her sister; he didn't have anything against Robin, but he knew that she disliked him and he wouldn't be surprised if she turned Elizabeth against him. "This is about the job we did together before you decided to target Morgan and then fell hopelessly in love with him, or so you claim."
"Of course I'm in love with him, you idiot. You mean getting rid of the body? What happened, Keenan? You never got your paycheck? If you think I'll share with you, you should know better."
"Yes, Samantha, I did receive my payment," he rolled his eyes. Really, how did he ever get mixed up with someone as daft as Sam McCall? Ewen made a mental note to always check the IQ's of his partners before agreeing to work with them; maybe then the conversations wouldn't be half this irritating.
"I told you never to call me that," she said, in a dangerous, low tone that indicated she'd have no problem putting a bullet in his brain if the situation demanded it.
"I wouldn't have to call you Samantha if you would listen to me."
"Fine," she said, exasperated. "What's the problem and why should I care?"
"Well, I've just received word that there was more to this than we were told…"
"It doesn't matter if we didn't know everything; it's been over a year, I doubt we need to know details. It's not like the cops are pounding at our doors. Of course, if a cop is pounding at your door, you know what'll happen if you give me away as an accomplice."
"How disappointing," Ewen commented, ignoring her not-so-subtle threat. "I thought you'd be interested to hear about this, as it concerns a certain…fiancé of yours."
"Jason? What does this have to do with Jason?"
"Oh nothing, simply that the body we disposed of is, in fact, alive."
"And I care why?"
"That body? Just so happens to belong to his five-year old son."
Well, there you have it. I didn't plan for Brandon to ask her on a date so soon after meeting her, but he decided he wanted to. I will tell you one thing: as of this point, Brandon is a good guy (and not a fake good guy-actually-working-for-criminal-Jerry like Ewen.) He's just a normal, rare good guy.
I didn't originally intend to have Jakey alive, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought why not and realized who might have him. Who is that? Well…you'll see. *cackles*