Author's Note: Sorry, this one took a while, but I finally finished. Thanks in part to B for suggesting more banter as it helped give Barb a direction she liked because she didn't WANT to be as focused on Junyer, the Banana, and Dimples the Teflon Don of Destruction as this update originally was! I'm currently working on the next two chapters so HOPEFULLY they'll be coming soon... This is DEFINITELY a Jarly fic so any inclusion of OTHER characters now or in the future are to build on the story and the connection between these two. Hope you all are still enjoying it!

The Truth

Part 9
"What did you do to piss AJ off so much?" Jason asked as he hung up the phone eyebrow raised.

"I left him and took Michael with me," Carly said simply listening at the door and peeking out the peep hole. She shivered when Jason stared at her back eyebrow raised. "Ok, so I may have left the divorce and the primary custody decrees with Reginald… and Ned."

Jason stared in disbelief as she moved away from the door to check their bags again. He opened his mouth to speak and a laugh escaped instead. Carly's eyes darted to his and she had to fight her smile, but the twinkle of humor in her eyes was unmistakable. However when their eyes met, the heat from earlier returned and she had to look away quickly or combust.

"What is taking the Banana so long?" she rasped causing Jason to smirk. "She's been desperate for another crack at Sonny since I caught her in her lies."

"Carly," Jason chuckled.

"Ok, ok," she sighed. "You helped. But that's not the point, you sent those guys to MENTION Sonny's 'interest' so she should be here with her breathy, screechy angel routine trying to get that idiot back."

"Carly," he sighed.

"Ah, come on, Jase," she whined with a devilish grin on her face. "Tell the truth. You think he's an idiot, too. You don't have to hold back anymore, Jason."

As she strutted toward him while continually rambling about Sonny's incompetence, Jason watched her with a predatory stare. When she tried to coax her point of view from his lips by suggesting he'd feel better if he just said the words. "You're right," he agreed fighting to hide his amusement and the edge of arousal in his voice. He made a grab and pulled her to his side on the couch. "It does feel good to say it. I love you, Carly."

Carly instantly melted into his side, her eyes softening as the words filled her. She leaned into touch her mouth to his, but before he could deepen the caress a sound from the hall broke them apart.

"I need to see him, Francis! And I'm not taking no for answer!"

"The Banana's timing is as awful as ever. And who does she think she is to talk to a guard like that? Me?" Carly muttered resting her forehead against Jason's. "Or maybe her timing's improving because we certainly shouldn't be doing this."

"For now," he groaned as she pulled away from him.

"For however long it takes for you to get better," Carly retorted.

"You really think you can last that long," Jason dared his eyes gleaming as she offered him her hand to help him stand.

"I can if I have to," she quipped back with an eyebrow raised in challenge. "But that's an argument for another time. Now is the time for us to go!"

"If you say so, Carly," he chuckled, as she entered the coat closet. "It's on the far right near the floor."

"I remember, Jase," came her muffled reply as he watched her tight butt dance in the air and had to fight his urge to take advantage. "One tug, a twist to the right one full revolution, push… and it worked. Let's go!"

"Let me lead," Jason ordered before softening when he caught her shoulders tensing to fight over his tone. "I have it set to send an alarm to the penthouse and the guards if someone passes certain checkpoints without deactivating them."

"Fine," she agreed relaxing as he bent to grab his duffel. "But I've got that. No point in putting undo stress on your wound. Now, lead on."

They made the trip five flights down without incident. Jason only needed a break once three flights in. As luck would have it, his phone chose then to ring. "Morgan."

When his eyes met hers, it was clear it was Johnny calling him with an update. "We'll be to the exit in 5. Why? How long?

Carly watched in surprise at how uninjured and whole he seemed. She could almost put the night before down to a bad dream brought on by too many cheesy soap operas and some bad Chinese. But she could see the signs of strain the average person would miss and she would never forget the blood. So much blood.

"Good," he answered with a frown at the faraway pained expression that filled Carly's face as she continued staring at him. "I'll call from the car. Shut up, J."

When he hung up, he turned and reached for the latest checkpoint entering a combination of the day he met Carly and Michael's birthday as the code. "AJ's pulling into the upper garage now so we gotta get moving. Time to go," he said taking her empty hand gently in his. "We're almost home to Michael."

She simply nodded and followed praying he was right.

Carly kept looking from him to the window and back and shaking her head. And he said HER plans were convoluted and crazy. I'm holding this one over his head for the rest of our lives, she thought as she shook her head yet again before smiling at the thought of sharing her life with Jason.

"What's with the smile?" he asked as the driver moved quickly and discreetly through the streets of Port Charles. "Thinking about how you're gonna make the wait worth my while."

Carly's brain filled with their earlier conversation at the maintenance closet.

"What cart?" she asked frowning as she read the note over his shoulder. "Is this the part of the plan you wouldn't talk about?"

Scratching his cheek, he began explaining, "One of us will have to hide inside this cart while the other pushes."

"Are you CRAZY?" Carly hissed. "You. Were. Shot. Last. Night! You can't push this thing and you DAMN sure can't hide balled up inside it! What could you be thinking?!"

"Carly, I'll be fine," he coaxed in his most soothing tone. "The service elevator is like three feet from this closet. I can push a cart a couple of feet to an elevator. Hell, I walked HOW FAR from the docks to here? I'll be fine."

"I hate this, Jason," she grouched waffling. "But as long as you can do this without hurting yourself worse, I'll be fine."

"I'll be fine, Carly. I swear it," he assured her. "As long as you help me into this thing."

"Sure," she teased kneeling at his feet and taking the coveralls. "Same rules as when I helped you get dressed earlier. I'll help you put it on, if I get to take it off you."

Jason's eyes blazed. "You don't play fair," he rasped at the sight her kneeling before him with a very familiar, hungry glint in her eyes.

"Yeah," she agreed smugly. "And yet you STILL love me. You must be some kinda glutton for punishment, buddy."

"Well, there are certain compensations," he defended brushing a wayward strand from her cheek.

"True," she agreed before moving to zip him up. "Although not until you're off the injured list, lover. Then, I'll just have to remind you why I'm so very, very worth it."

Her head spun in his direction to answer only to find his eyes still closed. "How do you know I'm smiling?" she queried with a confused frown.

"The same way I always know when you're eavesdropping," he chuckled opening his eyes to meet her amused questioning gaze. "And don't think I'm falling for that. Answer the question. And while you're at it, why don't you explain how that little stunt was not defeating the purpose?"

"To answer your first question, it was nothing much," she answered as innocently as she could imagine while turning to look out the tiny window again. "Just thinking about how your plan was as elaborate as ANYTHING I could have come up with and that I will be holding that fact over your head for the rest of our lives."

Jason chuckled holding in his wince of pain. "Sounds good," he said softly. When her humor-filled eyes darted to his, he added, "The 'for the rest of our lives' part, not the 'holding it over my head' part."

"But you love me for it anyway," she tossed out coyly as she leaned over to kiss him gently.

"Maybe, but that doesn't answer my OTHER question" he chuckled wrapping his arms tightly around her waist intent on increasing the kiss's intensity when the car stopped and the quiet ring of his cell let him know Johnny would be opening the door soon. "Saved by the bell."