One hundred fifty

Elizabeth stared at the stack in front of her. It seemed impossible that she had devoted this much time and energy to him.

Lucky was standing behind her, angrily accusing her of betraying him.

Elizabeth whirled. "Lucky, how can you say that? I've stood by you while you tried to push me away. I've loved you since I was sixteen! I'll always love you."

Lucky shot her a venomous look. "I have my reasons." He glanced at the pile.

One hundred fifty

Elizabeth had to agree that this looked very, very bad. "Okay, I know this seems like something but it's really nothing. I mean, I thought you were dead and I needed a distraction because the grief was killing me. I thought you would want me to keep going, to not give up on life. I was trying to find a way to breathe without it hurting so much."

Lucky looked like he was about to cave but then caught the pile out of the corner of his eye. "I would have wanted you to move on, to find someone, if I really were dead and if you took the time to mourn me. Instead, you barely waited until the dirt covered my coffin to start screwing some other guy!"

Elizabeth gasped, completely shocked. "I never did that! I wouldn't do that! He's my friend. He listened to me talk about you for months because he was your friend, too!" She turned from him and found herself facing the source of this argument.

One hundred fifty

Tears began trailing down her pale cheeks. "Lucky, if you really knew me, really loved me, you wouldn't be saying these things. You would believe me when I said I didn't betray you. In fact, you wouldn't even need to ask."

Lucky walked to the door. "I guess I don't know you. Maybe I don't even love you."

She heard the door shut behind him and collapsed on the floor. She sobbed so forcefully that her whole body lurched up and down. Her beautiful, perfect love had been an illusion. Lucky didn't love her and that seemed much worse than his 'death' in that fire.

One hundred fifty

She struck at the pile, scattering the items across the floor. She wanted to prove Lucky wrong, prove that her love for him was everything she had always believed it was. However, the truth was staring at her. One hundred fifty sketches of Jason Morgan all screamed that the present was far different.

It was buried deep inside and had been since the moment Lucky reentered her life. No adamant proclamations of undying love for Lucky could destroy it. It had flickered and yet still shone brightly within her.

One hundred fifty

Elizabeth carefully picked up each drawing, stacking them neatly on the coffee table. She took her time and studied each pose. In many, Jason was smiling; somehow she had captured that teasing light in his eyes. In some, he was sleeping, as he had during those first days after his shooting. In still others, he was serious, begging her to see something.

She knew now what that something was. They had a connection. Their friendship was more than just a friendship. How had she missed this? How could she ignore it now?

One hundred fifty

Elizabeth finished stacking the pages and stood. She couldn't ignore it. Whatever the future held, she wanted Jason to be part of it, a very big part. Lucky was her past and she was grateful that she had learned that lesson now. She might have deluded herself for years and wasted so much time with Jason.

She gathered her coat and purse, turned the lights off, and locked the door behind her. As she closed the door, her eyes fell on the sketches. What had started out as a nightmare was turning into a wonderful dream come true. Lucky's reasons for walking away from her became her reasons for running to Jason.

All one hundred fifty of them.