Note: I miss the Elizabeth/Emily friendship and the good old days of GH. This is an alternate history with only a passing acquaintance to the GH we know.

Johnny O'Brien should have turned and walked right back out the door. He knew it, they knew it, and damned if Jake herself didn't know it. The two barely-legal ladies at the corner table were definitely plotting something and he really didn't want any part of it. Then again, they were plotting and their schemes usually meant trouble for his boss. If he could head that off now, maybe he could spare Jason another migraine. The two E's had already caused enough of those.

The two E's, as all the guards called them, were Jason's sister Emily and their shared best friend Elizabeth. It was a long running joke that whoever pulled E duty, especially on girls' nights out at Jake's Bar, would need serious psychological counseling to recover. Last time Johnny got stuck with them, he had ended up just barely whisking them away before the cops came. Jason would have shot him if they had been arrested for starting a bar brawl. He probably should have stopped that crazily seductive dance they were sharing before the drunken dock worker noticed and tried to join them.

Despite his instincts, he grabbed a beer and approached their table. Marco was at the pool table and looked relieved to see him. Johnny waved him off for the night. Whatever the E's were up to, it was beyond Marco's ability to control. Johnny would be lucky if he didn't need to call Jason down.

Elizabeth spotted him first and grinned. "Hey, Em, look who missed us! Want a tequila shot, Johnny Boy?"

Emily laughed. "Oh, no, Johnny can't hold his tequila, Liz. Remember last time?"

The seasoned guard actually blushed. Getting shot would have been preferable to explaining to Jason what happened when he finally got the E's back to Elizabeth's small apartment. Dear Lord, how on earth he'd fallen into that particular trap still eluded him. Just the thought had his breathing speed up. The ladies had continued their game and the private dance had nearly been his undoing. He had run from the building like a politician from the truth.

Johnny tried to glare at them as he sat down. "I'm not the one whose inhibitions fly after the third shot."

Liz rolled her eyes. "It was eight. And you did seem to fly outta there," she teased.

He wasn't getting swept up in their play again. He was an experienced mob enforcer and he could handle two little girls. "Okay, enough distractions. What were you whispering about when I came in?"

Elizabeth looked away, a sure sign of guilt. Emily had grown up in the Quartermaine home and could lie with the best of them. "Johnny, I have no idea what you think is going on but Liz and I were just chatting."

Two years ago he fell for the 'just chatting' line and wound up at a rave. The outcome involved a spiked drink and dead cop. Eighteen months ago, he fell for it and the result was a run in with Helena Cassadine. He'd just barely gotten word to Jason in time before Elizabeth was poisoned. How Nik and Lucky justified putting their girlfriends in that kind of danger escaped him. The only good thing was that Elizabeth had seen the light and kicked young Spencer to the curb. The Cassadine prince had lasted another four months before Emily wised up.

Johnny just watched the girls and waited. Emily wouldn't back down but Elizabeth always cracked. She hated deceit almost as much as Jason did.

Liz sighed. "Okay, so Jason has been kinda down. You know, with the whole my-ex-Carly-is-a-slut-who-sleeps-with-my-boss thing. Emily and I are going to cheer him up."

He leaned back in his chair. "Why do I get the feeling this is going to be more than a bike ride and a few beers?"

Emily leaned close and spoke in a soft whisper. "Because you are a remarkably handsome and intelligent man." She ran a hand along his arm. "And because you are so intuitive, you see that Jason needs help. You're gonna help us help Jason, aren't you, Johnny?"

That shouldn't work. The picture of Emily running that same hand down Elizabeth's back and grabbing her butt as they danced for him shouldn't be racing through his mind either. "Ah, hell," he groaned. When this latest plan crashed and burned Jason really was going to kill him. "What do you want from me?"

Emily glowed with triumph. That little scene at the apartment last month was paying off in spades. With a wink at her co-conspirator, she straightened. "He needs to get laid, like best-sex-ever laid. Once we find the right woman, your job is to sneak her into the penthouse."

Johnny looked from one to the other. "Are you shitting me?" When they only smiled at him, he exploded. "That is the craziest thing you two have ever come up with! Worse than that thing with traveling circus performer! Jason does not need help finding a woman!" Even if he did, he didn't need it from his little sister. Johnny seriously considered setting them straight on the basics of male pride.

Elizabeth raised a hand to calm him down. "We know he can find someone to bump and dump but we want more for him. He's a good man, a great guy, and he deserves to be loved and to have a real relationship."

Johnny chose to distract them while he tried to think of a way to stop this before Jason found out. "Bump and dump?"

"You know, bump uglies with some tramp and dump her before daylight," Emily explained. "Your specialty. Or, oh, this could be good, too! We find two women. Johnny seemed to really like that."

They smirked at him but he refused to blush again. These women were going to get him killed. And if Jason wouldn't pull the trigger, he'd kill himself just to keep from getting involved in another one of their outlandish debacles. "I am not going to sneak some strange girl, much less two, into Jason's bed. I am, however, going to take you home now before you're able to do anything about this. In the morning you'll see how ridiculous it is."

The two E's looked at each other but complied. That scared him more than Jason finding out he was having some fairly detailed daydreams about his sister.

-gh-

Jason Morgan was the product of his brother's addiction but he didn't let that influence his decisions. He chose who was in his life and who wasn't. He evaluated people based on their attributes, not their bloodlines. Loyalty and honesty defined his friendships. Both of which his employee seemed to be struggling with at the moment.

Johnny knew he needed to warn Jason about the latest attempt to ruin his well-ordered existence but ratting out the E's was his least favorite part of the job. Sure, sometimes they got in over their heads but more often than not their exploits were harmless. "They're up to something. Again."

Jason didn't need to ask who. Rarely a quiet week went by with Emily and Elizabeth. Most people would have considered them more trouble than they were worth. He wasn't most people.

From the time he woke up, Emily had been there loving and supporting him. She told him that, while she missed Jason Quartermaine, she wanted to be Jason Morgan's sister too. Aside from his grandmother, no one else in their twisted family had shown such determination to stay in his life. She was sweet and obnoxious and he loved her.

Elizabeth was another story. He and Johnny had been cutting through the park five years ago and heard her screams. He fought off her would-be rapist and took her home. She didn't know it but Johnny killed the bastard and disposed of the body. Jason had stayed with Elizabeth until her grandmother got home from her bridge club a couple of hours later. She had showered and then cried on his shoulder. When her tears stopped, they talked. She had only arrived in Port Charles and hadn't yet made any friends. She had gone to the park to sketch the fountain in the moonlight, never thinking about the danger.

He had called Emily and suggested she reach out to the newcomer. From the first lunch at Kelly's the two girls had been inseparable. They were kindred spirits and Jason was happy they had each other. As he got to know Elizabeth better, he found that she had a mischievous nature. He thought it was cute, until he realized the effect Emily's love for adventure would have on it. They were a terror but they kept life interesting.

He could feel the tension building. "What now?"

Johnny squinted up at the ceiling. "Well, boss, they think you aren't happy."

That made Jason's eyebrows shoot up. "What does that mean?"

Johnny was a killer. He was used to danger. This was a whole new ballgame. "They want to find a woman for you."

Jason was speechless. Emily and Elizabeth knew better. He bailed them out when they got in too deep and he listened to their problems. He made sure they were safe from danger and he even ate their horrible attempts at cooking. What on earth had he ever done to merit this kind of torture?

Johnny watched as Jason's mouth opened and closed several times. He counted to thirty-seven before Jason recovered. Now to drop the other bomb. "Once they find one, they want me to sneak her into your bed."

Jason smiled. Johnny got nervous.

"You know what, let them have some fun. As far as they go, this is nothing." Jason turned back to the coffee contracts on his desk.

Johnny wondered when hell had frozen over.

-gh-

Monday evening Jason joined the two young women at Kelly's for dinner. After introducing him to the new waitress, they had conveniently remembered a study group and left. Courtney wasn't unattractive but he thought her hands might be bigger than his. She was visibly disappointed when he left without asking her out.

Tuesday the E's showed up at the coffee shop with a girl from their history class. Robin was sweet but too quiet. While that might change if they got to know each other, Jason knew that it would mean some painfully awkward dates until then. He excused himself and went back to work. Emily and Elizabeth left frustrated but determined.

Wednesday they cornered him at the docks with another classmate. Kelly Lee went on and on about how much she loved studying biology and the innuendos weren't subtle. Jason left the first chance he got.

Thursday brought sweet Nadine and Jason felt like he'd gained new cavities just by being in the same room with her.

On Friday he reluctantly agreed to meet them at Jake's. When they pointed out Sam McCall, he wanted to shrug her off as he did the others. Their fun was starting to annoy him and he didn't want to have to avoid them. They were the only non-business friends he had. So he talked with the sultry brunette and shot dirty looks to Emily and Elizabeth. Sam placed a hand on his belt and invited him upstairs. He wasn't interested but decided this might get them to give up this crazy plan. He followed her to her room and left an hour later feeling like he needed both a shower and penicillin shot.

-gh-

Elizabeth woke up Saturday with an upset stomach. She had only had two wine coolers last night so it wasn't a hangover. She tried to remember what she had to eat yesterday but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Wondering if the stomach flu was going around again, she headed for the shower. Feeling better she hummed while she dressed and fixed her hair.

She was planning to meet Emily for brunch and discuss their success when the nausea returned stronger than before. There was no reason to be upset. Emily was her closest friend and they saw each other daily. They might even stop by the penthouse to tease Jason about his date. A wave of nausea had her dropping to sit on the bed.

Okay, so she wasn't super thrilled to see Jason walking up those stairs with slutty Sam last night. It was because he was her friend and Sam was their last, desperate choice. Who knew Port Charles had so few single gals? Her neighbor Ric had given them her number and assured them that Jason would thank them for it. She decided she hated Ric. He was always too nice and helpful. No one but Nadine could really pull that off.

Her unease must be because she didn't like Sam, who was more the bump and dump type than real love. Unless Jason really enjoying the bumping. In which case Sam would be around and Elizabeth would have to be nice and ugh. Jason deserved better.

Elizabeth tried to really imagine him with one of the other girls and each one made her want to pray to the porcelain god. What on earth was wrong with her? She wanted Jason to be happy. He saved her from being raped and then engineered her friendship with Emily. He tried to hide it but he was also the one who was providing funds for her scholarship. She had discovered that when a jealous financial aid clerk had gotten too mouthy. He was responsible for just about every good thing in her life and she wanted to repay him a little.

Lying back she fought the tears. He was responsible for just about every good thing in her life and she loved him. She wanted him to be happy and was willing to go along with Emily's insane idea to make it happen.

Staring at her ceiling, she tried to picture Jason happy with her as his girlfriend. All she could see was his revulsion. He loved her – just like he loved Emily. As a little sister. If she couldn't stop her out of control heart, she would end up losing him completely.

-gh-

Emily watched her friend carefully as they talked about last night. Elizabeth was saying all the right things but Em knew her too well. The smile on her face was noticeably absent from her eyes. She wanted to smack her. "So Sam's the one and that's that."

Elizabeth nodded and looked down at her mostly uneaten salad. Her stomach felt worse than that time the circus guy had let them ride the trapeze. "Yeh, Jason's got someone. Another successful effort on our parts."

Emily was biding her time. The plan was nowhere near done. Now she just needed to get Johnny to help her finish it.

-gh-

Jason hated hangovers. He usually limited his intake to avoid them. Last night after leaving Sam, he came home and drank a whole bottle of Scotch. Needless to say he regretted it this morning. If only his little sister and her best friend hadn't been egging him on all week…

Thoughts of Elizabeth flooded his mind. The night he saved her, he gained another sister. Yet her involvement in this particular scheme upset him. He wasn't thrilled that Emily was fixing him up but he really didn't like that Elizabeth was. Refusing to consider why it bothered him so much, he slowly eased off the bed and sought out the aspirin in his medicine cabinet.

It was only as he was brushing his teeth and thinking about how pretty Elizabeth's smile was that he began to understand. She wasn't his sister.

-gh-

Johnny hated working weekends. Jason was being a bear about this shipment though so he kept his mouth shut and counted sacks of coffee beans. He figured it was related to the two E's and chuckled as he recalled how nonchalant Jason had been about the plan to find him a woman. Apparently nothing had turned into something.

He lifted his gaze to the commotion at the door. Emily knew better than to show up here and was giving Ritchie hell for trying to send her away. Once again he was going to have to step in. The little lady was only getting louder.

Emily saw Johnny walking over and smiled. "Johnny! Please tell meathead here that I'm not going to burn the place down."

Johnny nodded, sending the other guard back to work. "Again, you mean?"

She stomped her foot. "It was a very small, very contained fire in a trash can. Elizabeth and I were saying goodbye to lousy boyfriends and burning pictures and gifts is the traditional route."

"Why here though?" he couldn't help asking.

"Because we had so many pictures that we needed an industrial size can! Lucky was in his photography phase back then and snapped gazillions of them."

Johnny refrained from laughing at her but it was hard. "Why are you here now? Neither one of you has been on a date in months."

Emily could have explained that she would gladly date if he would only work up enough courage to ask but she didn't. "I need to talk to you about the plan."

Johnny frowned. "I thought you'd be past that by now. He's around and he's in a foul mood so maybe…"

"I'll make it quick. Or better yet, we could go talk somewhere else, some place more private," Emily suggested. Sometimes a girl had to take charge.

The idea of being alone with her got his body humming. Hearing Jason coming from his office, he grabbed her hand and led her into an empty storage room. It was private but no so private that he endangered his privates. "Talk."

Perching on a crate, she crossed her legs and noticed as his eyes traveled from her toes to the hem of her mini skirt. He was going to be easy. Jason wasn't. "I want Jason and Elizabeth together."

Johnny had been mentally wrapping her legs around his waist and it took a moment for her statement to sink in. "Jason and Elizabeth?"

"Yes."

He furrowed his brow. "They aren't interested in each other like that."

"Yes, they are."

Johnny tilted his head to the side and studied her face. She was gorgeous. Delusional but gorgeous. "What makes you think that?"

She uncrossed her legs and then crossed them the other way. His eyes trailed back down. Pavlov's dog couldn't have responded better. "Elizabeth loves him. She just can't see herself as desirable. Between the repercussions from the attempted rape and Lucky ragging on her every mistake, she thinks she's not good enough so she hides from getting too close. Trust me, she wants Jason. And he wants her too." Emily huffed in annoyance at Johnny's disbelieving expression. "Okay, so he doesn't know it. Yet. But Elizabeth is perfect for him! She can handle the job and all that goes with being in his life. She's been doing it for years. She's an amazing person and once he gives it a chance they will both be happy."

Johnny hated himself but had to ask. "What do you want from me?"

She grinned. Oh the things she wanted from this man! For now, she kept it simple. "Take Elizabeth out."

His eyes bugged. "What?"

Emily rose and stepped close to him. "We're going to show Jason what he's missing and make Elizabeth feel wanted and worthy. You just wine and dine her. Leave the rest to me."

"What if she falls for me?" He knew it sounded arrogant but he was a charming guy. It was possible.

Emily shook her head. "I told you. She loves Jason."

"What if I fall for her?" Now that just sounded pathetic but he couldn't give in too easily.

She laughed and stroked his cheek. "O'Brien, you're too busy falling for me to look twice at my best friend." She brushed her lips across his quickly and left.

Johnny stood shell-shocked until he heard Jason bellow his name from the main room. He couldn't have argued with her even if she had stuck around. He was definitely in over his head. He just hadn't realized that one E was so much more dangerous than the other.

-gh-

Elizabeth looked in the mirror and cursed her best friend again. Why she agreed to go out with Johnny was beyond her. It made sense at the time. Now the reasons just sounded ridiculous. He was her friend and she didn't like the idea of using him. Emily assured her that Johnny was in a serious slump and needed perked up. When Liz suggested Em might be the better choice, she said Jason had long ago forbidden any kind of relationship with the guards beyond friendship.

Was tonight about more than friendship? With Johnny? Not a chance. She dropped her head into her hands. This was going to be a disaster.

Emily appeared in the mirror behind her. "Okay, hair and makeup look great. Now for the dress."

"Em, this is a mistake. What if…"

"Shush! Just go with it, okay? Let Johnny find his mojo and have some fun. You haven't been out since that catastrophe with the med student last year. What was his name? Mark? No, Matt."

Elizabeth gave up. "All right but I'm wearing my green sundress. It's casual but not too flirty."

Emily pulled a dress bag from the closet. "No, you're not. You are wearing this! Surprise!"

The bag was opened to reveal a navy sheath that made Elizabeth blush. "That's not nearly enough material to cover me! Geez, Em, what were you thinking?"

"I'm thinking that my best friend is a pretty sexy gal and needs to learn to show it off sometimes. Just try it on," Emily urged.

Knowing that further argument was useless, Liz stepped into the scrap of a dress. Her cleavage nearly spilled over the top and the bottom hem fell just above mid-thigh. The silky material was not strictly form-fitting but it definitely hugged her slight curves. "I can't step outside in this! Dear Lord, Em, lingerie models wear more!"

Emily rolled her eyes. "Stop exaggerating! You look fabulous and having such a hottie on his arm will help Johnny get back into his groove." Emily shoved her out of the bathroom and into the living room. "Johnny will be here in a few. I gotta go. Jase and I are having dinner. Have fun!"

She was gone without letting Elizabeth get another word in. Liz sat on the couch and put on her silver heels. As much as she usually enjoyed hanging out with Johnny, she had a feeling tonight was going to suck.

-gh-

Jason took Emily to the Grille and perused the menu. He already knew he wanted the prime rib but it passed the time while she made her decision. He was not stupid enough to believe that she suddenly desperately needed a night out with her favorite brother as she claimed. Favorite? Not exactly a great accomplishment with A.J. as competition. She was once again up to something and he was playing along until time to bail her out.

Emily set her menu down and looked around. No sign of the other couple yet. "So, I'm going to have the salmon but I'm gonna pass on the asparagus. I can't get past the image of little trees. I think that's why I'm not a big fan of broccoli either. It's very shrub-like."

Jason nodded but let her ramble. It was a habit she had picked up from Elizabeth. Forcing his mind back on his sister, he glanced at the door. Elizabeth was standing there and she took his breath away. Her hair was in soft curls drifting across her shoulders and her dress made him want to offer her his suit coat. No way in hell she should be out in that! Maybe he'd let her wear it for him in private. And then maybe he'd take it off her.

Jason jerked up straight at the line of thought. She was practically his sister! Why the hell was he fantasizing about her that way?

Emily watched Jason's face and knew what he was thinking. She smiled and casually followed his gaze. "Oh, look! It's Johnny and Elizabeth! I thought for sure she said they were going to the No Name."

Jason glared at his sister. "Johnny?" He belatedly noticed the guard's hand at Elizabeth's waist. They were smiling at each other as they waited to be seated. "What the hell?"

Em forced herself not to grin. "They're both single so why not? I mean, it may not lead anywhere but then again you never know. Even if it's only a great weekend in bed, at least they'd have some fun."

Jason's countenance darkened even more. "Bed? You mean sex? They're sleeping together?"

Emily shrugged. "Why not?" Inwardly she cringed. She was planning on being the one in Johnny's bed. She discreetly checked out the couple. While they seemed friendly enough, she picked up the undercurrent of nervousness and relaxed. Those two were almost as miserable as Jason.

Jason couldn't drag his eyes away from their table. Every smile Johnny gave Elizabeth made him want to punch the Irishman. Every time his so-called friend caused her to laugh, he had to hold back from pulling his gun. The meal lasted seemed to last forever. Then it ended all too soon because Johnny was leading Elizabeth to the dance floor.

Knowing he'd never survive watching them in anything remotely resembling an intimate embrace, Jason tried to get Emily to leave but she was lingering over her dessert. He sat there fuming as they stopped near the center of the floor and moved toward each other. Without thinking, he was up and stepping between them. "Leave now, O'Brien."

Elizabeth's eyes widened. She had been sneaking peeks at him tonight and knew something was upsetting him. "Jason? Are you okay?"

"Yes." He couldn't say more without giving himself away. If she really wanted the guard, he needed to know.

He took her in his arms and she followed his lead. Their bodies seemed to move effortlessly together. She allowed herself the length of the song to believe this was her dream come true. As the last notes faded, she drew in a deep breath. "Thank you but I should probably get back to Johnny now."

Jason tensed. "Um, okay." He looked at her table but it was empty. He then looked at his own and it was empty too. Beginning to understand Emily's latest plot, he closed his eyes. Apparently his little sister knew him better than he knew himself. "They're gone."

Elizabeth turned in a complete circle as she searched the dance floor. "Where did they go?"

He touched her arm. "I don't know. But I can take you home if you're ready." He wanted to ask her for another dance but wasn't sure of his newly discovered feelings and didn't want to hurt her if this was just a temporary crush. She nodded and he took her hand. They walked silently out to his SUV and drove off.

Jason spent the ride thinking about his emotions. If what he was feeling for Elizabeth was real, should he act on it? Did she feel the same way? The only thing he knew for certain was that he couldn't risk hurting her or losing her friendship. He would wait until he knew it was what she wanted too. He ran a hand through his hair as he made the last turn to her building. How on earth was he supposed to figure out if she wanted him? With no answers, he killed the engine and got out to walk her upstairs.

Elizabeth kept biting her lip until it was swollen. Emily was just too much sometimes. Setting her up like this! As if Jason would magically swear his undying love for her out of jealousy! This was one game that had to be stopped immediately. Jason was simply too important for her to allow Emily to screw things up.

At her door, they both spoke. Jason put a hand on her shoulder. "Me first this time." She nodded so he continued. "Are you and Johnny together?"

She shook her head. "No. Em gave me this whole speech about how he was lonely and needed an ego boost."

Jason let his hand slip down to hers. "She maneuvered me into taking her out tonight too." When Elizabeth gnawed on her lip again, he reached up with his other hand to rescue it. "So what comes next?" He wouldn't make the first move.

Elizabeth felt like she was on fire. His hand on her cheek was seriously distracting. "I'm thinking bed." As soon as the words left her mouth, her face flamed. "I mean, I'm going inside and going to bed. Alone. And you can go home and go to bed. Alone or not. I, uh, well, that's up to you."

Something in her eyes alerted him. While he still needed some time, she was already there. "Alone. For now." He kissed her forehead and waited while she fumbled for her keys. Whispering good night once she had the door open, he left the building in a thoughtful but still great mood.

-gh-

Emily held her door open for Johnny and he walked in cautiously. "Make yourself at home. I'll be right back." It was a lame line from every lousy seduction scene in the movies but it was all she could come up with. She hurriedly changing from her demure cocktail dress to a slinky red silk gown and then ran a brush through her hair. Some mouth wash and a makeup removing cloth finished her preparations and she paused to give herself a pep talk. All thoughts of her brother and her best friend fled. Tonight was all about Johnny O'Brien.

Johnny debated leaving. He knew she had been seducing him for weeks and he had to admit that he enjoyed it. But he also knew that sex with Emily could never be casual and not just because of Jason's accuracy with a gun. Emily was special and she deserved more than he had ever given a woman. She deserved commitment. He wasn't sure he had it in him. Just as he decided to talk her out of this, he heard her coming down the hall. One look and he forgot his objections.

-gh-

Elizabeth let herself into Emily's condo early the next morning determined to get some payback. She hid her grin at the clothing trail down the hallway. Without knocking she barged into the bedroom and crossed her arms.

The naked pair scrambled for the sheet. "Liz! Some privacy please!" Emily begged.

Johnny turned red and mumbled something as he abandoned the struggle and darted into the bathroom.

Elizabeth smirked. "What was the goal last night, Em? Embarrassing me? Putting Jason on the spot? Getting Johnny into bed?"

Emily slapped her hands on the bed. "The goal was to help Jason see you as a potential girlfriend. And for you to see yourself that way too." At Elizabeth's stare, she blushed. "Getting Johnny here was a bonus."

Their eyes met and they laughed. Elizabeth took several breaths. "Oh my word! Did you see Johnny dash outta here? I knew he was built but, wow, what a great tush!"

Emily tried to regain her composure. "Miss Webber, that is my boyfriend you're ogling!"

They could hear the shower start and found it hilarious. "Come on, Em. Let's go fix your boyfriend an omelet. While we're at it, I want details. You owe me after pulling a stunt like this."

Emily pulled on her robe. "Stunt? Wait, does that mean Jason didn't spend the night with you? What did you do wrong? I had it all set up perfectly!"

Liz just shook her head. Hopefully Johnny would take a nice long shower while they talked.

-gh-

Johnny found his clothes on Emily's bed and dressed as slowly as possible. Hoping with every fiber of his being that Liz was gone, he walked down the hall and looked for his new lover. Thankfully he heard the door closing behind Liz.

Emily greeted him with a kiss. "Good morning. I would apologize for my friend but you already know how she can be."

He stepped back. "I know how you both are." At her frown, he softened his tone. "If this is a game, Em, it's wrong. If it's real, well, hell, it's still wrong."

She crossed her arms. "You know it's not a game and it's not wrong, no matter what Jason thinks. He'll come around."

"Before or after he puts a bullet between my eyes?"

Emily turned away from him to make her next words easier. "I care about you and I want to be with you. I don't know where this is going but I want to find out. And if it was just one night for you, well, then that's okay."

He could see her shoulders shaking slightly as she tried to maintain her composure. While he wanted her, while he cared about her, he still wasn't sure he could be what she needed. After last night though he wanted to try. "I care about you too."

She whirled around and threw herself into his arms. They kissed their way back to the bedroom and spent the day learning all they could about each other.

-gh-

Jason spent the day riding his motorcycle with no particular destination in mind. He kept his mind blank and just enjoyed the nothingness he always found on the road. By the time he returned to Port Charles his head was clear and his heart was certain. He drove to her apartment.

Elizabeth was already biting her lip as she answered the door. It made him want to taste her mouth but he held back. "Hey."

She smiled softly. "Hey. Come in."

He sat on her sofa and clasped his hands between his knees. "I need to know what you want."

She sat on the adjoining chair. Her mind drifted back to the original plan. That was still her goal. "Um, I, uh, I want you to be happy."

Jason exhaled sharply. "And I want you to be happy but that's not really getting us anywhere. What do you want?"

Elizabeth abruptly stood. "Okay, you know what? You want to know what I want? I want a whole lot of things! I want to be your friend and your support and your help and, yes, I want to be your lover! But most of all, I just want you in my life in whatever way you want to be there." She fought back tears. "Jason, no matter what, I care about you too much to lose you so I'll be whatever you want me to be in order to keep you. You need to tell me what you want."

Jason leaned his head back and closed his eyes. "I don't want you to be anyone other than you. Don't ever pretend with me." He sighed and then met her gaze. "This is still new to me. I want to treat you right. So if you can give me time, time to make this work, then I want everything you just said. I want to be your friend and your lover."

She couldn't move. "Really?" Her joy at his nod was uncontainable. "What now? Not rushing 'cause you need time and I'm not going to try to change that or pester you into some kind of schedule or anything. But are we friends or are we dating or, well, I, you said you need time so we're not, not, well, you know, until we're both ready." Why she could say lover a few minutes ago and now couldn't get it out escaped her. It probably had something to do with the fact that it was suddenly at least somewhat likely.

Jason had always loved listening to her ramble and the delicate blush on her cheeks as she avoided talking about sex was completely endearing. He rose and put a hand on the back of her neck to draw her close to him. He gently rubbed his lips against hers before pressing a kiss to the corner of her mouth. She turned her head and met him fully. The kiss slowly built as their arms encircled their bodies and pulled them close. By the time he lifted his head, they were both breathing heavily. Blue eyes met blue.

Jason dipped his head back down to her. "Now we fall in love."