Note 1: I told a few that this wouldn't be out for a couple of weeks but it came together faster than I thought. Rough draft is complete and I will be posting daily. There are 10 chapters in all.
Note 2: If the timing is off for any show events, understand I took some liberties for dramatic effect. For example, Maureen never kidnapped Jake and Sam doesn't appear at all. I've killed her in other fics and I don't want to get too predictable. ;-)
It was just before five in the morning when Elizabeth left the operating room and headed out to check on the husband of the woman they had just lost. On her way home from a visit with her parents, she hadn't been able to avoid the drunk driver who swerved into her lane. Their three small sons had been killed instantly in the accident. She found Patrick speaking softly with the man before rising and nodded solemnly to her as he left the private waiting room.
"Is there anyone I can call?" she offered.
He shook his head. "Her parents, I called them and they, uh, they called her aunt. She's taking care of all that, I guess."
The man was barely holding it together and Elizabeth's tender heart broke for him. She sat beside him on the small sofa and placed a hand on his shoulder. His tears began falling and soon he started talking. "We were always in love. We met in this seedy bar in New York City and, God, she was so young and beautiful. I couldn't help falling for her. After college, we moved here for my job. The children, our babies," he gasped, "they were all born right here in this hospital." He was quiet for several minutes. "Her dad had a heart attack last year. She started making monthly visits down to the city to help out and make sure the kids spent as much time as possible with him. I couldn't always go. I let work keep me here. And now, now … I was working instead of there with them. I chose my damn job over my family and now they're gone."
Elizabeth said nothing and simply ran a hand along his shoulders as he wept. The whole situation was just too close to her own. Jason's job kept him from Jake. If anything happened to their little boy, he would feel this same guilt. Desperately trying to convince herself that nothing could possibly happen to her precious boy, she ignored the voice in the back of her head telling her to come clean before it was too late. The voice that just got louder and louder.
Elizabeth had barely recovered when Nik and Emily burst into the emergency room with Spencer. What they had originally believed was a stomach bug turned out to be appendicitis. Elizabeth scrubbed in to assist Patrick once again, confident that this surgery would go better than the last. It did and Emily snuck back to stay with the small boy in recovery while Elizabeth kept Nikolas company.
"You know, there are times when you realize just how important life is," he reflected. "Spencer could have died today and I might never have had gotten to know him. If Jax and Carly had been able to keep Spencer's paternity secret, I wouldn't have known my son. I would have missed so much."
Elizabeth was speechless. A sick feeling bubbled up in her. Carly had taken first Michael and then Spencer from their fathers, all the while excusing her selfishness as being what was best for those boys. Was she as bad as Carly?
Nik didn't notice when she stood and walked away. His mind was too wrapped up in gratitude for his son's life.
The nurse went to the roof and evaluated her choices in light of what had happened here this morning.
Sitting in the witness holding room at the courthouse that afternoon, she was surprised and annoyed to see Carly walk in the door. She was still reeling from her realization of just how Carly-like she had been acting and didn't want to have to deal with the woman at the moment. She needed a clear head to go up against Ric and help Jason. She spoke with Carly and Kate but couldn't shake her distraction. What she wouldn't give for a few quiet moments.
As she swore to tell the truth, Lucky slipped into the courtroom. Keeping her gaze on Jason, she took her seat. Ric's questions were exactly what Diane had prepared her for and everything seemed to be going well. She began to relax. It was a mistake.
Ric knew his ex-wife and he was painfully aware of why she would defend Morgan. After questioning her regarding the phone call, he moved on to what he really wanted from her. "Mrs. Spencer, could you please explain your relationship to Mr. Morgan."
"And how long have you been, um, friends?"
Elizabeth's eyes narrowed. He was up to something. "Since 1999."
"And you've always been just friends?"
She stiffened. "No." Diane had drilled into her that she could not elaborate on her answers to Ric. Knowing what he getting at, she kept silent though she desperately wanted to say more.
Ric grinned. "You lived together off and on, is that correct?"
The implication was sordid and she wanted to clarify. A quick glance at Diane strengthened her resolve. "Yes."
"Have you ever had sex with Jason Morgan?"
Diane objected but Ric countered that it went to establish character. The judge allowed the question but warned Ric to keep focused on the current charges. The district attorney nodded and turned back to the witness. "Mrs. Spencer, have you ever had sex with your friend Jason Morgan?"
Elizabeth couldn't help staring at Jason. While his face was impassive, his eyes were apologetic. She looked back to Ric. "Yes." She heard Lucky's gasp and refrained from looking his way. She needed to keep it together if she was going to best Ric.
Ric pounced. "Was that why you were with him on the day in question? Were you sleeping together then?"
"Are you still having an affair with Mr. Morgan?"
Ric rested his arm on the defense partition. "When did the affair end?"
Elizabeth inhaled deeply. "It was just one night."
Diane objected again and was overruled again. Jason nodded his head to Elizabeth and she answered the question. "August 14, 2006."
Ric laughed dryly. "Well, that's interesting. Tell us, Mrs. Spencer, about when was your son Jacob conceived?"
Jason stood abruptly and yelled. "That's enough, Ric!" Diane grabbed his arm and tried but failed to calm him down. "That's got nothing to do with this! Leave her alone!"
Elizabeth closed her eyes and dropped her head. The judge banged his gavel and shouted for order, threatening to restrain Jason. Diane begged for the court's indulgence as she manhandled Jason back into his chair. Lucky was motionless on the back row. With quiet restored, the judge motioned for Ric to continue but warned him to do so carefully.
Ric sensed blood in the water. There was no doubt in his mind now. "Mrs. Spencer, who is Jacob Martin's father?"
Diane objected once again. Ric argued that Elizabeth's answer could provide reason for her to want to protect Jason and thus call her entire testimony into question. The judge allowed him to proceed.
Ric approached Elizabeth again. "Mrs. Spencer, is Jason Morgan the father of your son Jacob Martin?"
Elizabeth's thoughts raced. A father who lost his wife and children. Nikolas who had been kept from Spencer for weeks. The lie that made her no better than Carly.
Ric pressed. "Please answer the question. Is Jason Jake's father?"