“It’s me, Sam. I’m here.” Jason exclaims a flutter of excitement rises in his chest. The moment he had waited five years for was finally here. Making eye contact with Sam, Jason could sense something was wrong. It was her, but it wasn’t her. She was a shell of her former self. Wondering if it was the night before events or something more, Jason slowly moves into the room. He wants to take care of her, he wants to make everything better, but he’s unsure if it’s his job anymore.
“It’s you; you’re real. Last night was real.” Sam cries, shifting in her bed, wiping her sweaty palms off on the bed; She looks at Jason, tears in her eyes. “It wasn’t a dream?” Choking on her words, Sam lifts herself up, closes her eyes and cries. “I’ve dreamed of you a million times, of that face; you always disappeared in the morning.” Feeling overwhelmed, Sam shakes in disbelief, refusing to open her eyes. She recalls the events from the night before in her mind.
“Don’t cry; I’m here! I’m real. I’m Jason.” Hurrying himself to her side, Jason stares at her. To him, she looked so different, yet the same; she was the same woman he fell in love with, he could see that in her eyes, but there was something else there. Something he didn’t recognize, yet. Examining her, Jason familiarized himself with Sam’s old features and memorized her new ones. Captivated by her absolute beauty, Jason slides his hand on top of Sam’s, causing her heart monitor to beep stronger and louder. Trying to understand what her life is now, how this was Jason when Jason just left; Sam cries harder.
Connecting with each other, Jason realizes Carly was right. He needed to see Sam; she needed to see him. Opening her eyes, Sam realizes the truth she’s been running from for the past two years. The man that just left her room was not Jason. Everything she had doubted about the imposter, was explained by Jason’s presence. Connected in a place with no words, their eyes tell each other everything that is needed to be known; Everything 5 years took from them.
“Sam,” Squeezing her hand tighter, Jason holds her name in his chest.
“Who are you?” A voice from the door echoes.
Entranced by each other, Sam and Jason don’t realize Danny is at the door watching them. Shifting his gaze, Jason makes eye contact with Danny. With his son. Taking one look at Danny, Jason knows. He knows that is his son. That is his Daniel Edward. Danny was everything Jason has imagine his son with Sam would be; down to the curly blond hair and his big doughy brown eye.
“Danny.” Jason releases Danny’s name in instead of Sam.
Staring in disbelief, Sam marvels at her two men, finally together as father and son. Wiping tears away, Sam beams at Jason and Danny.
Since finding out Danny’s true paternity, Sam has wished for only one thing; for Danny to know Jason’s love and to know now, he would, caused Sam’s heart to sing tunes of love.
“You’re Danny, right?” Inching closer, Jason couldn’t resist the pull of their son. He wanted to be closer to him, to be closer to them both. Remembering their last encounter together as a family, Jason smiles; his heart feels with happiness, and he yearns for that feeling again. He wants home again.
“Right,” Danny says with a smile on his face.
Danny’s smile makes Jason smile. It’s subtle, simple and just like his, Jason notices.
Feeling overwhelming joy, love, sadness, regret, and guilt, Jason stares at Danny, mostly marveling at Danny’s boldness. Sam stares at them both unsure of what comes next.
“Right, um um um I’m a friend of your mom. I remember your uncle that she named you after.” Holding back from telling Danny what’s in his heart, Jason rocks back and forth, trying to explain who he is without explaining who he is. Not knowing what Sam believes or what she wants, Jason looks to a silent Sam. Unable to speak a word since Jason touched her, Sam stares. She doesn’t know what to say or where to start; seeing Danny with his father only makes it harder for her to find her voice. She wants to scream “HE IS YOUR SON! HE WAS NEVER FRANCO’S” she can’t, the words are lodged deep in her throat, refusing to be set free.
“How come I’ve never met you?” Slowly inching closer to Jason, Danny shakes paper at his side. He cautiously moves around Jason, hurrying himself to Sam’s side.
Flabbergasted, Jason steps back and watches. He observes Danny’s delicate nature towards his mother. He notices the concern in Danny’s brow and the love in his stare. Jason recognizes his son. His son with Sam. This big boy, who is, talking, walking and standing right in front of him. Everything he ever wanted was in that room. He didn’t need confirmation. His heart told him everything he needed to know. Realizing this, the last missed five years mean nothing if they’re safe and happy.
Standing face to face with Jason, Sam couldn’t deny the unspoken connection she was witnessing. Gripping the bed for dear life, Sam feels a rush of pure joy, sending her monitors into overdrive; a feeling she hasn’t felt since the night Danny came home.
Unable to deny Danny his rightful father any longer, Sam fights through the tears to find her voice.
“Mommy, Why are you crying?” Focusing on his mom, Danny grabs her hand. Just like his father Danny hated seeing his mom cry. Squeezing her hand tighter, Danny finds his mother through tear-stained eyes.
“Hi.” Danny smiles.
“Because I’m so happy to see you, my love.” Making eye contact with Jason, Sam swoops blonde curls from Danny’s face. Communicating with their eyes, Jason and Sam communicate the question of Danny’s paternity while Danny tells Sam about the card he made for her. Sam’s eyes confirm what Jason already knows. This is your son. Nodding his head, Jason turns his attention to Danny.
“Can you help me up?” Looking from Sam to Jason, Danny stares at a shocked Jason waiting for his response. Jason looks at Sam in disbelief. He can’t believe he will be able to hold his son again. When Danny first came into the room, Jason couldn’t believe he was seeing him, but to be able to touch him, hold him; it takes everything in Jason not to break down and cry to the heavens for this gift. Slowly bending down, Jason picks Danny up, taking his time; remembering every moment. Replacing old Danny memories with this new one, Jason recalls his last moments with Danny.
Pulling Danny closer, Jason loses his balance, overwhelmed, Jason, thinks about touching Sam for the first time. Catching himself, Jason resists the urge to hug his son; he resists the urge to sync their heartbeats.
“Put my son down.” Swinging the door the wide, Drew interrupts the tender moment, catching all that are involved off guard. Realizing his worst nightmare, Drew’s eyes begin to twitch. Suppressing his angry in the back of his throat, Drew balls his fist. Knowing what Jason is capable of, Drew prepares for battle. Hoping to prepare Sam before she encountered Jason, Drew readies himself for whatever Jason brings.
“Get out!” fills the room, rattling everything it touches
Placing Danny back down and stepping aside, Jason carefully watches Drew. Taking the passive role isn’t Jason nature, but he doesn’t know what this man is capable of; remembering Drew’s reaction from the night before, Jason looks to Sam for guidance, but receives a timid, shaking Sam. Jason takes note that Sam wasn’t doing this before the other guy showed up.
“Sam are you okay.” Taking in the changes to Sam’s behavior, Jason fights every cell in his body screaming at him. Jason knows something is wrong with her, he can see it in her face; He can feel it in the air. Where confusion once was, now lies fear. Her facial expression switched from joy to pain. The shift in Sam’s behavior upsets Jason to no end. Going with his first instincts, Jason moves towards the bed.
Preparing themselves for battle, Jason and Drew take their stands against each other.
“Did I do something wrong?” Danny whimpers, pulling everyone off the edge.
Tension filling every inch of the room, caused everyone to forget Danny was still around. Knowing his son is present, Jason backs down and moves towards the door.
“No, son. This bad man was leaving.” Drew proudly brags. Knowing Jason won’t attack with a child in the room, Drew pulls Danny closer, while moving them both towards Sam’s bed. Drew takes this opportunity to get the upper hand on Jason. Drew knows he has everything Jason holds dear to his heart, and Drew knows Jason would do anything to keep them safe.
“But mommy didn’t say he was bad; she said he was her friend.” Danny professes. “He said he knows uncle Danny, I don’t want him to go.”Sensing something is wrong, Danny wiggles free of Drew and stands in the center of everyone. Perceptive like his parent, Danny can see the hate between the two men. He doesn’t like Drew’s reaction to Mommy’s friend. He doesn’t want Jason to leave. Drawn to the strange man, Danny wants to hear more about his uncle.
Frozen, everyone stares at Danny trying to find the answer.
“Hey, is everything ok in here?” Carly barrels through the threshold.
“No, daddy wants mommy’s friend to leave, but that’s not what mommy and I want. Right mommy?” Danny grumbles, pushing past Drew and grabbing his mother’s hand.
The room stands still, no one moves, no one talks. Everyone stares at Danny wondering how they were going to explain this to a five-year-old. Everyone except Carly.
“Oh, is that right, Danny? Maybe mommy’s friend stays here, and you and I go check out the cool games in the playroom. Doesn’t that sound fun?” Carly suggests, reaching her hand out to Danny and nodding her head at Sam. Wavering on what to do, Danny takes a moment to look at each adult in their face, lingering on Sam’s face. Danny doesn’t want to leave his mother, he can feel something is not right with her; he can feel her fear.
“Are you going to be ok? Were your tears really because you were happy to see me?” Danny questions Sam while wiping a tear from her cheek.
“Yes, my sweet boy. I’m okay. Go, have fun! I love you.” Sam grasp, finally releasing the bedsheets. This is all too much for her to handle, Jason and Danny. Jason and Jason. Jason, Danny, and the other guy. Jason, the other guy, and Sam. The weight of this reality is crippling, cause her heart and mind to split in two.
Running out of the room, Danny grabs Carly’s hands and skips down the hall with her.
Hearing “Daddy” come out of Danny’s mouth about Drew, crushes Jason. The word escaping Danny, makes Jason want to be shot. Anything would be better than hearing his son call someone else daddy. It was never supposed to be like this. Thinking of Jake, Jason fights back the tears as he watches Danny disappear down the hall; mouthing “this son was always supposed to be mine.”
Focused on Danny, Jason hears the buzzing of Drew’s ranting. Tuning back in, Jason turns his attention to a fragile, confused Sam. No acknowledgment to Drew, Jason’s only concern is Sam.
“I don’t know who you are, or what you want but you can leave. NOW!” Drew announces, positioning himself for an attack. He knows there is no stopping Jason from taking what is rightfully his, now that Danny has left the room. Drew knows the fight he has been preparing fives years for, starts now.
“Sam, are you ok? You never answered before.” The only thing Jason cared about since entering the hospital was making sure Sam was okay. Nothing else matters.
“You don’t get to talk to my wife. I said leave NOW.” Raging, Drew thinks about his life with Sam. Everything he has worked for the past two years will be for nothing if Sam chooses Jason. Pumping his chest, balling his fist, Drew stares Jason down. “Who are you? You show up here, upsetting my wife, my son.” Backstepping, Drew searches for Sam’s hands. “You think because you have my face, you can come here and take my life?” Taking her sweaty palm into his, Drew squeezes.
Jason doesn’t flinch, unbothered by the whole situation; he stares at Sam. He can feel the fear coming off her in waves, he can feel the tension brought on by Drew’s presence. Refusing to acknowledge Drew’s presence, Jason refuses to take his eyes off Sam. Sensing the shift in her soul, Jason fights the urge to fight.
Drew’s words bounce off the walls, crashing into Sam.
Letting go of Drew’s hand, Sam grips the bed again. Her mind on a never-ending loop, Sam replays the last five years; fractured by the two Jason. Bracing for more yelling, Sam heart races. Her mind, disagreeing with her heart cause Sam to cry uncontrollably.
Jason and Drew move closer towards Sam.
“What in blaze hell is going on in here?” Charging into the hospital room, Nurse Epiphany Johnson gives Drew the evil eye. “What is all th the the,” Now I’ll be damned. Are you the cause of all of this?” Eyeing Jason up and down, Epiphany can’t believe what she is seeing; having no time to be shocked, Epiphany looks to a distraught Sam.
“Hello, Epiphany, and I’m afraid so!” Filling with joy to be recognized by Epiphany, Jason beams at her.
“Well, I’m going to ask you all to leave. The doctors prescribe my patient rest, and rest is what she’ll get. I want you both out.” Grabbing at both men, Epiphany demands they leave the room. Judging by the look, she got from Sam when she first enters the room; Epiphany can tell Sam wants them out too.
Looking to Sam for guidance, Jason lingers at Sam’s bedside. Jason respects Epiphany, but it’s about what Sam wants, not what Epiphany wants.
“Sam” Drew whispers, as Epiphany pushes him towards the door.
Looking from Drew to Jason, Sam becomes mesmerized by Jason. Lost in his presence, Sam ignores Drew.
“Sam? I’m not leaving; she is MY wife.” Seeing Jason and Sam’s love fill the room, Drew sidesteps Epiphany trying to rush Sam. The love Sam described in the beginning, was threatened to take over everything; threatened to suffocate Drew where he stood.
Lost in each other, Sam and Jason speak with their eyes.
“No one asked you to hop a flight to Bora Bora. You both can wait quietly in the hall. Sam needs rest!” Playing no games with either man, Epiphany grabs Drew before he can reach Sam. Unsure of the situation, Epiphany knows she needs to watch Drew more so than she needs to watch Jason. Fighting the urge to fight back, both men head for the door as Sam finds her voice.
“Wait, I want Jason to stay.” Stopping dead in their tracks, both look back at Sam; they both spin around hoping she was talking about them; they both look at her with longing eyes, hoping they’re the Jason she’s referring too.
“You need to rest, Sam. Maybe I should call the doctor for a sedative. You have had a long day.” Pleading with Sam, Epiphany can tell she is not listening to her. Epiphany can see what Sam wants and, it’s not rest.
“No, I don’t need any of that. I just need Jason.” Sam proclaims.
“I knew my wife wanted me to stay,” pushing pass Jason and Epiphany, Drew fights to get his hands on Sam. He knows deep down Sam was talking about the real Jason, but he can’t show resolve in the face of defeat. At all costs, he knows he has to fight to the bitter end.
Steps away from Sam, Drew’s pursuit is halted by Epiphany’s rough, firm hand.
“Who are you referring too, Hun?” Spinning Drew around her, giving him the evil eye, Epiphany asks Sam for clarity.
Seeing what Drew is doing to Sam, Epiphany tries to lessen the fallout. She can see Sam wants Jason, the real Jason. The Jason with the face she has stared at for years; the Jason with the eyes that read her soul with a glance. The Jason they’ve always known as Jason.
Sam opens her mouth to answer but Drew words fill the room first.
“Of course, she was talking about me,” Drew interjects. “I’m the real Jason. Me! Ok, stop confusing my wife. I want you both to leave us alone” Drew whines fighting Epiphany’s grip. He fights a losing battle. Epiphany is a brick house. She will not be moved.
As Epiphany and Drew battle for who can be next to Sam, Sam and Jason stare into each other.
Their eyes haven’t disconnected from each other since Sam found her voice again, and muttered Jason’s name. Weakened by her deep brown eyes, Jason can’t find the strength to look away, he can see the pain in her soul, and he wants to make it stop. He wants to soothe the fire raging within her. He wants to be the Jason she is referring to, the one that gets to stay with her in her time of need. The one she believes is her Jason.
To hear his name, come from her lips, after 5 years, was the icing on the homecoming cake. Sam’s voice passed through Jason’s soul, causing every muscle to cease in his body. Jason was over this unnecessary bullshit. He felt that he had spent enough time away from Sam. He didn’t want to waste another minute hearing the wannabe scream about “his” wife. He didn’t want to waste another minute not fulfilling her requesting eyes.
“ENOUGH!” Jason’s voice thunders through the room.
“Enough!” Jason’s voice softens with the attention of the room. He doesn’t like to yell but seeing the pain within Sam, ignites a fury within him.
“Sam can tell us who she was referring too. Sam can tell us who, she wants to stay. It’s Sam’s choice, it’s what Sam wants.” Jason testifies.
His statement melts Sam’s heart and any doubt she may have carried with it. Her Jason never told her what she wanted or needed. Her Jason, always asked. Her Jason, only ever wanted whatever she wanted. Whatever made her truly happy. Whatever put that smile on her face.
Becoming overwhelmed by Jason’s testimony; Sam’s eyes swell with tears and her heart monitor beings to beep rapidly. Sam begins to remember her wedding to Jason, the words he said, the words she said, the emotions they felt. She remembers the smell of the garden, the look on Jason’s face. She remembers the love in his eyes; the passion in his words. She remembers… her Dragon.
“The union between a bride and groom is the union between the Phoenix and the dragon.”
“The dragon is the symbol of strength, it can scare off evil spirits. Protect the innocent and can bless those around him with safety.”
Sam yearns for the dragon in Jason. A yearning she thought had dulled over the years; a yearning that now was burning straight through to her soul. This silent yearning causes her monitors to go crazy. Remembering her wedding sends Sam’s heart and mind into overdrive. The emotions from the memories were stronger than she expected. She didn’t expect to be taken back to her wedding night. She didn’t expect to face two Jason. She didn’t expect the emotion to be so intense and so raw, that it blocks all forms of communication she possessed.
A new monitor begins beeping. “It’s not Sam’s choice, it’s all these monitors beeping choice. Out now” Epiphany commands. Epiphany begins ushering the men out of the room. She’s not sure what Sam wants, but she knows what Sam needs, and that’s time away from these two. The pressure is too much for Epiphany and it not even her pressure to bear.
The twins don’t fight Epiphany, they can see Sam is not okay.
“I meant you!” Sam whispers baiting the two men back to her. Both men turn back to find Sam pointing at one of them. “I want you to stay, Please!” LIfting herself up off the bed, Sam points right at Jason. She wasn’t going to let her internal battle interfere with her reunion with Jason. She needed to be alone with him. She didn’t know what being alone with him meant, but she needs it more than anything right now. She needs him. She needs her Jason.
“Sam, you really need to rest.” Epiphany can tell she is fighting the impossible.
Now that Sam has made it clear who she wants to stay, Epiphany knows she can’t keep Jason out of this room and honestly, she doesn’t want to. Witnessing first hand their love, Epiphany knows what they mean to each other. She has encountered the lengths these two will go to for each other.
Moving aside as Jason makes his way back into the room, Epiphany looks to the other guy; worried about Drew’s reactions, Epiphany readies herself for another struggle from him.
“No, as Jason said, I can tell you what I want. And, I want him to stay!” Reaching her hand out to Jason, Sam states her choice with so much power in her voice, Drew quivers hearing her words.
Standing in the doorway, Drew feels his whole world blow up as Jason and Sam’s hands connect. He didn’t expect it to happen this fast. He didn’t expect, she would believe him after only spending moments with him and without proof. Drew tries to figure out a way to stay in the room. He figures if Jason gets to stay, he definitely has to stay.
Maneuvering himself around Epiphany, Drew tries to make his way back into the room, he thinks he has slipped past Epiphany when her arm latches his again and spins him around pushing him out into the hall as the door begins to close behind them.
“Sam, you have 5 minutes before I send the doctor back in here.” Epiphany fights to get the door shut, knowing controlling Drew will be more accessible on this side of the door. Drew fights her but not too much, he knows he has lost this battle.
“What the hell, Epiphany? What in the hell was that? Sam, needs me, her husband, ME, not some imposter. Sam’s mental state is fragile, and this will only worsen it.”
Realizing the harsh, in your face fight isn’t going to working with Epiphany, Drew changes tactics. Figuring he can use the nurse in Epiphany, Drew tries to sweet-talk her into letting him back into the room. Sliding his arm around Epiphany, Drew whispers into her ear.
Having no time for Drew’s game, Epiphany pushes Drew away from her. “That was me giving my patient what she asked. And, that was to speak with Jason.” Epiphany can tell she said the wrong thing. Proclaiming the other guy as Jason makes Drew’s eyes go wild. He has a craziness in his eyes, Epiphany has never seen before. Her only saving grace is she knows the real Jason is right on the other side of that door.
“Jason? Jason? That’s what I mean. Sam isn’t well if she thinks this guy is Jason. I’m Jason! I’m the Jason that has been here for the last two years. She confused. She wants me in the room.” Drew insists.
“Look, if she wants to talk to you or have you in the room, she would have said so. Give her the time she requested. If you’re the Jason she wants, I have no doubt she will let everyone know.” Hoping her words of kindness help calm him down, Epiphany tries to nudge Drew away from the door.
Drew’s quick jerk and sidestep, let her know that she failed.
Feeling like an outsider makes Drew’s blood boil. He doesn’t like feeling like everyone is turning against him. He doesn’t like the feeling of failure. He is Jason if it kills him.
“SHE IS MY WIFE, AND NO ON WILL KEEP HER AWAY FROM ME” Drew’s voice bellows through the hospital halls. Drew doesn’t care what Epiphany thinks or wants, his on a mission and no one will stop him. Reaching for the doorknob, Drew is determined to cut the happy couple’s reunion short.
The door begins to creak open.
“Hey, what’s going on? Why are you out here screaming at Epiphany? Where is Jason?” Carly rounds the corner, stopping Drew from entering the room.
“You too, Carly? You too believe this guy over me? If he’s Jason…. What does that make me?” Drew knows who he is, and who he wants to be. Jason. And he refuses to hand it all over without a fight. For Drew, it wasn’t about taking his brother’s life. It was about the life he built with Jason’s tools. A life, Drew will fight to the death for. Sam, Scout, Aurora and the name. All of it.
“I don’t know who you are! But I know it’s not Jason.” Carly whispers. Carly can see what this is doing to Drew. And it breaks her heart. When she needed a Jason the most, he was there, and she wants to be here for him now; but only if it doesn’t interfere with giving Jason his life back.
Carly understands this must be extremely hard on this other guy, and she doesn’t want to make a difficult situation harder, but she knows that not accepting the truth now, will make it impossible once he starts fighting for a place in Sam’s life. Drew has always been good to Carly, but Jason is her best person for life.
Carly can see all the pain this is causing, but it ok to her; if Jason can have his life back with Sam and Danny; all of Drew’s pain will be worth it. “You need to find who you are and who your family is because this isn’t it.” Carly silently vows to give everything she took from Jason, back.
Looking up from Drew’s sunken eyes, Carly finally notices Jason and Sam are alone in her hospital room.
Seizing the opportunity to get Drew away so Jason can have this much needed time with Sam, Carly signals Epiphany while ushering Drew away from Sam’s room. Feeling the situation is finally under control, Epiphany leaves in search of Sam’s doctor.
“Why are you still crying? Are you ok? Do you want me to leave?” Moving closer to her bed, Jason tries to hide his excitement. He wants to sit next to her and hold her hand, but he doesn’t want to overwhelm her even more; instead, he stands there admiring her beauty, his hands trembling at his side. Everything in him wants to scoop her up, hold her, and never let go but he holds back, nervously waits for an instruction from her.
Reaching her hands out to Jason, Sam calls him to her.
This small gesture makes Jason’s heart burst love. Touching her earlier was exciting, but this was different. This was her calling to him, a call he was glad to answer. Without breaking eye contact, Jason quickly moves to accept Sam offer.
Tears well in Jason’s eyes when he makes contact with Sam’s smooth, silky skin.
Staying in the moment, connected by hands, eyes, and hearts; Jason and Sam speak a language that hasn’t been spoken in 5 years. Nothing else is needed. Nothing else is desired.
Connected in the moment, Sam is at peace; a feeling of peace she hasn’t felt since that night on the docks. Could this be true? Sam thinks. She has dreamed of this moment every night for five years. She has dreamed of seeing his face, with those eyes staring back at her for five years.
And now here he is, with those eyes just for her. Still not believing, Sam blinks hard, taking a long pause before opening them to reveal Jason’s strong, confident smile.
“Danny” Jason has so many questions about so many things, but the only one that matters to him right now is Danny. Jason felt a pull to Danny that he has only ever felt with Jake. Unable to deny what his heart is telling him, Jason shuffles back and forth awaiting Sam’s answer. He knew the minute he saw Danny, he knew Danny was his son with Sam.
“Heather lied. Franco lied. Danny is our son!”
Jason knew the truth but to hear the words enter the atmosphere, makes him feel frozen and weak. The gravity of what has been taken away from him hits him even harder with this revelation. Jason’s head begins to swirl with everything that has been missed. Starting with not being there for Sam while she was pregnant. The way Jason acted has been weighing heavy on his heart and knowing Danny is his son makes what he did unforgivable in his eyes. Thinking maybe this is what he deserves for not being there when Sam needed him most, Jason curses himself. He tells himself, he deserves to have missed five years. He vows he will spend the rest of his life making it up to them both.
“Sam, the biology never mattered to me. I loved Danny, no matter what. In my heart his ours, no matter what. I just needed to tell you that. I just need you to know. ” Tears fall from Jason’s eyes staining Sam skin below.
Knock, Knock, knock.
The door swings open grounding Jason and Sam back to reality.
“Sam, we just heard what happened! Are you okay?”
Turning from Sam, Jason is greeted by Elizabeth and Franco.
Jason’s world goes cold. Everything he hated was standing right before him. The rage Jason had been holding back from Drew, was now bubbling at the surface, with nowhere to go but into Franco.
“How is he alive?” Jason rages, as Stone Cold completely takes over, sending Jason into attack mode. He charges straight for Franco, barely giving a visible shocked Elizabeth time to get out of the way.
Jason beats Franco.
Barely making it out of the way, Elizabeth steps to the side as both men barrel out of the door and into the hallway.
“Jason, stop. Jason.” Sam screams with a smile on her face. A part of Sam wants Jason to stop for his own safety, she just got him back; another part understands what it is driving Jason to attack in front of all these people.
“Jason?” Elizabeth whispers as chills run down her spine. Stepping into the hallway to get a better look at the man Sam called Jason, all Elizabeth can see are the punches hitting Franco, one after the other. She witnesses the passion in each throw, she feels the rage in Jason’s grunts.
Flashes of everything Franco has ever done race through Jason’s mind like a song on repeat; blocking out everything and everyone around him.
Sam in that box. Punch
Michael being raped in prison. Throw.
Aiden being kidnapped. Punch.
Threatening Joss. Kick
Sam in Hawaii. Punch.
Jason has one goal, and no one can stop him from achieving it. Managing to get his hands around Franco’s neck, Jason looks deep into Franco’s eyes, “This is where I finish this for good.” Strengthening his grip around Franco’s neck, Jason thinks of Franco, of Drew, of the last five years; and squeezes until Franco’s eyes roll in the back of his head.
“This ends now, you sick freak.” Stone Cold implodes
“Jason, please don’t’ do this. I just got you back, please! Franco isn’t worth it. Please look at me.” Sam’s voice beckons him back to reality.
Knowing they can’t stop the Stone Cold that lives in Jason, a path clears as Sam’s voice flows through the crowd to Jason’s soul; Breaking through his Stone Cold exterior, Sam words stun Jason.
Pausing for a moment, Jason tries to fight the rage.
“Yea, man. Listen to Sam.” Cough, Cough. “I’m not worth it.” Franco struggles, as Jason’s grip lessen. Closing his eyes, letting Franco words sink in, Stone Cold regains full control. Pulling his arm back to throw another punch, Jason’s arm stops in mid-strike.
Sam’s touch is light and subtle but powerful. Knowing its Sam’s touch, Jason’s heart stops.
“That’s it, just look at me.” Letting go of Franco’s neck, Jason walks with Sam. Her strength radiates through everything, mesmerizing Jason; blocking everything else out but her beauty. Sam had never looked more beautiful than she did at that moment; fighting everything the last two days has thrown at her, Sam supports and loves Jason back to himself.
Her Phoenix calling the Dragon within him.
“You shouldn’t have gotten out of bed.” Taking her hand and leading her back into the room, Jason eases Sam back into bed. “Epiphany said you needed to rest. I’m sorry Sam, did you hurt yourself?”
Staring at each other, nothing else matters. Not the crowd outside the room, not Franco moaning in pain, not even Elizabeth’s screams for help. They are all each other sees, in unison, they breathe each other in.
Lost in each other’s eyes, Sam’s hair begins to fall from behind her ear, reaching up to fix it, her hand meets Jason’s. His trembling hand slowly pushes Sam’s hair back behind her ear and cups her face. “Jason.” Closing her eyes, Sam remembers all the times her face has rested in Jason’s hand. She retains the feel of him.
While Jason tends to Sam, Elizabeth tends to a beaten Franco. Franco trembles and falls to the ground at every attempt to stand. Unable to walk away from this altercation, like he has done so many times in the past; Franco moans and groans on the ground while someone calls for a gurney and others to come help. “Franco, oh my god. Franco are you okay.”
Hearing Elizabeth’s voice and seeing everyone running to assist Franco angers, Jason, further. In Jason’s minds, Franco doesn’t deserve anyone’s help or kindness; he deserves to die. Refusing to let Franco slip away again, Jason goes on the hunt again. It pains him to leave Sam knowing she needs him, but the hate he feels overpowers and blinds him to what really matters.
“Stay here, don’t get back out of bed, please.” Placing a gentle kiss on Sam’s forehead, Jason pleads with her. Jason’s lips linger, Sam lightly places her hand on Jason’s chest at the exact moment Jason’s heart begins to race. Jumping slightly from their syncing hearts, Sam silently agrees to Jason’s request. Pressing her head into Jason’s lip, neither have felt their heartbeat like this in years, neither has felt this alive in years. “I never want this feeling to go away.” Sam trembles as Jason turns his attention back to the crowd that has gathered to assist Franco.
Breaking through the crowd, Jason plants his knee right into Franco’s chest and throws him against the wall. Jason pounds Franco into the wall, while bystanders plead with him to stop. They beg Sam to control her man, but Sam ignores their cries, doing as Jason asked; Sam stays in bed, watching blow after blow ripple through Franco; watching Stone Cold completely consume Jason. “Sam, will you do something? Stop this before he kills him!” Elizabeth begs.
“What do you want me to do? Jason is doing what he feels he needs to do. For Michael. For me.” Resisting the urge to stop Jason, Sam understands why he needs to do this. She finds pleasure in the violent acts; glee in Jason’s rage. Being the only one who can genuinely grasp Jason’s hate for Franco, Sam fights her own internal battle. She fights the memories Jason beats Franco for.
“Sam! “Paralyzed in the doorway, Elizabeth shakes with rage and fear. Seeing her past love true face paralyzes Elizabeth in time. Only able to use her voice, Elizabeth screams at nonchalant Sam. “Sam, please. I need your help. Please, he’s killing him.” Panic rushes over Elizabeth at the thought of losing Franco.
Turning back to the fight, Elizabeth still can’t believe her eye. “Jason, stop! You’re going to kill him. He’s not the same man he was 5 years ago.” Turning her attention back to Sam, “Do something.” Tears smearing Elizabeth’s eyes, block the smirk that has formed on Sam’s face.
“What do you expect from me?” Sam screams.
“You stopped him before, make him stop again. For Jake.”
“Really. You’re going to use your-” Breaking her silent promise to Jason, Sam jumps out of bed. Running to reach Jason before the cops do, Sam pushes past a distraught Elizabeth, who is also fighting the crowd to get to Franco. “No, wait.” The two cops have broken up the fight and are placing Jason in handcuff by the time Sam reaches him.
“Why is Jason in handcuffs?” Sam fights through the last bit of people to finally reach Jason. Not missing a beat, Sam stands in front of Jason protecting Jason from the cops. “He just got home.” Doing her duty as a mob wife, Sam prepares herself to fight for Jason.
The pair falls into their routine, fighting for each other; no matter. Blocking the cops from Jason and him from them. Jason marvels at her love for him. “Sam!” Wishing Sam would have stayed in bed, Jason fills up on her love as she fights for him to stay with her. “Sam, don’t.” Wanting her to stop, Jason understands she is doing what comes naturally to her.
“Really mam, you were literally just sitting there watching him beat a man, and you’re asking why he’s in handcuffs? Pulling Jason away from Sam, the officer rumbles under his breathe. “Why would you ask such a silly question.” Not understanding Jason and Sam’s dynamic, the officers push Sam out of the way trying to get Jason to the elevator. “Hey.” Jason fights.
Seeing the scene for what it was, one man badly beating by another; the officers are doing their jobs in their minds. Feeling Jason is dangerous, the officers aren’t listening to Sam, they are taking Jason into custody, and they don’t care how anyone feels about it.
“NO, wait! Jason doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t understand the Franco situation. He’s been gone for 5 years! Please don’t take him.” Wrapping her hands in Jason, Sam cries into Jason’s chest. She can’t bear the thought of being separated from Jason again. Not now.
“Wait, gives us a moment. Please.” Pleading with the cop, Jason’s eyes fill with tears at the thought of leaving Sam again. “It’s okay. I’m here.” Squeezing her hands in his, Jason rests his head on top of Sam’s.
Unable to forget what Jason is capable of, Franco mumbles through blood, “Lock him up. If he stays, he will kill me. Lock him up!”
Believing Franco’s word, the officers don’t hesitate, they pull Jason and Sam apart away.
“No, let me say bye first.” Clawing to stay connected to Jason, Sam pleads with the cops. “Please.”
“Make it quick.” Releasing their grip on Jason and Sam, the cops move away, granting them their moment.
Connecting their eyes, “I don’t want you to go. I just got you back.” Sam’s eyes swell with uncontrollable tears. Pulling her closer, Jason places his lips on her forehead. “There is so much I need to tell you. So much I need to hear.” Pressing herself against Jason as hard as she can, Sam doesn’t want to let go, she wants to hold on forever, to be with him, to love him forever. Taking her time, Sam slowly intertwines her fingers into his; watching each finger connect with Jason’s.
So, enthralled in love, Jason and Sam rock side to side, locked together.
Unaware of the crowd that has gathered outside the nurse station, Jason and Sam only see each other. They know the ache in each other’s eyes, the quiver in their lips, the smile in their hearts.
Standing on the tips of her toes, Sam slowly leans into Jason. Matching her quivering lips to Jason’s quivering lips, they both draw in a deep breath, breathing each other in; connecting their lips, washing the last 5 years away. United as one, they renew their love for each other. They join as Phoenix and Dragon.
Kissing Sam with everything in him, Jason’s entire being put all his love for Sam into this one kiss. Since waking up in that clinic, Jason has wanted one thing, to feel Sam’s sweet lips, touch her soft skin and hold her in his arms; this is everything to Jason. His wife acknowledging him as Jason, loving him as Jason; in front of everyone. Puts Jason at ease. Knowing everything will be okay, Jason relaxes into Sam.
“Enough.” One of the officer’s states, pulling Jason out of the embrace.
Disconnecting their lips, Jason and Sam’s hand and eyes remain intertwined. Regaining everything that was lost; Awakening all that lied dormant within them. That kiss renewed life in them both. Everything that has ever been know between them remained true. Relishing in their love, Jason and Sam lightly float in the aftermath of their kiss.
“I’m going with you!” Breaking their moment, Sam speaks into Jason.
“No, Sam! That’s the last thing I want.” Jason whispers, pulling Sam as close as she can go. “You need to stay here and rest. I’m coming back to you this time.”
Sam weeps into Jason harder.
After that kiss, Jason doesn’t want to leave Sam, but he knows he has no choice. He knows his rage will dictate where he ends up tonight. “Just call Sonny or a lawyer.” Knowing he made the wrong decision based on the wrong emotions, Jason begins to untwine his fingers from Sam. Just as she watched each finger intertwine with Jason, she watches as each untwines; letting streams of tear flow from her eyes like a waterfall. With every tear that drops, Jason hates himself a little more.
“I’ll call Diane.” Sam chuckles at the normalcy on her statement as Jason is escorted away.
Lightly brushing her fingers over her moist lips, Sam chuckles that she uttered those words about Jason, that she could fall back in with Jason, so quickly; that nothing has changed between them. She chuckles at the last 5 years, at how pure their love is and always has been. She chuckles as her heart sing their love song.
Before losing sight of Jason, Sam gives him a small gift to take with him. “I love YOU, Jason Morgan.” Sam’s declaration of love makes Jason fight against the cop and run straight back to her. “I love you more.” Sam’s declaration is everything Jason has been fighting for since fighting his way out of that clinic. Lightly kissing her, the cops regain control, pulling them apart again. Sam’s love is all Jason ever needed or wanted. Her love is his peace.
“I love you,” Looking back at crying but happy Sam, Jason sends all his love to her, hoping it wraps her in his warm until he can return.
Lingering in the hall, Sam watches until Jason completely disappears from her view. Unable to handle it, Sam runs after Jason. Rounding the corner, she crashes into Epiphany. “Whoa, I got you, baby.” Knowing Sam would chase after Jason the minute the cops put the cuffs on Jason, Epiphany prepared for Sam’s escape while everyone else tended to Franco and Jason. Wrapping her arms around a panic Sam, Epiphany applies deep pressure to Sam’s body; an embrace Sam wasn’t ready for but desperately needed.
“No, no, no! Jason said he wanted you to stay here.” Epiphany soothes.
“I have to go, I have to go to him. Jason needs me, and I need him. Please don’t stop me.” Sam fights, but eventually eases herself into Epiphany’s bosom, she knows she is no match for Epiphany in her emotionally weaken state. Once completely covered in Epiphany’s embrace, a trembling Sam breaks down. Letting the weight of everything crush her to the floor, Sam finally grasps the reality of her situation. There she stays rocking in Epiphany’s embrace until Sam’s cries turn into long deep breaths.
“Child, let Jason handle that and you handle this. You were drugged last night; those drugs are still in your system. You need to rest!” Easing Sam back into her bed, Epiphany hooks the equipment back up. ” I understand your need to be with him right now. I understand your love, I just don’t care right now.” Tucking the covers deep around Sam, Epiphany ensures Sam will not be leaving the bed again.
“Hey, there you are! I turned around, and you were gone.” Walking up behind Drew, Carly startles him out of his daydream. “Where did you go? Are you okay? Ignoring Carly, Drew doesn’t register her presence; lost in his head, Drew replays Jason and Sam’s kiss in his mind.
Placing her hand on the small of Drews back, Carly can tell Drew is visibly upset, more upset than he was before. She can tell something shook him to his core, more intrigued with Drew than ever before, Carly looks for answers.
“Hey, you in there? Why are you standing out here? Is Jason still in there?” Drew doesn’t respond, lost staring at the spot Jason and Sam first connected their lips, Drew thinks of a plan. He just stares at the place where his whole life turned down a path he can’t wrap his brain around. He can’t accept what he just witnessed, he can’t accept this is the end of him as Jason, the end of him and Sam. The end of his family.
Over zombie Drew, Carly pops her head around the corner in the direction of Sam’s hospital room and freaks at what she sees.
Blood, broken furniture, tattered clothes, and no Jason.
“Where is he?” Carly races into Sam’s hospital room. “What happened out there? Why is the other guy frozen in the hall?” Carly’s mind only leads her to one place. Panicked, Carly paces the length of the room. “Something happened to Jason.” Carly chants to herself.
Epiphany nor Sam has a chance to respond before Carly begins telling them what she thinks happened.
“Oh My God, did the fake Jason do something to the real Jason. What happened out there? Why is there blood? Why is the fake Jason just standing outside your room staring at the wall? What is going on here? And will someone tell me where Jason is? Every bad scenario races through Carly’s head. Unable to comprehend where Jason could be, Carly begins to cry. “Was it real? Was it him? All he wanted was to be with Sam. And he’s not here, but there is a lot of blood. What happ”
“Carly, will you shut up! Not everything is about you! Okay!” Unable to handle Carly’s emotions, on top of her own, Sam buries her face in her hands and weeps. The last thing Sam wants to do is deal with Carly. She loves Carly, now, but she can’t handle it all right now. She’s still trying to come to grips with the 2 Jason’s.
“Nobody did anything to Jason. Jason was the one who did the doing. He saw Franco.” Before Epiphany can finish explaining Carly bolts out the door.
“Carly, wait! Where are you going?” Sam screams, stopping Carly midstride.
“I’m going to Jason!” Bolting out the door again, Carly doesn’t stick around to explain her actions. “He’s at the PCPD, right?” Carly doesn’t need to be told where Jason is, from the looks of the hall and her knowledge of Jason’s hate for Franco, Carly knows precisely where Jason is.
Going into protection mode, Carly B-lines straight to the police station, knocking Drew out of her way in the process.
“Call Diane!” Sam screams as Drew walks into the room.
Face to face, the room fills with tension.
“Epiphany, am I allowed to have time with MY WIFE, now?” Drew’s emphasis on wife makes Sam jump.
Not caring what Epiphany’s answer is going to be, Drew positions himself in the doorway, signaling Epiphany to exit. “We have a lot to talk about, don’t you agree?” Staring into Epiphany, Drew lets his intention be known.
An uncomfortable Epiphany looks to Sam for guidance. “Um, that’s up to Sam.”
Sam doesn’t respond, her eyes haven’t left the doorway since Drew’s presence filled it. Taking a moment to weigh her options, Sam nods her head in agreeance. “We have a lot to discuss.”
Moving further into the room, Drew allows Epiphany to exit before slamming the door behind her.
“Was that really necessary?” Feeling the shift in Drew’s demeanor, Sam begins to shake. She doesn’t see Jason in him anymore, but she does recognize the man she fell in love with. A man who has taken care of her and her children. A man who has been kind, caring and gentle. A man, who has been everything to her, but her Jason.
“Was that necessary?” Drew mocks. “Yes, it was! She shoved me out of your room early!” Drew’s transform from Jason to Drew is quick and something Sam can no longer deny. Staring through the man she thought was Jason, Sam wonders how she ever believed such a lie.
“At my request. There’s no need to be rude to Epiphany.” Knowing this might be hard for Drew, Sam tries to be considerate of his feelings, but his bad attitude is starting to get to her. She understands it hard on him, it hard on them all, but she won’t allow him to make it about just him. She won’t allow his grief to overshadow her happiness. “We can get through this together.”
“Together. How can we get through this together if you’re choosing an imposter, over me.” Placing himself at the foot of Sam’s bed, Drew grips her bed with all his might and shakes it. “How could you choose him?” Witnessing their connection for the first time, Drew fills with rage.
Trying to hide his fear, the shakes from his body; the disappointment’s in his voice, Drew shakes the bed harder. “Answer me.”
“Because he’s my husband!” Sam screams with her whole heart.
“Where is he?” Carly screams. “I know he’s here. I want to see him right now.” Rushing into the police station, Carly demands answers. Just like at the hospital, she doesn’t wait for a response, she just starts screaming. Brushing past several police officers, Carly burst into the interrogation room 1. Entering an empty room, Carly rages. She doesn’t want to hear what he did or why they took him to jail; it doesn’t matter to her. Carly just wants to see Jason. She needs to see him; she needs to know it’s real.
Pacing the length of the squad room, Carly sees red. ”Jason. Jason, I’m here.” Carly screams on. The officers that fill the squad room are all too familiar with Carly and her antics. They all know she will scream her lungs out until she gets what she wants. Jason.
“Carly, calm down! Stop screaming.” Rounding the corner, an officer push Jason towards Carly. Anything to make the screaming stop.
Breathing a sigh of relief at the sight of Jason, Carly jumps a handcuffed Jason.
Carly is like a mother who panics every time her kid is out of her sight. “I thought I dreamed it all.” Enable to imagine Jason being retaken from her, Carly whimpers into his shoulder. “But you are back.” Sometimes Carly thinks it all was a dream, and her Jason is still gone. Resting his head on top of Carly’s, Jason gives her a moment to calm herself. “Count to ten.”
“How is Sam?” Knowing Carly has seen Sam, Jason yearns for information.
He doesn’t care or have time for Carly’s freak out. He doesn’t care about his situation, or what he did to Franco; he only cares that his actions lead him to have to leave Sam alone.
“Sam is fine. She is being taken well care of by plenty of people.” Carly hisses.
“You always put everyone before yourself, and I hate it.” Understanding why he does it and that it’s who he is, Carly fights the urge to fight for him. She hates that Jason refuses to take care of himself. She needs him to understand his life is precious too.
Moving Jason towards one of the officer’s desk, Carly examines a familiar Jason; handcuffed, strong and silent. “I’m fine Carly; I want to know about Sam, why did you leave her.” Seeing Jason handcuffed and being escorted by cops reminded Carly that this is nothing new to Jason; when it comes to Jason, she has nothing to worry about.
“No, Jason. You have to take care of yourself some time. If you don’t, you won’t be able to take care of everyone you love so much.” Furious with Jason, Carly pounds on the desk. “Dammit, Jason.” Carly’s anger gets the best of her. So indifferent to Jason, Carly moves away from him and turns her back.
Shuffling himself over to Carly, Jason places his hands on her shoulders, and draws her close, “You don’t need to worry about me, this isn’t new to you or me. I need you to calm down and remember who I am. Who you are.” Giving her shoulders a little squeeze, Jason release Carly, spinning her around to be eye to eye. “Tell me how Sam was when you last saw her.”
Stomping her feet and giving a little pout, Carly tries to escape Jason’s grip
“How do you know I saw Sam again.” The last thing Carly wants to discuss is Sam. Jason is the one in jail, not her.
“Carly, I don’t have time for your games. I know you saw Sam because you’re here. Just tell me.” Growing impatient, Jason gives Carly a little jolt, leading her to the closest desk, forcing her into a seat.
“You need to worry about you. Carly fights back.”You went after Franco?” Carly understands Jason’s motivation behind the attack, she can feel the tension in his body at the mention of his name. What she doesn’t understand is why Sam allowed him to attack. “You know he’s different? Sam didn’t tell you?”
Cutting Carly off mid-sentence, “I didn’t give her a chance, and I don’t want to talk about him. I want to know about Sam.” Pushing his rage for Franco aside, Jason tries to control himself. He doesn’t want to speak on the Franco issue, his only concern is Sam.
Seeing the fury swell in Jason, scares Carly. She has so much she needs to tell Jason about the last five years. So much to say to him about Franco, but seeing Jason rage for Franco, makes it harder for her. She doesn’t want Jason to her hate, she doesn’t think he will understand her actions; that he won’t even give her a chance to explain. Jason’s hate for Franco still burns, perhaps stronger than ever before. “It matters, or you wouldn’t be here.”
“It doesn’t matter, I don’t want to talk about Franco. How was Sam when you last saw her?” Jason insists.
Jason never wanted to end up in a situation where he was away from Sam after getting her, especially when she needed and wanted him. Raging about Franco got him here. Not allowing those emotions to take over like that again, Jason vows to himself, Sam and his family with her, will come first.
Sam’s, I Love You, showed Jason what’s truly matters in his life.
“I told you she is fine! Can we talk about how we’re going to get you out of this? I called Diane, she’s on her way.” Jason’s persistence makes Carly feel uneasy. Shifting in her chair, Carly’s only concern is Jason’s freedom; and she wants it to be Jason only concerned too.
“Why do you keep bringing her? You left her at the hospital. She is safe there. Did something else happen I don’t know about? Is Sam in danger?” Wondering if something else happened besides the Franco altercation, Carly stands up to be level with Jason.
Thinking about the few moments she was in Sam’s present, Carly recalls Sam being a little upset but not enough to make Jason this upset.
Startling herself, Carly recalls the events from the night before, the people who took Sam, the men after Jason. “Oh God, I forgot Jason. I forgot people were after you and Sam.” Carly screams. Fear rushes over her entire being.
Carly doesn’t want anyone she cares about in danger, especially Jason. She knows if there’s danger, Jason wouldn’t want the cops knowing. She knows Jason is the only one that can keep them all safe. She knows if Jason thought Sam was in danger he would do anything to protect her. Including breaking out of the police station. “Is she in danger? Jason, what are you going to do?”
Grabbing Carly by the arm, Jason drags her out of earshot of the cops. “No, Sam is fine, I think. I’m not sure but that not it, I just don’t want her to be alone. Can you go be with her?” Jason stresses.
Not wanting to freak Carly out and in turn freak Sam, Jason downplays the danger he senses.
Sensing the danger the first time he met Drew, Jason’s intuition is telling him something is not right with this whole situation. And by the way, Drew acted last night at Sonny’s place and today at the hospital, Jason thinks his intuition is probably right. Not knowing precisely what he’s feeling, Jason knows he must protect the ones he loves at all costs.
Wholeheartedly believing Drew will hurt Sam, Jason pushes for Carly to go back to the hospital.
“Carly, please. Can you just do this for me?”
“Sam is fine. She has an entire hospital staff and the guy pretending to be you taking care of her. You need me more.”Pouting, Carly doesn’t want to leave Jason. Her guilt over the whole Jason situation weighs on her.
“Carly, I don’t need you here. Diane is on her way, there’s nothing else you can do for me here, but you can go back to the hospital and be with Sam. Tell her I’m okay, and I’ll come right there as soon as Diane gets me released.” Trying not to alarm Carly, Jason needs her to go back to the hospital. He doesn’t want Sam alone with Drew. Jason felt the change in Sam when Drew came into the room. He noticed her stiff body, the jump when Drew screamed, the loss of her voice at the sight of Drew; Jason also noticed Drew’s reactions, and he doesn’t want Sam alone with that. “Carly, I need you there, can you be in Sam’s corner for once?”
Shifting her weight, Carly is insulted by Jason’s statement.
“Fine, you don’t have to look at me like that or yell! I’ll go!” Displeased, Carly agrees. “And, I am in Sam’s corner, I have been since you left us.” Knowing Jason wouldn’t ask if he didn’t really want her to go, Carly turns to leave “I don’t want to leave you, but I’ll do what you ask.”
Feeling Jason discord, Carly turns backs, pulling him into an embrace. She could tell Jason felt the situation was out of his control and she hated seeing Jason in this state. Whispering in his ear, “Sam is okay. You’re home; we will all be okay. Squeezing Jason a little harder, Carly turns and leaves before Jason can see the tears in her eyes.
Back at the hospital…
Because he’s my husband, rings in Drew’s ears like Sunday Church bells.
Not surprised by her response, Drew expected her to react this way. He expected her to choose the real Jason, he expected Sam to fight for Jason, he expected Sam to believe the real Jason, he knew she would go running back to him. After witnessing their connection, Drew knew he would have to fight dirty.
Drew wanted Jason’s life for a reason, he’s willing to fight dirty to keep Sam and Jason’s life. Drew refuses to give up the life he has become accustomed to.
“What did you say?” Giving her one last chance to change her answer, Drew knows he heard her. Sam was clear in her response. “Are you sure?”
Stalling, Drew is giving Sam the power to choose who he becomes. He was giving her the ability to allow him to stay Jason. He loved her, he loved the life she had given him; the family they had made. He knew Sam was the key to him staying Jason, Drew pleads to her with his eyes.
Drew believed she believed he was Jason. He doesn’t want to become the person he will have to become if Sam chooses Jason. He doesn’t want to force Sam, but he will if he has to.
“He’s the real Jason Morgan. He’s my husband!” Sam states proudly again. Sensing the shift in Drew, Sam shuts herself down. She can sense the same danger Jason has been feeling since meeting Drew.
Cracking his neck, and blinking his eyes uncontrollably, Drew’s attitude towards Sam changes.
Any inkling of Jason, Drew possessed in his being, is gone. Sam doesn’t recognize the man standing before her. She can’t see the man she shared the last 2 years with. The man standing before her is a stranger. All she sees is the man who kidnapped her all those years ago.
Tickled by Sam’s passion, Drew starts laughing. He laughs at Sam’s answer. He laughs at the reality of their situation. He laughs at Jason’s return. He laughs at what has to come next. He laughs at who he now has to be.
He just laughs.
“Are you sure he’s the one you want to be your husband? Maybe I need to help you see the truth.” Moving towards Sam, Drew grits his teeth at her.
Disappointed that things will be taking a nasty turn, Drew refuses to give up Jason’s life. He refuses to give up Sam. Feeling he has worked too hard to just walk away from it now, Drew shakes with rage. He had everything he ever wanted, everything until Jason returned.
“What do you mean… help me?” Scared and confused, Sam shifts in her bed. She doesn’t understand why Drew would ask such a question. She doesn’t understand why he is acting this way. Knowing he would be upset and confused, maybe even a little angry, Sam is startled by Drew’s behavior. Drew isn’t acting like the man she has known for the last two years; his laugh, the weird question, the uncontrollable shaking, all lets Sam realize she isn’t dealing with the same man she woke up with a few days ago.
Not wanting to be alone with Drew anymore; Panicked, Sam searches for the call button.
Making it to the call button before Sam can Drew snatches it, waving it in Sam’s face. “You made your choice.” Feeling he has to do what he has to, Drew mocks a scared Sam. “Oh, I’ll take that!” Drew snatches the cord right out of the wall. “You won’t be needing this right now. We have a few things to discuss. ALONE.” Finally being himself, Drew feels alive for the first time in years. Shedding the burden of being Jason, Drew feels recharged. He wanted to be Jason for so long; he forgot what it meant to be himself. Knowing what needs to be done, Drew prepares for what comes next.
“Why are doing this…Jas…um..why?” Unsure of what to do, Sam stammers looking for something that isn’t there. About to say Jason, Sam doesn’t know what to call him. He is not Jason, and with the way he’s acting, she realizes he never was. Wondering how she ever thought she loved him, Sam can’t comprehend this new person.
Sam can’t comprehend what is happening. “You’re not making sense.” Searching the door for Jason, for anyone, Sam pulls at her bedsheets. Fearing Drew has turned on her and will do something crazy, Sam wishes she followed her first instinct and went to the police station with Jason.
“Jason is what you stopped yourself from saying. You can call me Jason. That is my name. That is the name you have been calling me, don’t stop now.” Implementing his back up plan, Drew pulls out his cell phone and begins using it.
“I can’t call you that. I don’t know who you are, but I know you are not Jason. I know this must be hard. It’s hard for me, but I will help you. Jason and I will help you. This doesn’t have to be a fight.” Sam only wants what’s best for everyone involved. She never wanted Drew to be hurt, but she can’t deny what her eyes and heart are telling her. The real Jason is at the PCPD.
“I don’t even know where to begin in figuring this out. I don’t know how you became Jason, but it’s was a mistake. One, we all can figure out together.” Thinking back to when Drew became Jason, to how he became Jason, Sam recalls the DNA test. She remembers Spinelli’s program.
Rubbing the sides of her head, Sam’s head begins to pound at the entire situation.
“We don’t need to figure out anything. I know who I am.” Drew snaps. He wanted to say, Drew. He wanted to say his real name. For a split second, he wanted to be Drew again. He wanted to be released from his Jason burden. He wanted to be him again, but then he remembered what being Drew meant, and he remembers he didn’t want to go back to that life; that he couldn’t go back to that life.
“Please stop this. Don’t do this. Terrified of what Drew is capable of, Sam stares into Drew’s wild eyes. Don’t fight this, please!” Sam begs.
Slowly inching closer and closer to Sam, Drew’s neck bulges with rage. Sam’s heart begins to race as she pushes herself deep into the wall behind her. Her intuition is telling her something bad is coming. Drew starts to reach into his pocket, while Sam grabs the lamp next to her bed.
Ready for whatever Drew has for her, Sam swings the lamp back.
“Whoa, calm down!” Drew mumbles while taking his cell phone out of his pocket. He wasn’t going to hurt Sam. He just wanted to show her something. Something he thinks will help persuade her that he, in fact, is the real Jason.
“I just wanted to show you pictures of the real Jason. These photos will help show you why I have to be Jason.” Handing Sam a burner phone, Drew takes the lamp from Sam.
Sam refuses to take the phone. Nothing he shows her will change her mind. Nothing he does can make Sam believe he’s the real Jason.
Grabbing Sam’s hand, Drew shoves the phone in her face. Closing her eyes, Sam starts crying. “Stop this, please.”
“Sam, you deserve the truth. Just open your eyes.” Opening her eyes, Sam can’t look away.
Throwing the phone at the wall, Sam looks at Drew horrified.
“Oh, there’s more.” Laughing at her reaction, Drew dials a number on his other phone. Drew knows he can’t turn back now. Showing Sam those pictures exposed who he really is, and making the call puts plan B in full swing. Drew always had a plan B if the real Jason came back.
“It’s time. Sam is ready to talk to you.” Finally understanding the game Drew is playing, Sam slowly takes the phone. Staring him down, Sam fears for everyone in her life, especially Jason. Realizing the man Drew has always been, Sam smiles at Drew.
Arriving back at the hospital, Carly searches for Sam.
“Epiphany, where is Sam?” Walking back from Sam’s hospital room, Carly looks puzzled at Epiphany’s facial expression. “She’s not in her room.” Pissed she had to leave Jason, Carly grows impatient.
Carly’s pissed that Sam isn’t in her room. She’s pissed that she has to deal with Sam when she wants to be with Jason, pissed Jason insisted she come here and pissed she doesn’t know what is going on. Feeling overloaded, Carly is two seconds from raging on everyone.
“What do you mean? She was just in there with… one of the Jasons!” Panicked, Epiphany rushes to Sam’s room.
No signs of Drew or Sam, all the ladies find is the broken call button on the floor, and Sam’s belongs missing.
Wracked with guilt, Carly bolts down the hall. “Where are you going?” Epiphany screams after.
“Danny, he was in the playroom.” Becoming extremely worried, Epiphany races behind her.
Badging into the playroom, Epiphany searches the room for Danny. “Where is Danny Morgan?” Mentally beating herself, Epiphany goes over her last minutes with Sam. She seemed comfortable with Drew. She agreed to be alone with him, she looked like she wanted it. Thinking she had other patients to tend to, Epiphany wonders if she made the right call.
“His parents picked him up a little bit ago.” A nurse states.
“Where could they be?” Carly begins to pace, as she pulls her phone out of her purse.
“I don’t know, Sam wasn’t released yet, the doctor wanted her to stay another night. The drugs are still in her system.”
Pushing Epiphany’s voice out of her mind, Carly makes a call.
“Sam isn’t at the hospital. She left with the other guy without telling anyone.”
Entering the PCPD, Diane walks straight into Jordan’s office.
“Let me guess, you’re here for the other Jason Morgan.” Jordan states.
“He’s not going anywhere. He attacked a man in the middle of the hospital. I don’t care who he claims he to be or why he did it.” Jordan can’t comprehend why all these people are coming to this man’s defense. Jordan has seen the way they fight for Drew. She has seen the bond and love they have for him, so it baffles her that they all keep marching down here claiming this other man is the real Jason Morgan.
Never knowing the real Jason Morgan, Jordan couldn’t understand why it took one look for them; one conversation, to know what’s real and what’s not. She can recognize the fight when she sees it, she has never seen Sonny, Carly or Diane fight like this; they’ve never fought for Drew this way before.
“Do you really believe he is Jason Morgan.” Curious, Jordan whispers as if it all were a big secret. She’s heard the stories about how Jason Morgan was before 2012. She’s read the case files. She knows what Jason is capable of. She knows what he has been accused of, and with all this knowledge, even she could tell Drew wasn’t the man those files described. The legend of Jason Morgan was on everyone’s lips in Port Charles, and to Jordan, Drew never quite lived up to that myth.
Curious about the man they say is the real Jason, Jordan eagerly guides Diane to the holding cells.
“How about you just take me to my client, so I can assess the situation!” Diane demands. Trying to keep her cool, Diane shakes as they move closer to the holding cells. Knowing Jordan has no insight into Jason, Diane doesn’t want to chitchat about the unknown. She wants to see the man for herself. She wants to know if this is really Jason Morgan.
Believing since the reveal Drew was an imposter, Diane never trusted the judgment of others. She didn’t trust the test or the proof. She never saw Jason in Drew, but she knew why they needed him to be Jason; why they wanted Drew to be Jason.
Diane slowly walks into the holding cell, Jordan trailing behind her.
Standing up, moving towards the cell door, slowly raising his head, Jason says hello to Diane with his eyes.
One look and Diane was sold. She doesn’t need any more proof. It was Jason, there was no denying that.
Standing before her as if no time had passed, Jason reveals a smile that releases the tension he had been building up since leaving Sam. He was ecstatic to see Diane. Ecstatic she was still around fighting for him. Ecstatic she was going to get him back to Sam.
Grabbing the bars to the cell, Jason uses his eyes to communicate everything Diane needed to know, letting her know she was, in fact, looking at the real Jason Morgan.
Diane, like everyone else who truly knew Jason Morgan, spoke his language. She didn’t need words to see the truth standing before her.
“Do you need anything else, Diane?” Unlocking the other cell door, Jordan signals Dr. Klein to follow her out of his holding cell; pausing to take in the view, Jordan sees the connection between Diane and Jason.
Witnessing Diane’s reaction upon laying eyes on Jason, Jordan recognized the look. It was the same look Carly had at Sonny’s compound. The same look her veteran officers had when Jordan escorted Jason through the PCPD his first night back.
They all recognize him as Jason Morgan.
Finally understanding why it only took a look, Jordan witnesses something absolutely profound. Watching as Diane’s soul connects with Jason, Jordan feels absolute in her feeling, that there was never a comparison be the two men.
“Just a moment with my client.” Forgetting anyone else was in the room with her, Diane is lost in Jason; she has been since stepping into the room. All her doubt is pushed away, Jason strength and silence is all the confirmation Diane needs. His silence makes everything make sense, it confirms her suspicion about the other guy, his silence makes him the one true Jason.
“Well, hello old friend. I’ll be damned. Sonny was actually right for once.” Moving closer to the jail cell, Diane tries to hold her composure. She has an overwhelming urge to pounce him, never letting go.
Not knowing what to expect when walking into that room, Diane never thought she would see him again. She didn’t believe Sonny when he said it was Jason. She didn’t believe when he said he had his old face. How could she? They had already claimed Jason was back. They had already explained his missing face. She heard Sonny’s words, she saw Sonny’s emotion, but she couldn’t believe him. Not again, they had already gotten it wrong. To her, the real Jason was gone and never coming back.
She believed Sonny believed this man was Jason, but looking him in his eye, she knew. She knew what Sonny had been trying to tell her. Jason Morgan was indeed back.
“You don’t think I’m a fraud?” Jason smiles.
The feeling of being recognized by the people that know him best will never get old to Jason.
Being questioned is a new and weird experience for him. One thing Jason could always count on was people trusting him, people counting on him. So, to come home to another Jason has been a blow. To return to doubt has been hard, especially when he thought coming back would solve all his problems.
Fighting to get home, Jason never thought he would have to fight for his identity once here; but people like Sam, Sonny, Carly and now Diane make the fight easier.
Them giving him his identity back without him saying a word makes Jason question how they could give his life to a stranger so easily.
“You remember who I am right? The best damn lawyer in town. It’s my job to see the wrong within the so-called right. And that other you, was nothing but wrong.” Diane never truly believed Drew was Jason. She saw the differences the moment he was declared Jason, but she understood why he needed to be Jason. She realized everyone required a Jason in their lives, even if it wasn’t the real one.
She couldn’t deny the need for Jason at that time. She couldn’t point out the wrong and take away the one thing that was holding everything together; but standing before the real Jason Morgan, she can see all the wrong more clearly. She can see the whole picture now, and she sees, she should have spoken up.
“Why didn’t they see it?” He tries his best at not making them feel guilty, but it hurts him profoundly. He listens to their words as to why. He understands their need for him, but he doesn’t know how they thought Drew was him.
“How could they believe he was me?” Gripping the bars hard, Jason shakes. He can’t see the resemblance. “I can’t understand how they could believe that was me.”
The few moments he shared with Drew tells him they are nothing alike and; the sense of danger he gets from him, makes Jason wonder what he did to fool his loved ones. He wonders was it really the need for him that made them believe he was Jason or was it something more. Was it something Drew might have done to make sure he was Jason because he can’t comprehend how Drew got his friends and family to hand over everything Jason holds dear to him.
“It’s simple. You were everything to these people. They were truly lost without you.” Diane can see all the pain this is causing Jason. She can see what their belief in this man has done.
“Carly and Sonny, it was a nightmare without your guidance.” Throwing her hands up, Diane can’t begin to express what life was like without Jason. “They needed you, they needed someone that was Jason Morgan. And I know that sounds horrible, but it’s straight facts.”
Diane’s words cut through Jason like blades on freshly cut grass. Releasing himself from the bars, Jason steps deep into the cell, taking in each blow.
“He had your DNA, your old face and after a while your memories. He won them over when he won Sam’s heart. That was enough for them.” Closing herself to Jason, Diane feels the guilt racing through her.
She can see him trying to figure out their reasoning, trying to justify their choice. She can feel him internalizing his feelings, making it better for everyone else. Seeing the misery he is trying to hide, Diane fights the guilt, reaching out to Jason. “They wanted you any way they could have you. It’s unfair, but that’s all of it. Plain and simple.”
Racing back to the bars, Jason grabs her hand.
“Why not you? Why didn’t you believe?” Jason looks deep into Diane for the answers. He wants to know everything. He wants to know what she saw in Drew to cast doubt in her eyes.
Jason trusts Diane’s judgment. She had been his lawyer for years, and she always did right by him. She always gave him the facts and the truth. He trusted Diane the most out of any other lawyer he ever had and Jason has had a lot of lawyers.
Diane was the lawyer version of him. She was passionate, cutthroat, fearless, witty, smart, ruthless and the best at what she did. If anyone could help Jason see the wrong in Drew, it would be her.
Everyone else was busy trying to spare his feelings and make it better for him. He needed honesty and clarity, and he knew Diane would give that. More than anything, Jason needed her honest opinion.
“As I said, there was a lot of wrong with his story. And, now that you’re back, those wrongs make a lot of sense.” Never being able to pinpoint exactly what was off about Drew, Diane knew everything didn’t fit into the pretty little box that was being present to them as the new Jason. It always baffled her how everything didn’t add up. How he appeared when Jason was most needed.
“What was wrong with his story?” Jason needed answers. He didn’t feel comfortable asking anyone else. All they offered were apologizes for their mistake and sympathy for everything lost.
Diane was the only one being honest about her feelings for Drew. She wasn’t apologizing for accepting someone else as Jason. She wasn’t making excuses for her choices, she was giving it to him straight, no matter how hard it might hurt to hear. Jason trusted that more than anything else being presented to him.
His friend’s and families’ guilt over the mix-up made them untrustworthy when it came to Drew. They saw something in Drew for them to believe in him this long. Drew won their love and trust, Jason can’t trust that.
Reaching into her bag, Diane retrieves her ringing cell phone.
“It’s Carly, I’ll call her back!” Diane states, placing her phone back into her bag.
“No, answer it. Carly is with Sam. Hurry!” Jason advises. Confident Carly is calling to get an update on his situation, Jason uses this opportunity to find out how Sam is doing.
After hearing Diane’s thoughts on Drew, Jason doesn’t like not being in contact with Sam. It makes him uneasy. Unsure of who Drew is or if he’s innocent in all of this, Jason paces his cell, sure danger lurks threatening everything he loves.
“Yes, Carly? I just got –” Cut off, Diane falls silent and just listens.
The worried look on Diane’s face makes Jason panic.
Hanging up the phone, Diane’s eyes go dark. Leveling her dark eyes with Jason, Diane finds the strength relay Carly’s information. She knows what she’s about to tell him will make him silently rage.
Diane’s hesitation makes Jason go numb.
Bracing himself, Jason closes his eyes, anticipating the blow awaiting him. “What is it. Just tell me.?
“Sam left the hospital without telling anyone. She left the hospital with the other man. No one has seen them.” Every word Diane put into the atmosphere is like a bullet into Jason’s heart.
“Call Sam. Call her right now.” Jason demands. Closing his eyes Jason says a silent prayer, Diane dials Sam’s number.
Shaking his hands, pacing the length of his cell, Jason prays. He prays his instincts are wrong, and his wife is okay. He prays hard for someone to hear him.
Putting the call on the loudspeaker, Diane and Jason listen in silences as the phone rings over and over again. In silences they wait for Sam’s voice comes through the phone; while the gravity that Sam could be missing set in. In the silence they hear the beep of Sam’s voicemail, verifying their worst thoughts.
“Diane, you have to get me out of here. NOW! Sam is in trouble. I can feel it.” Jason growls, pulling against the bars with all his might. Knowing something like this would happen, Jason fights his killer instincts.
Gripping the bars until the color is lost in his knuckles, Jason pulls at them trying to rip them apart.
“Jason you know it won’t be.”
“NOW, Diane,” Trying to focus his mind, cracking his neck, lowering his head, Jason wishes he went with his first instinct and killed Drew the moment he saw him.
“I’m sorry. I need to get out of here.” Lowering his voice, Jason can barely hold himself up at the news of Sam is missing.
“Jason, I don’t know how easy that will be. You beat Franco in front of witnesses.” Knowing Jason doesn’t want to hear what she’s incapable of, Diane tries to explain.
“Diane, you’ve made the impossible happen before. I need that now. I need that Diane.” Jason pleads.
Shifting side to side unsure of herself, Diane turns and heads for the squad room, leaving Jason with his thoughts. Fearing the weight of everything will crush him if he stops moving, Jason paces his cell, thinking about the moments leading up to his arrest; about how naive he was to what truly matters.
After what seems like an eternity, Diane returns with a massive smile on her face. “You know sometimes I amaze myself with what I am able to accomplish.”
“Just spit it out, Diane!” Jason demands. Not in the mood for Diane’s antics, Jason rushes to the cell bars. “This isn’t time for one of your witty comeback,” Jason is trying to tolerate her annoying banters because he knows she only does it when she’s bringing good news.
“Now, now. “You asked for the impossible, right?”
Jason nods in her direction.
“And you said that what you needed, and I could do it.?” Diane asks with a sly, self-pleasing smile on her face. ” Well you wanted the impossible, and I always deliver.” Knowing she is the best, Diane does a celebratory dance for herself and Jason.
Jason was the one client Diane wanted to do the impossible for, she didn’t entirely know why; she just knew he deserved it.
“I got you out on bail. Carly is upstairs paying it now. They should be down soon to process you out.” Diane giggled. There was something about Jason, that made Diane want to achieve the impossible; maybe it was the genuine love he displayed or the passion that drove him. Whatever it was, pushed Diane to boundaries she never thought she would cross.
Smiling, Jason grabs her hand, giving it a thank you squeeze.
Not realizing how much she missed Jason, Diane cannot contain her excitement over his return any longer. Pulling him to her through the bars, Diane tries to wrap herself around him. “I forgot how good you make look as a lawyer.
Prying himself from Diane’s grip, “I see five years has only made you better.” Jason never questioned Diane’s ability to get the job done. “I never doubt you would get me out of here.” Diane and Jason together were a threat the justice system couldn’t handle; many have tried to take them down, and many have failed.
“Did you think anything less would happen in five years?”
“Time to go Morgan. Hands through the bars.” An officer interrupts, grabbing Jason’s hands roughly, placing handcuffs on him. The officer isn’t happy that Jason is being released. He was at the hospital. He saw what Jason did to Franco, and thinks Jason deserves to be locked up.
Securing the handcuffs on Jason’s wrist, the officer leads him out of the cell, pulling him close to him the officer whispers, “I don’t know what your lawyer did to get you out of here, but I saw what you did. And, I’m going to make sure justice is served. I heard about you and if you are the real Jason Morgan, just know your free ride at the PCPD is over.”
“What are you telling my client?” Diane taps the officer on his shoulder.
“Nothing.” The officer calls over his shoulder while leading Jason up the stairs.
Unfazed by the officer, Jason only cares about is getting out of the PCPD and finding Sam.
Sam and Danny are his first, and only priority and nothing is going to stop him from getting to them.
Waiting at one of the officer’s desk, Carly drums her fingers, nervously shaking her legs. “Where is he? It shouldn’t take this long.” Shooting up from her seat, Carly charges the front desk.
Spinning on her heels, Carly bum rushes Jason, “I did what you asked.”
“Ok. I know, thank you. Now, tell me everything starting with when you arrived at the hospital.” Prying himself from Carly’s grip, Jason pulls her to the side.
” I got there, and went straight to Sam’s room.” Looking down, Carly hesitates. Jason, she wasn’t there; all her stuff was gone, so I thought maybe they moved her to another room.”
“What did her room look like?” Jason interrupts.
“What.” Confused, Carly turns her back to Jason. “It was fine, it looked like every other hospital room.”
“No, I mean was there anything out of place. Did it look like a struggle had taken place?” Jason whispers.
“No, nothing like that. Jason, what’s going on?” Panicked, Carly turns around to look Jason in his eyes.
“Nothing, what else happened.” Jason thunders, rubbing his temples.
“No, Jason something is wrong. You’re scared. I can tell. I know you, and you’re scared. Why?”
“Carly, focus, please. I need to find Sam. Please finish. What did you do next?”
Side-eyeing Jason, “Then, I went to find Epiphany. She panicked when I told her Sam was gone.” Dropping her head, Carly shifts her weight back and forth, nervous of what comes next.
“What Carly. What is it.” Calling her attention back to him, Jason knows Carly is hiding something.
Moving towards a desk, Carly pulls out a chair and takes a seat. Pulling herself together, Carly finds the words to tell Jason about Danny. “It’s Danny.” deliberately not mentioning Danny when she called about Sam, Carly watches her words change Jason.
“What about Danny.” Fearing the worst, tear well in Jason’s eyes. He already knows. He can feel it.
“I didn’t tell you because I knew you would want to do something about it. I knew you would risk everything.”
“Slightly raising his voice, “Tell me, Carly.” Jason wanted to hear the words.
“They took Danny too. Epiphany and I went to the playroom, the nurses said his parents checked him out.”
“Danny, he has Danny too?” Weakened, Jason loses himself in Carly’s words; the PCPD falls away, and he is back in the hospital room touching Danny for the first time in five years.
His mind racing with different scenarios, “What time did you drop Danny off?” Hoping that’s not the last time he sees his Danny again, Jason tries to focus on the facts.
“A little after 11 this morning.” Standing up, Carly moves back towards Jason.
“What time did you get back and find Sam and Danny gone?” Staring off into nothingness, Jason does n’t register Carly’s attempts to comfort him.
Overwhelmed, Jason is trying to piece it all together, but his heart won’t let him; beating with different emotions, Jason goes into shut down mode.
“And I was arrested a little afternoon. So, he had 3 hours.” Going into Stone cold mode, Jason heads for the exit.
Grabbing Jason’s arm before he can escape, “You know Sam hates hospitals, just like you. Maybe she just had that guy take her home.” It broke her heart to see Jason living his worst nightmare; to see the damage she has caused.
“No, Sam wouldn’t leave the hospital without telling anyone. Something is not right. She would have come here.”
“I don’t know if you forgot, but Sam sneaks out of the hospital all the time, something I believe she learned from you.” Truly believing Sam snuck out of the hospital and Drew tagged along, Carly pulls Jason to her, trying to calm his raging soul. “Jason, I think you’re overreacting.”
Snatching himself from Carly, “Carly, stop! I know Sam, and I know something is wrong. Give me your cell phone.” Jason barks. He doesn’t mean to be angry at Carly, but the stakes have been raised now that Danny is involved. Knowing Sam will do whatever it takes to keep Danny safe, Jason rubs his head in frustration.
Sam’s courage is what scares him most.
Knowing Drew was a threat, Jason’s mentally beats himself for letting Franco get the best of him; he beats himself to every passing ring. He beats himself until his soul crumbles at the sound of her voice through the voicemail.
Pulling himself together, Jason grabs Carly’s keys. “I have to go find them!”
“Where are you going?” Carly screams while racing behind him.
Knowing exactly where his family was, “Home,” Jason bolts for the door.
“Why did you make us leave the hospital?” Sam inquires, entering the penthouse, holding Danny close to her. She didn’t want to leave the hospital, she knew Jason would be back for her, but Drew didn’t leave her much choice.
“You know why, Scout needs her family.” Placing Scout in her playpen, Drew turns his attention to Danny. “There was so much going on at the hospital. Here momma can get the rest she needs. Isn’t that right buddy?” Leaning in to pick Danny up, Drew is halted by Sam’s arm.
“Danny, run upstairs and play with your cars okay love.” Pushing Danny towards the stair, Sam moves towards the playpen.
Giving her the same treatment, Drew blocks Sam’s path to Scout. “Where are you going?” Revealing a sinister smile, Drew finds satisfaction in Sam’s distress.
“To my daughter!” Pushing past Drew, Sam reaches for a sleeping Scout. “What is your problem?”
Spinning Sam on her heels, Drew yanks Scout from her playpen, waking her from her sleep.
“Give me my daughter,” Sam demands. Feeling Drew had no right to touch her kids, to be in the same room as them, or to breathe the same air as them, Sam closes her eyes in an attempt to calm her waring soul.
Slowing opening her eyes, Sam forces a smile for her crying baby. Blocking out Drew’s smug look Sam focuses on soothing her baby from a distance.
“My daughter, please.”
“Don’t you ever forget, she’s my daughter too.” Drew snaps, jamming Scout’s head into his chest. “You’re the one upsetting her.” Spinning her around to block her view of Sam, Drew fights Scout’s attempts to escape. “It’s okay, daddy got you.”
Feeling overwhelmed, Drew draws Scout in close. Bouncing around the room with her, he lightly whispers in her ear. Everything else might be Jason, but Drew will never allow anyone to take his daughter away.
Feeling the weight of Drew’s words, Sam steps back. “Unfortunately, yes, but not Danny, never Danny!” Not realizing until Drew staked his claim, Sam reels from the thought of her daughter having another father other than Jason. Drew’s declaration for his daughter shatters Sam’s heart. The only thing she ever wanted was a baby girl with Jason Morgan. The fact that Scout isn’t Jason’s makes Sam feel a burning in the pit of her gut that makes her want to vomit everywhere.
Picturing telling Jason the truth makes Sam sick. She doesn’t know how she will say the words, how she’ll tell Jason she has another child. She doesn’t know how she going to tell him their long-awaited baby girl isn’t theirs. She doesn’t know how he’ll handle it when she can’t handle it herself.
Feeling the truth lodge in her throat, Sam abandons the fight and heads for the terrace; Fresh air. She needed to breathe fresh air.
KNOCK. KNOCK. POUND.
“Sam, are you in there?” Jason screams. Desperate to find Sam and Danny, Jason’s pounds, shaking the door frame.
Looking from the door to Drew and Scout, Sam wants to scream for Jason. She wants her screams to sail through the door, igniting The Stone Cold in him. She wants him to break the door and save her. She wants him to end the five-year nightmare they all have been living. She wants him.
Seeing Scout in Drew’s arms, Sam is reminded of what she is doing and why she must do it.
“Get rid of him.” Knocking Sam back to reality, Drew walks towards the kitchen. “Or I will.” Thinking he had more time, Drew didn’t anticipate Jason getting out of jail so soon. He thought he would have more time to work on Sam. He thought he would have more time to formulate his new plan.
Soothing Scout, Drew watches from a distance.
Fixing herself, Sam walks towards the door. Looking back, making sure the area is clear, Sam leans her head against the door; taking a moment to ground herself, she prepares herself for the lie.
Slowly opening the door, Sam is greeted by a panicked Jason, a state she never witnessed before.
“Oh my god, I was so scared.” Pulling Sam into a hug, relief rains over Jason’s mind and heart.
Jason’s happiness is quickly crushed by Sam’s’ coldness. Feeling the weight of Sam’s stiff body, Jason releases her, searching her eyes for answers.
Cut off from everything happening around her, Sam stands stiff as a board.
Avoiding eye contact with Jason, everything in Sam breaks. “Why did you come here?” Turning away from him, Sam tries to hide her true feelings. She has never been able to lie to Jason’s face, now is no different. Fighting every cell in her body telling her to go to Jason, Sam shuts herself off. She has to break his heart in order to save it. She could live this lie if it meant Jason would be safe and alive.
“Sam, what’s wrong? Why did you leave the hospital? Why weren’t you answering your phone?” Grabbing Sam’s arm, Jason spins her around. “Sam, just tell me. Whatever it is we can work it out together.” Feeling the disconnect in her, Jason drops her hand.
Staring into her, Jason begs for answers.
Sam doesn’t respond. She folds her arms around herself and rocks trying to get the feeling back into her body. She can’t muster the energy lie, but she can’t tell him the truth either. What she wants to say the fear in her heart won’t let her and what she has to say her mind can’t comprehend. Having a fierce internal battle, Sam stares at the ground; confidence she’ll break if she looks into Jason’s eyes.
Reaching out but stopping himself, Jason feels the shift in Sam’s heart. He feels the change and pierce of its beats. Balling his fist, placing it at his side, Jason steps back, fully taking Sam.
Reaching out, Jason touches the invisible wall created between them.
“Sam, look at me.” Unsure of his feeling, Jason request Sam eyes. Holding Jason past, present, and future; Sam’s are the only truths Jason needs. Her eyes are all he wants.
Hesitating, Sam struggles. She yearns for Jason. She wants to be this close to him, but she knows she’ll reveal everything with one touch. “Sometimes you have to do what’s hard.” Feeling like she’s betraying something scared between them, Sam cries.
“Sam?” Jason whisper.
Slowly raising her eyes to meet Jason’s, Sam stops breathing at the sight of his baby blues. It still stops her heart to see Jason in person. To see his face, feel his presence; feel his love, its all still surreal to her.
“You shouldn’t be here!” Sam cries. She hates what she has to do, but her choice is made. She has to hurt him in order to save him.
“Sam, what do you mean? It’s me. I love you, I’m here now. And everything is going to be okay. I promise.” Seeing the struggle brewing inside Sam breaks Jason’s heart. He can see her need for him, and feel the fear in her. Unsure of how to proceed, Jason extends his hand.
Holding on to herself harder, “How do I know what your saying is the truth? Why should I believe you are the real,” dropping her head. “The real Jason?” Sam cries.
Sam’s questions bury Jason in confusion and rock him to his core. He can fathom where her resistance is coming from. Wondering if all of it was a lie, Jason drops his hand.
“Was it all a dream?” Tears fall from Jason’s eyes. “Meeting Danny. Finding out the truth, kissing you, hearing you call me, Jason, your I love you. Was it all just a dream?” Turning for the door, Jason opens it.
Standing frozen, Jason cries. Nothing has felt right since waking up in the clinic. He thought if he made it home, everything would be made right. He was devastated to find the opposite upon his return, to feel like an outsider amongst the ones he loved the most.
“I just want you and Danny. I just wanted to come home. If you two aren’t home, I don’t know what I should do. What should I do?” Jason turns to face Sam.
Sam’s declaration of his identity, made Jason feel whole again. It was like a hard wave hitting the shores of Hawaii, the way her love beat him at that moment. Sam’s declaration gave Jason confidence he hasn’t felt since their wedding. He doesn’t know what his world will become if she takes it all away.
Standing frozen in time, Jason awaits Sam’s response. He doesn’t move, he doesn’t breathe, he waits. He waits for her to tell him it wasn’t a dream, she believes him, she loves him; the one true Jason.
Unable to resist, Jason looks deep into her for the answers; he searches for her voice in all the silence. He seeks the fire in her soul. “What do you want me to do, Sam?”
Silence, Jason pleading eyes are deafening to her. She can’t hear herself think with his eyes piercing through her. The silence between them is daring to Sam. She can’t hide her truths much longer. Feeling exposed and vulnerable the deeper Jason looks into her, Sam covers herself. Wrapping her arms around herself, closing herself off, Sam knows the longer Jason looks, the more he will understand.
Screaming in her head to look away, Sam wants to speak, she wants to tell him another lie, but she can’t. Jason’s inquisitive eyes leave her paralyzed. She can’t move, she can’t speak, she can’t think. Stuck in the in-between with Jason; him reading her soul, her not wanting him to stop until he knows it all. Sam wants him to see the truth, she wants him to call her bluff, and make her tell him the truth. She wants Jason to break through the lies and see she desperately needs him. She wants him to see the ashes of her Phoenix desperately trying to be reborn.
“I love you, Sam.”
Jason’s words enter the atmosphere, making Sam weak. She begins to stumble as each word enters her soul; penetrate her like daggers exposing everything she is trying to hide.
Sam’s knees give way, falling into Jason.
Scooping her into his arms while never breaking eye contact. Jason doesn’t need his eyes to know Sam needed him, her soul told him. He didn’t need his eyes to tell him Sam was crumbling. He could hear the cries of her soul. He could feel the battle she was fighting, he just didn’t know how to help her.
Jason always trusted his connection with Sam, but after five years, after her questions, and after her coldness; Jason is unsure of what he should believe. Her heart and soul are telling him to save her, but her questions about his identity give him pause.
Jason doesn’t trust himself enough to know exactly what Sam needs, her doubt causes uncontrollable doubt in Jason. Trying to fight through the doubt they both feel, Jason works to listen to Sam’s soul but “Why should I believe you are the real Jason?” echoes in his head.
He hasn’t felt this connected but disconnected from Sam since she was pregnant with Danny.
Doing what comes naturally to him, Jason pulls Sam in closer. Connecting as Phoenix and Dragon.
In no rush to vacate Jason’s loving embrace, Sam feels calm, she feels peace, she feels the battle within soothing.
Starting in Sam, and ending in Jason, chills run through their bodies. Their hearts begin to beat the same tune, Jason starts to feel peace, and for just a second, he allows himself to relax. Giving in to the embrace, he wraps Sam in every bit of love he has, allows himself to fall into her. Breathing her in, Jason loses himself.
Her questions enter his mind, clouding the moment causing Jason to pull away, he doesn’t want to let go, he wants to pull her in even closer, but he doesn’t know if that’s what she wants. He doesn’t know anything, other than she is hurting, other than she needs him.
Steading Sam to her feet, Jason tries to let go but he can’t. He allows his hand to linger on her forearm, caressing her soft skin; warming her goosebumps.
Removing one finger at a time, Jason slowly moves his hand from her arm, before his thumb has a chance to leave her body she grabs it; wrapping her hand around his thumb
“Say it again,” Sam whispers.
“I love you, Samantha Morgan.”
Jason’s words float in the air between them acting like a sledgehammer breaking down the wall Sam created. Sam doesn’t want the wall to crumble, but she doesn’t know how to stop. This I love you came from Jason’s soul. Sam could tell Jason had been holding that back, she could tell he was unsure of the route he should take with her. She could tell that this I love you was Jason’s last hope. She could tell it was Jason’s everything. She couldn’t ignore that. She couldn’t ignore Jason’s love, not when it was wrapping her in an armor she hasn’t worn in 5 years. His love was breaking down every defense she had. Sam knew fighting Jason’s love would be the hardest fight of her life. She knew it would be an impossible fight, but everything she loved was at stake.
Unwrapping her hand from around Jason’s thumb with the intent to break their connection, Sam intertwines her fingers into his. She knows she needs to let go, but she can’t; she doesn’t know how she never did. Jumping down the Jason rabbit hole, Sam can’t see the end. She didn’t want to see the end, she wanted to keep falling, to keep loving.
Floating in silence, intertwined by mind, body, and soul. Sam is exposed and vulnerable, and in this vulnerability, she is ready to let Jason in. She is ready for her Dragon to protect her, she is prepared to expose Drew and all his secrets. As Sam finds the courage to speak; Jason finds the courage to do what his heart has been aching to do since Sam opened the door. Leaning in, Sam follows Jason lead. She could feel what his heart wanted because her heart was aching for the same thing. Taking their time, slowly inching towards each other, Sam grabs Jason’s face with urgency in her soul. Slightly caresses his face, pulling him closer, Sam lightly brushes her lips against Jason’s, sucking his essence in.
No longer able to resist each other, Jason and Sam crave each other. Cupping the back of Sam’s neck, Jason pulls her into him like his life depends on it, taking one last look into her eyes, Jason moves in for the kiss. Barely connecting, Scout cries from the back.
Scout’s cries knock Jason and Sam out; her cries ground Sam to her reality, causing the wall back up. Breaking all connection with Jason, Sam lets him go and takes a step back.
“Was that a baby?” Jason knows he heard someone cry. He’s confident it was a baby but unsure of how Danny cries. He knows that was a baby’s cry and not Danny. Finally taking in his surroundings, Jason notices the baby toys on the table, the playpen in the corner, and the stroller by the terrace doors.
Escaping the fact Sam had a whole life in the five years he was missing, Jason never thought that life could include more children. He never thought she could do that to him. The gravity of this sends Jason’s mind spiraling. Searching Sam’s soul for answers, Jason notices her walls are back up. Starting to understand Sam’s coldness, Jason knows why she questioned him, he sees her life went on without him.
“Yes, my daughter with…” Sam looks back towards the kitchen. “With Jason.”
Unashamed of her daughter, Sam loves Scout with everything in her; she just doesn’t love the fact she’s not a true Morgan. Sam always wanted a family with Jason. Since becoming pregnant with Danny, Sam has dreamed of their family being completed with a baby girl. She thought when Scout was born she was the luckiest person in the world to get everything she ever dreamed of. She felt her world was whole and complete with the arrival of their baby girl. Scout was supposed to be their dream child, she was supposed to be their long-awaited baby girl, the baby girl they wanted since the beginning, the baby girl that made them possible. She was supposed to be a Morgan and the fact that she isn’t is a thought Sam can’t bear.
The weight of this knowledge is too much for Sam. She didn’t want to utter the words. She didn’t want Jason to deal with a reality she couldn’t bear.
“What’s her name?” Shaking his fist at his side, Jason tries to hide his pain.
“Her name is Emily Scout Morgan.” Sam stutters.
A wave of emotions hit Jason, “My sister’s name?” Reminded of Sam’s dream of their family, Jason remembers Emily was always supposed to be their daughter’s name. Lost at the revelation of Sam’s daughter, Jason is happy for Sam. He’s happy that Sam finally got everything she ever wanted. He’s happy that she has the daughter that has eluded her since the beginning of their relationship. He’s happy for her but devastated for them.
Like Sam, the weight of the Scout knowledge is too much to bear. Jason doesn’t want to show the pain he is experiencing, but the gravity of it is too enormous for him to hide.
Noticing the shift in Jason, Sam moves in to comfort him; before she can fulfill this action, Scout’s continued cries, stop her.
Scout’s whimpering seizes Sam at the moment. Standing frozen, torn between her daughter and Jason, Sam wants to reach out to Jason; she wants to make it better for him, but she can’t. Her fear is, that if she lets him back in, she’ll never let him go again.
Feeling Sam’s hesitation, Jason makes it easy for her; stepping back into the hall, Jason buries everything deep inside himself. “It’s okay. It’s all going to be okay.”
Overwhelmed at the magnitude of Jason’s love, Sam’s eyes swell with tears. Sam can’t imagine how she went 5 years without its touch, how she survived so long without being able to bath in its richness.
Breaking her soul to do what she feels she must, Sam breaks herself to reject everything she wants, but Jason’s love and reassurance make it easier. His love gives her the courage to do the impossible.
Nodding to Jason, Sam mouths “Thank You.” Shutting the door in his face, Sam lets out an earth-shattering wail. Her wail blast through the door knocking Jason off balance. Palming the door with both hands to steady himself, Jason slowly lowers his head to rest on the door. He lingers for a while, willing his love through the door and into Sam.
Shutting herself off from Jason’s love crushes Sam to the ground. Hugging the front door, Sam slides down the door until her body hits the floor. Going limp, she wails her lungs at the emptiness she feels; she wails at the coldness that enters her heart; she wails until no sound comes out. Sam stares at nothing, lost in her thoughts; lost in her thoughts of Jason, she doesn’t notice that Drew has re-entered the room and place Scout in the playpen.
Moving slowly towards a comatose Sam, “Hey! Babe are you okay?” Drew worries. Worried Jason’s return has caused a setback, Drew moves close to Sam but doesn’t touch her.
Avoiding startling her, Drew waves his hand in her face trying to get Sam’s attention. He whispers her name. He leans in extremely close, moving his hand towards her face; before he can make contact, Sam jumps up, screaming at him.
“Don’t you ever touch me.” Sam brushes past Drew, heading straight for the playpen. She grabs Scout and heads for the stair. She doesn’t want to be around Drew, and since she can’t be with Jason, she just wants to be alone with her children.
“Don’t you forget I’m still your husband and the father of your kids. And you’re going to make sure everyone believes that, right?” Drew’s arrogance pulls Sam back to him, halting her movements before she can disappear into the upstairs.
Knowing Sam is breaking herself in two by pushing Jason away, Drew tries everything he can to force her into a setback. He believes Sam’s mental break will give him the advantage he needs to beat Jason. He thinks once the dust settles and Jason is gone for good, Sam will go back to being happy with him. He feels he needs to be the necessary evil to lead them back into his version of happiness, with time, Drew truly believes he can make Sam love him. He truly believes he can beat the power of Jason and Sam’s love.
Feeling the rage swirling within her, Sam turns around and makes her way back down the stairs. She can feel everything she wants to say. The words pound in her bones, every inch of her is ready to snap, every inch of her is furious with a rage she hasn’t felt since hating Alexis for baby Lila and her brother Danny.
Reaching the bottom step, Sam stops herself. She shakes her head from side to side, turning herself away from Drew, she begins the journey back up the stair. Realizing Drew wasn’t worth any of her energy, Sam reserves all her energy for her Jason’s love.
Ripping his heart out, Jason pulls himself from the PentHouse door. He didn’t want to leave especially after hearing the wail that came from Sam, he didn’t want to go after being in his home with his wife. Jason wanted to stay and continue searching her for the answers. He wanted to stay and be the family they both had dreamed of.
Unsure of how he found the strength to walk away, Jason’s soul leads him to the only place that could soothe. He doesn’t remember leaving the PentHouse. He doesn’t even remember driving out of the city. All he remembers is the wail Sam gave off when she closed the door, a wail that echoes in his ears, feels his soul with despair; a wail that drove him to the footbridge. Jason doesn’t know why his sub-conscious brought him to the footbridge, but he is blessed to have ended up there, blessed that his beloved footbridge still stands, blessed to have a place to go to when life gets too much.
Moving slowly towards the footbridge, captivated by the views of Port Charles like he has never seen it before, Jason takes it all in. He allows the views to wash over his senses, and for a second the wailing that lines his ears, stop.
Cleansing his soul of negative thoughts, Jason clears his mind of Sam’s pain. The harder he tries to push it all away, the harder it pounds him into the ground. There on the footbridge, Jason succumbs to his emotions. Allowing himself to deal with everything he has been holding back, Jason breaks down. He replays the last 48 hours in his head, he feels Sam’s despair surround him. Trying to focus on Sam’s love and Danny’s smile, Jason feels hopeless; her despair is too powerful for him to concentrate on anything else.
Sam’s despair pounds Jason into the ground, his entire being goes weak; grabbing the railing as his body smashed to the ground, Jason stays there letting the tears flow, allowing his emotions to consume him.
Jumping up, Jason whips out his gun.
“Who is there?” Jason demands, hoping it was Sam. Searching the woods for a sign of her, Jason gets his hopes up.
“Robin.” Jason gasped, tears welling in his eyes, he can’t believe she is here. He wants to run to her, to embrace her and tell her everything he tried to say to her the night died. He wants to tell her Thank You for his life, for his second chance but the doubt in her eyes, the questions in her brow, stop him. Jason stuffs his hands in his pockets, waiting for Robin to tell him he’s the lie.
“Oh my god, Sonny said it was you.” Walking towards Jason, her jaw drops at the sight of him. Robin knew she would be able to find Jason on the footbridge. Knowing he sought refuges from the turmoils of life on this bridge, Robin tries to imagine the kind of chaos Jason is experiencing. She knew he would be trying to find the light in all the darkness.
“He said you had your old face.” Robin exaggerated, blinking a couple of times before tears swell her eyes. Enchanted by the presence of Jason, Robin thought she would never see this face again. She thought she would never see those blue eyes looking back at her. “I thought he was you.” Dropping her bag, Robin runs to Jason. She believed wholeheartedly Drew was Jason.
“Oh my god, it’s you. It’s really you, Jason. I can’t believe it’s you. That you’re really here.” Entering Jason’s arms, Robin cries her eyes out on his shoulder.
“I can’t believe it’s you. This is the icing on the cake that I truly needed right now.” Holding her as tight as he can without crushing her, Jason words tickles her ears; transporting them both to a place neither thought they’d venture to again.
Going back to that night in Montego, Robin relives the night they shared their first kiss. Inhaling him in, Robin is hit with a wave of emotions as she remembers everything they’ve ever shared together. She remembers the love, the friendship, the trust. She recognizes Jason Morgan for who he truly is.
“You being here, is better than the best” Jason laughs, releasing Robin from his grip. He steps back, marveling at her being alive. It broke Jason to think he was the cause of Robin’s death. “I never wanted you to sacrifice yourself for me.”
Jason would never want someone he loves to suffer because of him.
“Oh stop it, my life wasn’t sacrificed, it was stolen so I could save you. How is this possible? Who is that other man pretending to be you?” Running different possibilities in her head, Robin thinks back to everything the other man has done since stepping down in Port Charles. She thinks about all the bad he did as Jake Doe, all the good he did as Jason Morgan. “I don’t understand how something like this could happen. Why would someone want to steal your life? Why replace you?”
“I don’t know yet, but I’m going to find out. I have to, he has Sam and Danny.” Jason states, balling up his fist, looking out at into city. He tries to suppress the rage gaining momentum within him.
“What do you mean he has Sam and Danny?” Robin inquires. She doesn’t understand what Jason could mean by such a statement. Robin couldn’t fathom Jason hanging out on the footbridge if Sam and Danny were in trouble.
“She believes him. Something is wrong, and she isn’t ready to tell me yet. I can feel it.” Jason’s hands shake with rage. “Something is not right, I just don’t know how bad it is yet. Something is telling me to trust Sam. I’m just going to trust Sam.” Jason professes, trying to convince himself more than Robin. He keeps telling himself that Sam is okay, that she knows what she is doing.
Reaching out to Jason, Robins purse rings, stopping her. She turns for her bag. “It Emma, I have to take this. We’ll catch up again soon.” Robin declares, walking towards the road.
Stopping, Robin turns, taking one last look at Jason; an infectious smile blankets her face; a childlike glee fills her heart, she gives a slight wave before disappearing into the darkness.
Deciding to shut his brain off and just enjoy the view, Jason stares out at Port Charles.
POW POW POW
“LET HER GO!” Jason screams and fights.
“SAM!” Jason fights awake. Jason awakes in a cold sweat. Heart racing and body shaking. Jason has never felt this way. He has never been scared for Sam like this. Jason doesn’t understand what is happening with Sam. He doesn’t understand what happened to their life. He doesn’t understand his life anymore. He doesn’t understand why he dreamed Sam in danger. Jason clutches his gun close to his chest.
“Jason, Jason it’s okay! I heard you screaming about Sam. Is she okay?” Carly comes rushing in questioning. She has never seen Jason like this. He’s pale and disorientates, seeing Jason like this make Carly realize she made the right choice in forcing Jason to stay at the mansion, he needs to be with family right now. And, while she considers them to be family, she doesn’t get why Jason is back at the mansion. The last time Carly saw Jason he was off to find and claim his family. Carly knows Jason enough to know that Jason wouldn’t come home to sleep if Sam and Danny were out there in trouble. Jason wouldn’t rest until he was with them.
“Yes, I mean no. I don’t know honestly.” Jason takes in the physical effect of the dream he just had. He gets out the bed and moves towards the closest, pulls a shirt over his sweaty body and steps towards the open window. Jason blocks out Carly’s noise and gazes out the window. He thinks over everything that has happened in the last two days. He thinks about all the ways he failed Sam and Danny. He thinks about his final moments with Sam, he feels her wailing through the door. Jason closes his eye and tries to understand what life is supposed to be now. Nothing makes sense, and this makes Jason’s head pound. Nothing feels right, and Jason can’t trust his instinct. Zoned out Jason’s whole body clinches up.
“They have a baby girl?” Jason asks out of nowhere. Out of everything that has emerged in the last two days, the one thing that sticks out to Jason the most is Sam’s baby girl. The news of Sam’s baby girl brings joy and pain to Jason. The thoughts of Scout make Jason’s heart race and his throat tighten. He knows what she means to Sam. He feels what she was supposed to mean to them both. He knows Sam has always wanted a baby girl since losing Lila. He knows she has always wanted a baby girl with Jason since baby Lila. He wonders how she felt thinking she was getting her greatest wish. He thinks about how she may feel now, knowing Jason didn’t father Scout. These thoughts break Jason to his core.
“Yes, Emily Scout!” Carly chokes back tears. She looks over at Jason and witnesses him in a moment. She witnesses him take it all in again, she observes him fight back the tears. She witnesses Jason’s grief firsthand. Carly gets up and moves towards Jason trying to pull him into an embrace, but before she can, Jason sidesteps her and starts pacing the room. Jason grief compounds the whole place, suffocating Carly in the moment. Carly can’t bear it and starts grilling Jason for the information again.
“Jas, what is going on? What happened last night?” Carly whispers. Carly can see what Baby Scout is doing to Jason, and it cripples her. Carly can’t handle seeing Jason in this much pain. She tries to get Jason back focused on the important stuff.
“Jason, did you hear me? Jason, are you listening? Jason!” Carly screams, knocking Jason out of his mind and back to reality. Everything happening to Jason is scaring Carly. Jason is usually in control, and she can tell that he is silently suffering. She can see he is spiraling out. His body is tense, and every time she talks to him, he seems miles and miles away.
“Yes, Carly I’m here!” Jason answers without breaking his gaze on the sky. Jason, in fact, was not mentally there. Jason was thinking of Sam. Jason is always thinking of Sam.
“Are you sure? Did you hear anything I just said?” Carly demands. Carly doesn’t like being ignored. And she knows Jason is not listening to her. Jason is suffering, and it is clear as the sky is blue. She doesn’t like to see Jason suffer. Carly is tortured seeing Jason like this. She is tortured not knowing how to help him. She is tortured because she blames herself.
“Carly, stop. I have a lot going on.” Jason snaps back. Jason’s intent wasn’t to snap at Carly, but the pressure is too much. Everything is too much, and Jason just needs peace. He needs quiet. He needs time to process the last 48 hours and alone time is the only thing that will give Jason this.
Carly pushes herself off Jason’s bed and heads for the door. She doesn’t want to overwhelm Jason. She doesn’t want to drive Jason into isolation.
“No, Carly wait!” Jason states while running to stop her before she passes through the threshold.
“I’m sorry, what were you saying?” Jason ushers Carly back into the room and towards the bed.
Carly pouts a little before allowing Jason to lead her back towards the bed. Carly plops down on the bed and gives Jason that looks.
“I’m worried about you Jason. You don’t have nightmares. And, why are you here and not with Sam? Did you find her? Why are you sleeping with your gun? Jason, what is going on?” Carly worries. Carly is terrified. She stares at the gun sitting on the nightstand. She stares back at Jason. Carly doesn’t want to push Jason, but she doesn’t want Jason to be here either. Carly knows Jason and Sam belong together. Carly feels Jason should be with Sam and Danny. He should be enjoying family time with them. Carly knows something is wrong. She knows Jason is fighting an internal battle. It kills her not knowing how to help.
Jason doesn’t answer. Jason has fixed his eyes on a spot on the wall and zones out. Jason doesn’t know how to respond to Carly’s questions. He has the same questions but no answers. Jason has been playing these questions on a loop in his head. Why isn’t he with Sam. Why isn’t he home? Why did Sam push him away? Why can’t he just be Jason?
“Jason, snap out of it. Tell me what happened. Why are you sleeping with your gun? Did you find Sam and Danny?” Carly demands. She is over being patient. She wants answers. Carly stands up, position herself right in front of Jason. She grabs his face and looks deep into his eyes. There she sees what Jason is trying to hide. Carly drops her hands and steps back. The fear she witnessed in Jason, sends shivers down her spine.
“Is everything okay, Jas!” Carly’s screams knock Jason out of his latest daydream. He takes Carly in. He takes in her reaction to him. He takes in her fear. He takes in her panic. He draws it all in with a deep breath. He draws it all in and prepares himself to comfort Carly.
“Yes, Carly!” Jason mumbles as he stands up to be level with Carly. “They’re at the PH. Sam wanted to stay there.” Jason grasp. Just uttering those words make Jason feel fragile. He grabs Carly to balance himself but plays it off like he was pulling her into an embrace. He doesn’t want Carly to worry about him more then she already does. He doesn’t want anyone to worry or fuss over him. Jason has never wanted to feel like a burden on anyone.
Carly pulls herself out of the embrace and examines Jason’s mannerisms. She knows what Jason is trying to do. She won’t be deterred that easily.
“Wait, what happened? Why aren’t you with them?” Carly challenged. Carly takes control and tries to guided Jason back towards the bed, the problem is Jason isn’t going. Jason pulls away and walks towards the window. Jason doesn’t want to be managed by Carly right now. Jason doesn’t want to talk about Sam right now. Jason just wants to be alone.
“I don’t know Carly. I don’t know what’s happening, but something is not right.” Jason declares. Jason stumbles back when he uttered the words. Jason hates when nothing in his life makes sense. It makes him feel unbalanced. It makes him feel like he is falling and there is nothing he can do about it. This feeling makes Jason’s skin crawl. This feeling makes Jason feel like someone is in control of him.
“Well, why are you sleeping with your gun? Something happened, Jason. What is it?” Carly asks. Carly knows something else happened. She knows something spooked Jason last night. Jason doesn’t sleep with his gun unless something extremely dangerous was transpiring. Carly doesn’t know what is happening with the two Jason problem, but she can sense the danger coming.
“Someone shot at me!” Jason states while moving back towards Carly. He knows she will freak out by the statement. Carly is tough, but she crumbles knowing Jason could get hurt. Jason sits next to her and pulls her into another embrace. Jason doesn’t want to be doing this, but this is easier than dealing with a riled-up Carly.
“What, are you okay?” Carly panics while fighting herself out of Jason an embrace. Carly freaks out and begins searching Jason’s body for wounds.
“Did you get hit? Who would shoot at you?” Carly grumbles looking over every piece of his body.
“Carly stop, I’m okay. I wasn’t hurt.” This is exactly what Jason was trying to avoid. Carly spiraling out of fear is more than Jason can handle right now. Jason has put Carly first in the past, but right now he needs to put his family first. And his family is Sam and Danny.
“Who shot at you?” Carly demands. Carly composes herself and demands reals answers from Jason. Carly figures if Jason is in danger, then Sonny is in danger. And, if they are in danger, her whole family is in danger. Carly is not the type of person to sit aside and do nothing when the ones she loves is in danger. And, this fire in her is what scares Jason most. Carly’s schemes never help the situation, they only ever hurt them.
“I don’t know, but I found where the shooter was standing. Whoever it was left this behind.” Jason states while pulling a button out of his nightstand. Jason plays with the button in his hand before handing it off to Carly to examine.
“It looks luxurious,” Carly states while looking the button over. Carly doesn’t care about the button. She only cares that Jason is okay. And, what Jason is going to do about it. Jason will not sit by and do nothing knowing someone is trying to kill him. Carly knows this.
“Do you think it was the guys who tried to take Sam?” Carly wants to get as much information out of Jason before he completely shuts down. She knows its coming, but she hopes Jason will let her in. She hopes Jason will ask for help instead of going at it alone.
“I don’t know, Carly! I just don’t know.” Jason growls. Jason has had it with all the questions from Carly. He wants out of this house. He wants away from Carly. He wants time to make everything make sense again. Jason gears himself up for a battle with Carly, but before he can his cell phone rings. Jason picks the phone up and is happy to speak with the person on the other end. He is satisfied that he doesn’t have to answer to Carly anymore.
Jason takes the call, while Carly heads out the room. Carly could tell Jason was shutting down. And she was okay with that. Carly had her own mission to get to. Carly had her own battles she had to gear up for.
Knock Knock Knock.
Jason waits patiently wait for someone to open the door to him. The door opens, and Jason turns to find Michael.
“Mi Michael. I didn’t know you would be here.” Jason stutters as a hot flash rises to his cheeks. Jason hasn’t seen Michael since his return. Michael had been at the top of Jason’s must-see list since coming home, but Jason didn’t want to push himself on anyone in his life. Especially Michael. Jason knew Michael would come find him when he was ready. Looking at the man, Michael has become in his absence, takes Jason breath away. Jason just stares in disbelief. He wants to reach out and grab Michael, he wants to hold him and tell him how proud he is of him. But, he doesn’t. He stands frozen, unsure of himself. This makes Jason shake his hands out, and he balls them into a fist.
Michael doesn’t speak. He doesn’t move, he just examines the man before him. Tears wail up in Michael’s eyes, and he goes weak. Michael falls into Jason’s arms and just cries. All it took was one look in Jason’s eyes, and Michael knew. Michael weeps into the first father he has ever had, arms. Michael feels a sense of home and acceptance he hasn’t felt for years. Michael like everyone else didn’t realize how much they missed the real Jason until they were wrapped in his love. And, Michael was being drowned in it. Jason didn’t know what to expect when coming face to face with Michael. He knew like everyone else Michael had believed the other guy, but what he got from Michael was the best homecoming thus far.
Jason and Michael stay wrapped in each other love for quite some time. Michael trying to find his words and Jason trying to live in the love. Michael’s body stutters under the overwhelming weight of his emotions. Michael weeps so hard his uncontrollable body shakes, but Jason is there to hold him steady.
“Jason.” Michael crumbles. Michael has so much to say, so much he wants to express to Jason, but Jason’s names is all that can escape his lungs. Michael remembers all the times he has been right there in Jason’s arms, in Jason’s love. Michael squeezes Jason with all his might. Michael is at home in Jason’s arms.
“Let me see you.” Jason pushing Michael away, and wipe away tears from both Michael and his face. Both men are overwhelmed, but Jason is overjoyed also. Michael has had many men claim to be his father, but in Jason’s mind, he will always be Michael’s true father. A sentiment Michael also carries.
“Oh man, look at you.” Jason pushes Michael back a little to really take him in. Jason looks him up and down, squeezes his arms, rubs his head and really looks him in the eyes. Jason is in utter awe of Michael. Jason lowers his head, takes a step back and fights the flow of tears fighting their way to the surface. He knows nothing of Michael’s life now, yet he is still beaming with pride for the man he has become.
“Look at you, you’re here. I’ve missed you so much. I’m so sorry for bel-.”Michael chokes.
“Don’t. You don’t have to talk about that. Or apologize. Ok, Buddy! Come here.” Jason pulls Michael back into another embrace. Jason could see Michael was struggling and it hurt Jason
more to see Michael like this than hear about him believing the other guy was him. Jason didn’t need clarification from Michael. Michael’s recognition and love were enough for Jason.
“You, knowing it’s me, is enough. We don’t have to talk about the other stuff.” Jason adds more pressure to his hug.
“I should have come seen you sooner but,”
Jason cuts Michael off again.
“You would have come when you were ready, it okay.” Jason soothes. Jason didn’t want Michael to feel burdened because of him. Jason didn’t want anyone in his life to feel like they had to placate him. That was the last thing Jason wanted. They believed the other guy, and there is nothing Jason can do about that now but move forward.
Jason and Michael separate and just stare in silence for a moment.
“So, I take it you didn’t come here to see me? You must be here for Danny.” Michael knows Jason’s statement was true. Michael knows Jason would never push himself on Michael. So, Michael assumes Jason is here to see his son. To Michael, this is the logical explanation for Jason’s presence at the mansion. Jason wasn’t big on the Quartermaine family.
“Um, no I wasn’t. Monica called me over. Danny is here?” Jason shoves his hands in his pockets and waits for Michael to invite him in. Jason was nervous to see Monica, but he is now overcome with a million emotions at the thought of seeing Danny. When Jason first saw Danny, he didn’t know for certain he was his son. Now that Jason knows, he doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know if he should go in and talk or run until Sam introduces appropriately introduces them.
“Come on.” Michael guides Jason into the mansion and out to the promenade where Danny is playing with Annabelle The Second. Michael could tell that Jason was unsure of what he should do when it came to Danny. Michael witnessed firsthand what Sam and Jason went through over Danny, so he knows what Danny means to him. He knows how precious Danny is.
Before they reach Danny, Michael whispers to Jason.
“Does he know?”
Jason doesn’t respond. He gives Michael a look that makes Michael understand everything.
“Hey Danny, I want you to meet someone. “Michael crouches down to become level with Danny.
“This is my-“ Michael is interrupted.
Hey, your mommy’s friend!” Danny throws the ball to Annabelle The Second. Danny is so caught up in Annabelle he doesn’t notice the look of deep love and pain on Jason’s face or the tears that swell in Jason’s eyes. And for this Jason is grateful.
“You know my cousin Michael too?” Danny finally turns his attention to Michael and Jason.
“Yea. This is Jas… He’s my uncle.” Michael quivers. Jason look told Michael that Danny did not know that he was his father, but Michael was unsure of exactly what Danny knew about Jason or the situation. Michael stands straight up and looks to Jason for guidance.
Both men are stuck on how to proceed with Danny. They don’t know what to say, they don’t want to upset Danny or say something Sam isn’t ready for him to hear. Lucky for them Danny is a natural leader.
“Is he my uncle too?” Danny jumps up and down as Annabelle comes running back with the ball.
Jason and Michael both shuffle back and forth, both unsure of themselves. Jason attempts to muster the strength to lie to Danny, but before he can, Danny has another question for him.
“Do you want to play catch with me and Annabelle? Danny hands Jason the ball. Jason draws in a deep breath and beams his whole heart at Danny. Jason is grateful Danny moved on from his original question. He didn’t know if he could bear to lie to his son about being his not being his father.
“I would love that!” Jason shakenly takes the ball from Danny and throws it. Danny watches Annabelle take off. Jason watches Danny.
“I want a turn throwing the ball.” Michael jogs to be closer to Danny. Annabelle comes running back with the ball in mouth and drops it before a laughing Danny and Michael. Michael picks up the ball, and fake throws it, causing Annabelle to run off for no reason, resulting in Danny laughing hysterically.
Once Michael finally throws the ball, Danny is laughing so hard it cause Michael to fill with laughter. Both boys keeled over with laughter.
Jason takes in the best scene of his life. Two of his sons together, happy and safe. Jason steps back and marvels at his boys. The boy he raised into the man he sees before him and the boy he never to got know but prays will get to see grow. Jason can’t stand being on the sidelines anymore, he rushes over to spend as much time with Danny as he can. Jason just wished Danny knew him. He wished that Danny knew he was playing with his Dad.
“She knows a lot of tricks. We can show you.” Danny jumps up and down with glee when Jason joins them.
Jason plays with Danny and Annabelle forgetting about his real reason for being there. Monica. Danny shows Jason and Michael all Annabelle’s trick before Danny is called in for lunch by Alice.
“Bye Michael, Bye Michael’s uncle.” Danny walks by giving both Jason and Michael a high five before bolting for the kitchen.
“How amazing was that?” Michael asks while he and Jason watch Danny and Annabelle run into the Mansion. Michael could see the pain behind Jason’s love for Danny. He feels the effect, Danny, calling him Michael’s uncle had on Jason. Michael wanted Jason to focus on the positive. Michael wanted Jason to focus on the time shared.
“Yea, it was something.” Jason wipes tears away. Playing with Danny was bittersweet. Jason loved spending time with Danny, but it pained him to know that Danny saw him as a stranger. Jason’s heart broke into millions of tiny pieces watching Danny go. Jason wanted to hear him say, bye dad, not Michael’s uncle.
Jason stares at the last spot he saw Danny. He becomes so fixated on it, he doesn’t hear Michael.
“Hey, Jason, should we go find Monica now? Michael senses Jason’s feelings of loss and despair.
“Um no, I have to get out of here. I’m sorry Michael. Tell Monica I’ll come back.” Jason bolts for the front door. Jason is taken back by Danny’s acceptance of him and the ease they both share. Jason wasn’t prepared for Michael and Danny. Jason becomes so overwhelmed with his emotion his head pounds. It pounds with confusion, regret, pain, and love. It beats him to no mercy. Jason has to getaway. He has to get to a place that makes sense for him.
Jason runs past Monica, he’s in so much pain he doesn’t even see her.
“Was, that Jason.” Monica inquires.
Before Michael can answer, there is a knock at the door.
The door opens.
“May I come in?” Carly bushes past Sam and lets herself in. Carly doesn’t have time to play with Sam. Jason is hurting, and in Carly’s mind, only Sam can fix that. Sam needs Jason. Jason needs Sam. It’s that simple to Carly.
“I mean does it matter what I say.” Sam shuts the door and walks towards Carly, who has made herself comfortable on the couch. Sam knows precisely why Carly is there. Jason. No one fights for Jason like Carly, and no one thinks they know what is best for Jason better than Carly.
“Is he here?” Carly whispers and looks around for any signs of Drew. Carly doesn’t dislike Drew or wishes him ill harm but what she has to say to Sam doesn’t need an audience. Carly is there to push all the bullshit aside and get to the truth with Sam.
“No, Carly. He’s not here. He went to go pick up the kids. I’m alone, and I would like to keep it that way.” Sam starts walking back towards the door. She hopes that Carly will take the hint and follow her.
Carly did no such thing.
“Good, cause we need to talk alone.” Carly pat the space next to her. Carly is chipper to be alone with Sam. These past 5 years without Jason allowed Sam and Carly to become friends. And, Carly planned to use this new-founded friendship to understand what is really going on with Sam and make her see the error of her ways.
“Carly, I know why you’re here, and I’m not discussing this with you.” Sam goes straight into defense mode. Sam knows Carly would never understand her choice even if she could explain it to her. Carly doesn’t know about true sacrifice. Carly only knows what makes her happy. Carly is the last person Sam wants to discuss this with.
“Sam, Jason is back. Your husband is back, and you would rather share your bed with a stranger.” Carly snaps. Carly figures if Sam wants to go straight there, she’ll go straight there too.
“I didn’t share my bed with a stranger last night. I slept with my kids last night. Not that I owe you an explanation. Sam slumps into the chair. She doesn’t need Carly beating her down, she is already doing that herself.
“Sam. I’m sorry.” Carly backs down. She finally Sam for what she is. Beaten down, fragile and tired.
“You don’t understand. No one understands.” Sam whimpers.
“You’re right I don’t!” Carly wants to understand, she is trying to be sensitives to what Sam is experiencing, but Sam is working her last nerve.
“How do you know he is Jason.” Sam chokes trying to get the words out, but she manages. Sam knows she made a mistake the moment Jason pushes past her lips.
Carly is filled with blind rage at the question. Carly cuts her eyes and lowers her tone.
“Our Jason is back. Not some knock off-brand, but our loving, selfless, caring, fearless Jason. And you know it Sam. You have always known, just like the rest of us that the other guy wasn’t quite right. You’ve said it many times that this Jason was different. It was because it wasn’t him. Sam, you know. You knew it when you saw him. I know you did. We all did. So make me understand why you’re not with Jason right now.” Carly passions on. Carly has so much fire in her she is howling at Sam.
Carly waits for Sam to respond, but Sam has nothing. She can’t tell the truth, and she doesn’t have the strength in her to battle Carly with her lies.
“This other guy is not Jason…. You know this in your heart Sam. Listen to your soul.” Carly calms herself seeing a defeated Sam isn’t going to fight back. Carly steadies her shaken body and draws in a deep, steady long breath.
“Sam, talk to me. No matter how I feel, I’m here for you.” Carly lowers herself on the coffee table across from Sam and grabs her hand. Sam hasn’t had any human contact other than her kids since Jason. Sam doesn’t want to be touch, Carly finds out the hard way. Sam jumps up and circles in one place.
“I have to get out of here.” Sam takes off out the door. Sam was on the verge of crumbling. She had to getaway. Carly was going to push her into submission.
Jason attempted to blur the sense back into his life on his bike. When that didn’t work, he heads for the cabin. Jason rode his bike for some hours before ending up at the cabin. By the time Jason reached the cabin, it was dark out, and the sky was filled with stars. Jason doesn’t enter the cabin. Jason takes a seat on the side of his bike and gazes at the stars.
Jason whips around gun out ready to shoot.
“Whoa, Jason it’s me.”
“Sam.” Jason shuffles back and forth unsure of himself. He wasn’t expecting to see Sam tonight at the cabin, but he is pleased and also nervously happy to see her.
“What are you doing here?” Wondering if she followed him, wondering if she brought the other him to the cabin, Jason goes weak. Shoving his hands in his pocket, Jason tries to hide the signs of him breaking down.
“I – I needed to getaway. Carly stopped by.” Smirking, remembering all the times Carly has busted into their lives fighting for her time with Jason. “Its funny Carly is now fighting for my time with you.” Sam looks Jason up and down; studying his strong, tense physique. She can see everything he’s trying to hide. She knew her Jason. She knew he was suffering in silence, so she didn’t have to. Sam painstakingly moves towards Jason. She reaches out to grab him, but hesitate; allowing her hand to linger close enough to feel his heat. A heat that ignites her soul.
“Jason.” Sam crashes to the ground behind Jason. Being close enough to him to smell his essence and feel his heat, overcharged her sense and knocks her out.
Sam’s body becomes one with the earth before Jason can turn around. She hits the ground, with a loud thud that echoes through the woods, like a whistle in the air on a windy day.
“Sam” Scooping her into his arms, Jason’s whole body becomes electrified by her. He feels the sense of peace he has been yearning for since waking up in that clinic.
Sam’s lifeless body settles into Jason, as a wave of love pulsates through him. Holding an unconscious Sam close, Jason slowly breathes her in. Wiggling her, Jason tries to arouse her sense. “Sam,” Jason whispers, placing his forehead against Sam’s.
Under a million stars, Jason cradles his fractured heart in his arms.
Letting out a little moan followed by a groan, Sam rests her head on Jason’s shoulders; nestling herself into Jason’s security, allowing her subconscious to carry her away. Sam basses in the rest and peace she didn’t know she was missing or she desperately needed.
Entering the cabin with Sam in his arms, Jason takes in the changes five years has done to his special place. Taking his time placing her on the bed, Jason doesn’t want to let her go, he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to touch her again; he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to cradle her this close again. Gently placing her on the bed, Jason grabs a pillow to place under her head and a cover to shield her shivering body, before taking his place next to Sam.
He watches her chest lightly rise and fall, her eye move under her closed lids, and wonders what she dreams about. He wonders what the turmoil of 5 years of him away has brought her. Moving closer to Sam, Jason turns his body, placing his mouth directly adjacent to Sam’s ear.
“Sam” Jason voices, her name flowing through Sam. Tensing up, Some part of Sam hears Jason. Her subconscious hears his cries. Taking notices Jason faintly grabs Sam’s hand, placing it into his, instantly feeling Sam’s body relax. “It’s okay. I’m here!” Placing his head on Sam’s, Jason closes his eyes and pulls her into him. He eases into a peaceful state of mind, listening to Sam breathe in and out, wanting her to wake up. He wanted to talk, to listen, to love her.
Becoming restless, Jason sits up, taking in his familiar and unfamiliar surroundings, he walks around the cabin, taking in the changes; noticing the difference 5 years has done to his life and to his cabin. Jason can tell Sam has been to the cabin in recent years, he notices she has spent quite a bit of time here.
Noticing Danny’s toys in the corner, his little man boots at the door, Jason realizes the cabin is no longer his. He sees Sam’s leather coat hanging off the chair, picking it up and placing it to his nose, Jason breathes Sam in, lingering long enough for her essence to have a dance party within his sense.
Shifting through the cabin gathering the pieces of a missed life, ending him in the middle of the cabin, Jason stares at a distinctive symbol of his life and marriage.
Paralyzed frozen in time, Jason’s heart stops.
“The Phoenix and The Dragon.” Jason escapes. Looking from the figurines to a resting Sam, Jason focuses on the last time he saw the symbols that drove his marriage. He closes his eyes and lets the memory consume him. His soul remembers Sam’s request. “Can you take this, it likes being with you wherever you go.” His last moments with his family flashes into Jason’s minds.
Tears escape Jason’s eyes, falling forward bracing himself on a chair, biting his lip until he tastes blood, Jason shakes the painful memories away. Taking a moment to composes himself, he assiduously moves towards the figurines, stopping himself, Jason wonders how Sam got his Phoenix back.
Did someone find it and mail it back to her? Did it fall out of his pocket on the pier? Did some cop have to hand her the only remaining item of Jason they could find? Did Sam dive into the water that night looking for Jason and only finding the Phoenix? These questions run through his head like a hamster on a wheel.
Reaching out, trying to grab The Phoenix, Jason can’t bring himself to touch it. Allowing his mind to transport him back in time, Jason closes his eyes, pulls his hand back and ease into the memories of a happier time.
“The Phoenix goddess of all winged creatures. Harvest luck, success, and prosperity. She can turn bad luck into good.”
Opening his eyes to a watery view, Jason looks back at Sam still passed out on the bed, instinctively moves towards her, checking her status. He brushes the hair from her eyes, examines her olive skin, observes the freckles that lightly dress her face, and he listens to the slow, shallow movements of her chest rising and falling.
Lastly, marveling at her small frame, and her ability to possess a passion twice her size. “Who do you think you are, Mighty Mouse” Jason recalled fondly to himself, before placing his attention back onto the Phoenix figurine.
“My Phoenix.” Jason shuffles over to the fireplace, trying to steady his shaking hand over the precious symbol without touching it. Trying to grab the Phoenix but still can’t, Jason grabs The Dragon instead. Running his fingers over the symbol that represents him, causes tightness in Jason’s chest. Staring at it, willing it to give him the answer he so desperately seeks, Jason, shakes.
“The dragon is the symbol of strength… Protects the innocent and can bless those around him with safety.” Haunts Jason. Feeling like a failure under the weight of this memory, Jason crashes to the ground. He discerns he doesn’t deserve to be The Dragon to Sam’s Phoenix, he lost the right to be her Dragon.
Anger swells in Jason, causing him to squeeze tight around The Dragon figurine, pressing it to the point the figurine disintegrates in his palm. Feeling The Dragon becoming one with his hand, releasing the figurine from his grip to find a sweaty, slightly cracked Dragon. Lifting himself off the ground, Jason returns the Dragon to its home, next to the Phoenix.
Jason wanders around, studying the knowledge of Sam and Danny’s life the cabin possesses. He finds bottles in the kitchen, pictures drawn by Danny on the refrigerator. He plays with Danny’s cars on the table and curses himself when he finds Danny’s little biker boots. He imagines what they did when he finds the playpen in the closet. The clues of his missed life follow him around, haunting his existence.
Jason wanted this life, he was excited about this life. Flooded with devastating grief, Jason makes his way towards the door. He had to get away, this cabin, these memories were suffocating him. The more he finds, the more difficult reality becomes for him.
Making it to the door, Jason sees his escape; he sees the bike. Hovering in the threshold, between his old life and the escape of a new one, Jason slowly closes the cabin door. Placing his attention upon a sleeping Sam, the only life Jason wants is with Sam, old or new.
Jason stands stiff as a board. He wants to know more, he wants to explore this life, but the crumbles only create more questions, more angst. Shuffling back and forth, Jason decides Sam has rested long enough, he can’t take it anymore; he needs her, he needs answers.
Quietly moving toward the bed, Jason’s attention shifts from Sam to a shoebox on the nightstand, labeled “The Morgan’s.” Abandoning his original mission, Jason b lines for the shoebox, settling himself on the far end of the bed. Jason is scared. Touching the box sends a surge that pulsates through Jason, jolting him up, he can feel the love this box contains.
Examining the box felt like examining a bomb. Jason tips it onto its side, upside, and shakes it to hear the contains. Anticipation dips off him like sweat on a humid day. He knows this box holds life-altering information, he knows it contains aspects of Sam and Danny’s life he knows nothing about. Something deep inside Jason shakes while opening the box.
Opening the box to reveals his old life and Sam’s new life, pictures line the bottom, a little box sits within the big box, symbols of their love invade Jason’s sense.
Unsure of where to start, Jason hovers his hand over the box, carefully picking up the little box in an attempt to not disturb Sam’s new life. He’s scared of what he might find. Slowly opening the box to a wave of Sam smacking him in the face, Jason stutters. The whole shoebox smelled of Sam, but the little box trapped Sam’s essence inside of it, releasing it on whoever dared to open it.
Drawing in a deep breath, filling himself with her spirit, Jason grabs a silver chain from the box.
Slipping the lug nut on his index finger shakes Jason to his core. He hadn’t thought about this engagement ring in years. The emotions from that night come rushing back, skipping his heart a beat and drying his mouth. Jason closes his hands around the chain, taking it all in. Quivering under the enormous pressure filling his chest, Jason presses the lug nut against his lip, trying to remember the night he slipped it on Sam’s finger.
“Will you put it on my finger?”
“It’s just until we get the ring and you can pick out whatever you want.”
“I have everything that I want.”
“I can’t believe we’re getting married.”
“Believe it!” Jason whispers, revealing a smile that lights up the room. Astonished by her sheer strength, Jason just stares at her, in absolute awe; absentmindedly rubbing her side, Jason wonders how he survived 5 years without her.
One by one Jason pulls necklaces out of the box. The little box within the big box contains every necklace Jason has ever placed on her neck. Taking his time, remembering each necklace and what they mean to Sam; he pulls the star necklace out, then the birthstone, followed by the compass necklace and lastly revealing the fertility necklace. Jason’s old life hits him without warning, realizing Sam’s whole heart is in the shoebox, their whole life is neatly packed away in this tiny box. The trip down memory lane is a reminder to Jason, that these necklaces mean just as much to him, as they do to Sam.
As each necklace dangles from his hand, Jason silently releases tears his been fighting since closing the cabin door. Overcome with grief, he slides down the edge of the bed, allowing the love that each necklace contains to soothe him. He holds them close to his heart, happy Sam had them during his time away, happy Sam had physical life to guide her memories. Jason places each necklace back the way he found it, before drawing his attention to the other contains the box holds.
The bottom of the shoebox is lined with pictures; pictures that tell a story of Jason and Sam’s old life and ones that narrate the short tale of Danny’s. Unsure if he is ready to dive into Danny’s life, Jason goes to grab a picture of Sam and him, as Sam’s confirming words of Danny’s paternity surge through Jason, causing chills, making him shake.
Shaking reveals a picture of Danny and Sam at the park; drawing in all the air his lungs can handle, Jason steadies his soul and lifts the photo from the box. Gazing upon their smiles frozen in time, Jason’s soul relaxes.
Danny is a toddler in the picture, he’s sitting on Sam’s lap at the top of the slide waving out to the cameraman. He looks sunburned and ecstatic to be taking the trip down, Sam seems breathless and lighthearted holding Danny tight, she possesses a massive smile on her face and in her eyes.
Wrecked by their happiness without him, Jason shoves the picture back into the box, closing the lid, Jason places it back on the nightstand.
Consumed with confusing thoughts, Jason rocks on the floor. He’s happy their lives went on, he’s happy Sam had something to help her keep going in his absence, but he is also angry. He’s angry he missed it all, angry he didn’t see Danny’s first steps or hear him call Sam mommy for the first time. He’s angry he never got to witness the smiles those pictures possess.
Angry at his lack of control of the situation, Jason rocks on the floor, for what seems like forever, trying to avoid making eye contact with The Phoenix staring him down from the fireplace. After many failed attempts, Jason musters the courage to touch the Phoenix.
Standing before the Phoenix, he feels a power radiate from it and settles within him. Drawing the power in through a hearty intake of air, Jason finally grabs the Phoenix, opening a floodgate he didn’t know was closed. Closing his eyes, he lets the emotions take over. Jason feels the love he had the night Sam gave him the Phoenix.
Uncontrollable tears smear Jason’s face, but he doesn’t notice; he doesn’t want to control his emotions, he wants to feel everything. He wants to remember every word that was exchanged, every look that was given, every touch that was felt, he wants to live in the feelings again.
Jason holds The Phoenix, as a power radiates through him, as Sam radiates through him.
Placing The Phoenix to his head, Jason feels the closest he has felt to Sam since his return. All the confusion he was pledged with moments before, dissipate the more Sam’s love caress his soul. Cradling The Phoenix in his hand, Jason feels Sam’s love wrap around him, cradling him into submission.
Trapped in the feelings, in the memories, Jason stares off into nothingness, tears hitting the floor before him.
“Jason!” Sam’s voice knocks Jason out of his moment.
Placing the Phoenix back on the fireplace, Jason swiftly moves towards a disorientated Sam.
“Hey, there! How are you?” Jason helps Sam to a seated position, noticing her pale skin and blotchy eyes. Propping her against the headboard, he heads for the kitchen.
Easing into the bed, taking in the cabin, she notices Jason has been busy while she was sleep. He started a fire, and she can smell something heavenly coming from the kitchen. Shifting herself, allowing her legs to dangle free, Jason emerges moments later with a glass of water and a wet washcloth.
“Are you sick?” Jason worries, he has never seen a reaction like this from Sam before. He fears something might be wrong, something she doesn’t want him to burden himself with.
Sam and Jason are alike in this way, they don’t like to burden the other.
“I don’t think so. What happened?” Sam rubs her head trying to recall the last moments of her life. She remembers reaching out to Jason, and everything going black. She remembers the overwhelming rush of emotions she felt being close to Jason.
“What do you remember?” Shoving the water glass to her mouth, Jason begins searching her body for bumps and bruises. It never dawned on him, that the fall could have seriously injured her, the cabin and everything it holds distracted him.
“I’m okay.” Sam jerks away. “I remember you pointing your gun at me, then you asking me why I was here, then nothing.” Sam looks around the cabin again, resting her eyes on an exhausted-looking Jason. “You carried me in here?” Placing the water glass on the table, she cradles Jason’s face in her hands. She can see he’s been battling something.
“How long have I been out?” Sam inquiries as Jason pulls away from her. “Hey!” Falling forward from the lack of stability Jason’s body brought, Sam lingers in a slumped position before resting her eyes on Jason.
“You’ve been out long enough for me to find your life.” Jason walks over to the fireplace, picks up the Phoenix and shows Sam. “I had this the night I left. How did you get it back?”
Beginning to cry as the question enters the atmosphere, Sam is drawn back to that night on the pier. Danny’s first night home, a night that was supposed to be happy but turned tragic in less than an hour’s time.
Pulling at her chest, Sam recalls the night she went in search of Jason, only to find The Phoenix. “They said you weren’t down there, but I couldn’t hear that. They said they were calling off the search because it was too cold, the current was too strong.” Sam pauses clutching her chest a little tighter, everything from that night, hitting her at once, and it’s uncomfortable for her. She never thought she would be explaining her grief to this Jason.
Gathering the strength from Jason’s eyes, Sam continues with the tale of her worst night of life.
“The coast guard gave up, Dante refused to let me dive, but I didn’t care, no one was going to stop me from finding you.” Fighting tears away, Sam turns from Jason; she can’t take his breakdown. “Sonny distracted Dante long enough for me to find a wetsuit. I searched everywhere, Jason, I searched and searched until I found that.” Drawing her attention to The Phoenix in Jason’s hand, Sam brushes her fingers against Jason’s, pulling back her whole body tingles.
Tighten his fist around the Phoenix, Jason tries to talk but can’t find the words. He wants to comfort Sam but doesn’t know-how. “I’m home now, and I’m sorry you had to go through that.” Jason moves towards her but stops dead in his tracks when she turns from him.
“Don’t apologize.” The intense feeling from that night makes Sam feel dizzy, she stands up shaking the feeling out her hands. “Can we talk about something else? Sam doesn’t want to dwell on something so painful.
“What happened at the PentHouse? You don’t believe I’m Jason now?” Jason knows she believes him, but he wants to hear her repeat it. He wants confirmation now that he knows they are alone.
“Do you trust me?” Sam was expecting questions about the changes to the cabin, not this. She doesn’t know how to answer. She doesn’t know what she should do. Knowing Jason would go after Drew, Sam fears if he did, he would never come back again. “Do you?” Sam looks at Jason.
“With my heart, soul, and life. You are my trust!” Jason roars from the depths of his soul. He wants Sam to know she can trust him with anything. He wants her to know he would do anything to make her and her children feel secure.
“Then trust that I’m doing what is right for our family.” Praying a silent pray, Sam turns away again, she doesn’t want Jason to see the doubt that foreshadows in her eyes.
Jason isn’t Unsatisfied with her response, he can tell when she doesn’t want to be pushed.
“Did you ever bring him here?” Jason quivers placing The Phoenix on the fireplace. He doesn’t want to think about that guy here, but he has to know. He has to know if this place has been tainted like everything else in his life. “I know I have no right to ask you this because you thought he was me, but I need to know. Did you show anyone else this place.” Jason shakes.
Fighting every instinct telling her to keep her distance, Sam runs to Jason, hitting him out of nowhere, wrapping her arms around him, cradling his head in her hands. “No, I never brought him here.”
Jason wraps around Sam in a sigh of relief, lifting her off the ground.
“I was going to, but something always stopped me, something in me knew he didn’t belong here.” Readjust herself to be eye to eye with Jason, she wanted him to feel what she was about to tell him.
“This was my place with Danny, we would come here in the early years, to feel close to you; to be alone with you.” Jason kisses her, pulling her in deeper. “Here is where I felt the strongest connection to you.” Kissing her again, this time Jason doesn’t stop.
Sam wraps her legs around Jason, as he moves towards the bed.
Sam’s revelation told Jason everything he wanted to know, somewhere deep inside Sam; she knew something wasn’t right. She knew enough not to taint his home. And that turned Jason on. He couldn’t stand it anymore, he has to have Sam. He needs to be one with her. Looking into Sam’s eyes and sees the same desire, passion, and lust as him, Jason throws her on the bed, ripping his shirt off. He lowers himself on top of her, nibbling at her neck.
POW POW POW POW POW
Gunfire riddles the cabin walls.
“Burn it down.”Placing Scout in her crib, Drew hangs the phone up.
“Where is mommy, baby girl?”
Gunfire continues to riddle the cabin, wrapping Sam up in his arms Jason rolled with her off the side of the bed. “Everything still the same?” Jason moves towards the rug in the middle of the floor. Sam ripped the taped shotgun from under the bed. “Yes!” she screams, ducking from the gunfire assaulting the cabin. Jason ripped the rug up and places his thumb on the small black pad on the safe. The door springs open revealing two handguns, Jason grabs one, checks the clip and does the same to the other. Sam has moved over to the threshold barrier between the kitchen and main room, she locks eyes on Jason and cocks the shotgun back.
“Sam, there’s at least three shooters. One at the front door, two here, with semi-automatics.” Jason points to the far wall that houses the fireplace. “You okay?” Jason pulls Sam closer, shielding her from the gunfire. He suspects these are the same men that chased him from Russia and grabbed Sam at the hotel. If he’s right, he vows to end it here. He refuses to have Sam or anyone else in danger because of him.
“I’m okay if you’re okay. What’s the plan?” Sam pushes off Jason and crotches down, following her lead Jason does the same. Sam’s strength was always the most attractive thing about her, to him. People always spoke of Jason’s calm in a storm, but it was her calm that always kept Jason calm. Knowing she wasn’t worried or scared allowed him to focus on the task at hand; for Jason, that meant more than her love.
“It seems they don’t know about the back door; it’s the way I set it up. I say we go out the back and close in on them. I’ll take the two on the side, and you take out the shooter at the front door. You okay with that?” Jason looks to Sam. He notices the hair in her face and can’t help himself, his hand instinctively sweeps the hair out of her eyes. They take a moment, in the midst of the chaos, time slows, the adrenaline starts flowing through both them, charging them up, and they’re on the go. Sam follows behind a crouching Jason through the kitchen, to the hidden back door.
“All the times I’ve come out here, I didn’t know this was here.” Sam marvels at Jason, amazed that even now, even after all this time, he still surprises her. “I never got a chance to really show you what this cabin can do really.” Jason moves the pantry shelf, revealing a metal door with a big black screen in the middle. Placing his hand on the door and it pops open offering the outside world as an escape.
“It’s stopped.” Jason notices, helping Sam through the door. “They must know we’re not in there anymore; we need to hurry.” Jason grabs Sam’s hand, spinning her around, planting a kiss on her forehead. “Please, please be careful,” Jason whispers, releasing her hand, watching her disappear around the corner. Standing frozen, Jason transforms himself from Jason Morgan into Stone Cold. He cracks his neck into a circle, closes his eyes, balls his fist and tenses his whole body. The transformation only takes seconds, but it feels like an eternity before Jason opens his eyes, revealing slanted cold eyes, a solid, firm body, a tight, tense jaw and stares that’s meant to scare death itself.
The shot sends Jason into enforcer mode. He runs around the corner, both guns blazing and begins shooting with precision. Two steps, two shots. He takes out both men, with a shot to the chest. Confirming they’re dead, Jason realizes he hasn’t heard any more shots or from Sam since she disappeared around the house. “SAM!” Jason yells, rounding the corner of the cabin, he stops mid-stride, kicking up dirt from the ground, guns aimed straight ahead. Seeing Sam in another dangerous situation because of him makes him guilty. He never wanted this for his homecoming.
“Jason.” Sam struggles against the gun jamming her in her side. She looks to Jason, who is assessing the situation, the dead man from Sam’s one shot fired, the struggle that ensued for the shotgun, the way the gunman got the drop on Sam. Jason takes it all in, he lets the rage build in him, fueling his revenge, fueling Stone Cold. Jason looks to Sam, revealing a softness in his eyes.
“Guess you were off by one number,” Sam smirks, wiggling to readjust the position of the gun in her side. The little rise of panic she felt dissipated when Jason came running from the side of the cabin. She fears nothing, not the gun in her side, not the man wielding the weapon, not the odds against her; she knows Jason will come through; she knows Jason is ready for anything. She knows he wants to finish this, and that’s what he will do.
“Are you okay, Sam?” Jason re-grips his hand around the gun, cracks his neck and sets his gaze solely on Sam. They speak their language, communicating their plan of action. Jason’s eyes tell her, everything will be okay, Sam letting him know she trust him, she has no fear. She knows what has to come next. Jason doesn’t acknowledge the gunman; he speaks no words, there are no pleas. Closing his eyes, he pulls in a deep breath, lowers one of the guns to his side, relaxing his shoulder in the process. Slowly, opening his eyes, he squeezes the trigger.
Delivering a shot straight to the head, the man’s body jerks, pulling on Sam as he falls to the ground. A thud that echoed through the trees, leaving an unmoved, unscathed, confident Sam. The man had no chance, Jason was shooting to kill. There were no needs for questions, Jason knew all he needed to know. These men were hired guns; they didn’t have answers. They only had orders to kill. “Are you okay?”
Jason knows Sam can handle anything; he doesn’t ask because he’s worried she’s scared and overwhelmed. Knowing how her life has changed, her choices have moved her away from this life. He worries today will have her running from this life, back to the media company and that the safe life the imposter has provided is looking good to her right now. He worries she doesn’t want to keep putting her life on the line for his sake. Looking at the bodies surrounding her, Sam slowly raises, releasing a smile that pushes all Jason’s worries away. She is astonished by him; she feels alive because of him, the adrenaline burns through her, love disseminates in its place. Her astonishment of Jason drives her into his arms.
“I’m always okay with you.” Leaping into his arm, whispering into his ear, nestling her face into his neck. “I love you so much, Jason.” He breathes, crushing her into him. Settling into each other, Jason lowers her on to the ground, but he doesn’t release his grip on her. He wants Sam close until he knows the danger is really gone. “We need to check and make sure there aren’t any more inside the cabin.” Breaking their grip on each other, Jason and Sam look to the wide-open cabin door. “Do you think there’s more of them inside?” Sam inquiries, Jason grabs her arm, moving her behind him, cautiously moving them both towards the cabin door. Jason enters first, gun drawn. “Stay here, please.” He glides through the cabin; there are no signs of life.
“Aww, Jason the cabin! It’s ruined! Sam moves into the cabin, assessing the damage. Bullets hole accent the walls of the cabin, leaking in the moonlight, exposing the mayhem. The once bustling, bright fire, is now, dull orange coals. Everything that had a place is now, in disarray. The warm, welcoming cabin, is now, a shell of itself. Sam pulls herself in, distraught over the mess that was made. Moving towards the fireplace, she picks up the Phoenix, crouches down, and fingers the broken pieces to the Dragon. “Jason, what does this mean?” looking from the broken Dragon to Jason, she begins to cry. “Jason, everything is destroyed. How did they know about this place, how did anyone find us?” Jason hurries himself to Sam, he takes the broken dragon from her shaking hand, lifts her up and pulls her into an embrace she wants, but resists at first.
After putting up a little fight, Sam rests her head on Jason’s chest and lets his heartbeat and soft words soothe her. “It’s okay. No one else will come. No one will hurt you.” Jason’s eyes water feeling the fear and anguish radiating from Sam. He wraps around her, transferring his strength. “Those men were the men following me from Russia. They followed me here. No one knows about this place.” Sam tenses up, gripping the back of Jason’s shirt tighter.
“But do you think anyone heard? Do you think the cops are coming?” Jason pulls himself from Sam, lowers himself on the edge of the tattered up chair, and pulls Sam back in, looking deep in her eyes. “No one is coming out here. I lured the men out here but became distracted by your presence. This is still our place if you want it to be.” Sam answer with a huge smile taking over her face. “We can rebuild together. It’s just a few holes. Don’t worry, Sam. We’re safe.” Jason feels Sam relax, causing him to rest.
“Jason, you have always made me feel safe, and I didn’t realize how much I missed that feeling until now, until today, until that man had that gun to my side.”
“I’m sorry, Sam. I never wanted you to be apart of this situ-.”
“No, no, you stop it. You didn’t know I was coming up here. And, Jason when the shooting started I wasn’t scared. I was excited. I knew everything was going to be okay, just like that night on the pier. When I opened my eyes and saw you, I knew I was safe. When you came around the corner, and I knew you were okay, I was okay. I’m upset about the cabin.” Moving away from Jason, Sam retakes it all in, again. The holes throughout the walls, the pictures from “The Morgan’s” box littered about, the bullet-riddled furniture and her scattered jewelry, every necklace she received from him.
“Oh no.” Sam moves towards the necklaces on the floor. Bending down, she picks up the broken Polynesian necklace with her birthstone. “This cabin, these necklaces, the pictures, and Danny are what got me through. When the pain got to be too much, when missing you was all I could feel; I had them.” Spinning around to show Jason the broken necklace, Sam begins to cry. “It’s broken.”
Picking up the broken Dragon figurine up, Jason moves towards Sam. “Stand up, please and look at me.” Holding his hand out, she follows his command. Braiding their hands together with the broken necklace between them, Sam looks past his piercing blue eyes, to his soul. “Sam, everything broken can be fixed. Together we can put it all back together.” Looking deeply into each other’s eyes, Jason leans in, lightly biting Sam’s bottom lip.
Grabbing the back of Sam’s neck, he pulls her into him, kissing her with the passion of a raging sea. A kiss ignites the fire in Sam immediately making her wet. Sam jumps into Jason’s arms and wraps her leg around his waist. She attacks his lips; biting, teasing and nibbling at them before completely devouring them. They stay braided together dancing the length of the room to the sounds of their moans.
They both begin to enjoy each other’s familiar taste.
“Mmmmmmm.” Sam pulls back to catch her breath, she looks deep into Jason, communicating her lustful desires. Sam leans in licking Jason from neck to ear, inducing Jason’s dick to react. Jason grips Sam back, roughly drawing his hands down her spine. He rocks her back and forth, thrusting her deeper into him; as her tongue dances in his ear.
“Jason, Jason.” Sam tickles Jason’s ear.
Jason forces Sam against the wall caressing her gently. Running his hands, the length of her body. He touches her all over as if he is in search of something that only her body could give him. He wants to memorize this body again, he wants to know every dip, bump, crease and fold she possesses. He covers the length of her, her body holding onto his as if it was always meant to be there. Sam grabs Jason’s face, drawing his attention back to her, shoving her tongue into his mouth, her passion is so intense, Jason braces the wall with both hands. Sam’s kisses overcharge his senses. The taste of Sam is making Jason weak. He lowers her from him, pinning both her arms to the wall. He doesn’t want her to touch him; he can’t handle it. He wants to enjoy every moment. He has missed her touch, her smell. He wants to take his time with her; he can feel her hunger for him, and it’s making him overcharged.
Slowly undressing her, he tickles her skin ever so lightly with his finger, examining every inch of her body. He wants to remember her old scars and get to know her new ones. She stays pinned to the wall paralyzed by the ecstasy, moaning under the weight of his lips piercing her skin. Completely naked Jason takes a step back and examines his work, standing in awe of her body, and whispering “God you’re beautiful,” he begins to undress for Sam.
Taking his time, slowly inching his shirt off, throwing it at her. He begins to unbutton his pants when Sam arrives to assist, but Jason is not having it. He pins her back to the wall, kissing her neck. “Stay” Jason strokes into her ear with the tip of his tongue. He steps back and continues his previous task. Jason unbuttons his pants, giving them, a little jiggle causing them to fall to the ground. Sam bites her lip, resisting the urge to devour his dick with her lips and tongue, getting wetter and wetter with each piece of clothing that falls from his body. Moving wildly towards Sam, he passionately pins her back to the wall; caressing his cheek against her, breathing “Can I, have you?” He spins her around, pinning both her hands to the wall, gripping his hand into hers; enraging her senses.
Pressing his warm sweaty body against hers, whispering “Is it still mine?” he moves slowly down her body, his lips tickling against her goose-bumped skin, drawing short, quick breaths from Sam with every touch. He feels her body rejoiced in the warmth of his breathe, she moans and jumps with every interaction of his lips to her skin. Jason forcibly spreads her legs with his. She grips the wall, digging her nails into it. His hand finally comes to the sweet place he had dreamed of for the past five years. His fingers begin to stroke her soft lips. Sam dips her head, arches her back to prepare for what she knows is coming next. Outlining her clitoris with his finger, Jason stares into her eyes, wanting to see her beg for him to continue. Sam is unable to speak, and with that, his finger is inside her. “She’s missed me,” Jason whispers in her ear. “I’ve missed her too.” Sam squeals with every thrust. She fights when the second finger enters her, biting her cheek and screaming his name. Shivering uncontrollably, she dangles trapped in Jason’s ecstasy embrace.
Massaging her pussy, he kisses and bites her lips; sucking one, then the other causing Sam to gushes between her legs. Removing his wet fingers, he places them in his mouth and then into hers. Licking the sweat building on the surface of her skin, Jason lifts her up against the wall, with her legs still spread, he tickles her clitoris with the tip of his tongue. Sam grips his hair and moans “Jason” with her body and soul no longer under control she squirts in his mouth. Jason lifts her higher, feasting and drinking her juice. “Mmmmm, damn Sam! You taste so fucking good!”
Jason walks over to the bed and ferociously throws her down. “We are not done.” Looking lustfully at her, he lowers himself on to his knees, slowly moving his hands down her inner thigh, opening her for full view. Leaning back, Jason loses himself in her beauty, freezing he marvels at her. Just the sight of her sends him into overdrive. He wants to devour her right now, but he also wants to take his time with her; it’s been too long to rush. He wants every touch, kiss and moment with her to count.
Sam grabs Jason hand, knocking him out of his trance, staring into Sam’s smoldering brown, sultry eyes, he slowly begins to drum her pussy, smiling “It still drips for me.”
“Yes!” Sam squirms, arching her back and grabbing her breast. Jason locks eyes with her, breaking the seal, he strokes her labia. Pinning one thigh to the side, his lips lightly brush her inner thigh, thumbing her clit, moaning, “Does it feel good?” Jason quivers to Sam’s responding body, his dick gets rock hard, his body exudes lust, and his heart races with love.
Sam grips Jason’s arm, digging her nails in; arching the small of her back high, trying to express her pleasure. Penetrating Jason with her titillating eyes, she moans a huge sign, jerking and trembling under Jason’s touch. His touch alone makes her implode with ecstasy; slowly, subconsciously she begins to scoot away. The high is too much.
Reactively, and not to be deterred, Jason pulls Sam back to him, slowly lowering his head between her leg, he mouths “Mine.” Sticking his tongue directly into her opening, Jason draws her deep into him, wrapping her legs around his neck, like a necklace specially made for him, locking his arms around her legs, and stretching his hands on the curve of her hip, eating at her soul.
Groaning, Jason devours her essence, licking every drop her body offers; Sam jumps, wiggles, moves, and fights, but she is no match. “Stop, nooo, don’t stop.” Jason has her locked in, loving every inch of her. Tickling her nipples, Jason assails Sam with his tongue, as it was his first time tasting her. Pulling her close, Jason widens his tongue, licking the whole of her pussy. Jason’s feast upon Sam, as if it was his last meal.
Screaming in pleasure, Sam rips Jason’s head away from her; she can’t handle his tongue one more second, she was going to burst all over his face. Pulling herself up, she pushes against his chest with her foot, he drags his tongue the length of her leg, forcing him into full view; “Stand up!” Drawing his hands down her body, Jason slowly stands up, presenting himself to her. Biting her upper lip, her eyes trailing the length of his body to his dick, she pulls at his boxers, looking at him from the top of her eyes, she slides on her knees and crawls towards him. “It’s my turn.”
Smiling, “Is it?” Jason pulls his hands behind his head, resting them on the back of his neck. He drips with anticipation, as Sam crawls up his chest. Leveling herself with Jason, Sam gently kisses the dip between ear and throat; sending a pulse through them, speeding both their heart rates. Her touch makes him wild; feverishly he grabs her, biting his lip, as Sam drags his boxers down, exposing Jason’s full resplendence.
Biting his shoulder blade, Sam grabs Jason, massaging him with both hands.
Letting out a little squeal, Jason jerks from her warm embrace. Teasing his balls, Sam dances her tongue across his chest, stimulating his nipples, arousing him to no end. Jason’s dick jumps in Sam’s hands, exhilarated by her, he braces the wall for balance. Licking her way down Jason, Sam rolls on her back, scoot right under him, caressing Jason’s balls with the tip of her tongue.
Dipping further down into her mouth, Jason circles her nipples with his moist finger. “Damn, Sam. Damn!” Jason wails biting his lip and throwing his head back. Sam’s heat pulsates through Jason, confining him in overwhelming sensations. Bobbing Jason in and out of her mouth, arousing him with her tongue, Sam strokes his dick between her fingers; feeling his strength rising, makes her drip.
Without taking her lips off Jason, Sam turns overarching her buttocks into Jason’s eyesight, she wraps her hand around him, slowly gripping hard. Closing her eyes, she lines her lips with Jason’s dick, as if he were a tube of lipstick. “Do you still taste the same,” Sam speaks into Jason, before tapping him against her tongue. “Sam” Jason shakes, as the excitement builds in his dick. Jason closes his eyes, and smacks Sam’s ass, as Sam drags her widen tongue from the base of his manhood to its tip.
Sam closes her moist lips around Jason, sending a five-year explosion through his body. He grips her hair through his fingers, watching himself enter and exit her. Feeling Sam’s warmth, makes the last five years feel like a dream. “This mouth, I’ve dreamed of this fucking mouth!” Choking on Jason’s love, Sam clenches Jason’s butt, thrusting him deeper. “AWWWW” Jason screams in ecstasy, clawing at Sam’s back. Flossing her teeth with his body, Sam consumes Jason’s love, reacting to his pleasure, she recites the ABC with her tongue on Jason’s dick. Engulfing Jason’s being, Sam sucks his spirit, merciless.
Overwhelmed with ecstasy, Jason slides out of Sam, flips her on her back, whispering “I have to have you.” Giving her pussy one last lick, Jason lingers over Sam, captivated by her warm, glowing body; teasing Sam with the tip of his dick. He slaps her lips, circles his tip around her opening, slightly breaks her seal; getting overly aroused by her reaction. Tingling his tongue around her neck, Sam’s nails dig in with anticipation, as Jason slowly places himself inside her.
Opening her up, Jason crotches around her, drawing her closer. “I love you so much!” Jason breathes, as he speeds up his stroke, pushing his lips to hers. Losing himself, Jason wreaks havoc on Sam; stroking to the sounds of her moans, Jason explodes, caressing the depths of her womb. He doesn’t stop, the release only intensifies his passion. “I’ve missed this, I’ve missed you, I miss us.” Sam vibrates under Jason, squeezing tightly around him, releasing everything she has. Biting her tongue until she tastes blood, Sam forces Jason on his back.
Slowly gliding down Jason’s dripping shaft, Sam fondles herself, as Jason watches. Staring into each other, they connect, most intimately. The last five years wash away, as they become one. Dancing on Jason’s dick, Sam spins around, twirling her ass for him. “Still got it.” Jason slaps her ass, filling his hands with her. Bracing her hands on his knees, Sam squeezes around Jason’s shaft, dragging him against her walls; pulling his soul from his body in the process. Closing her legs, Sam pounces on Jason, before spinning back around.
Connected in every way, Jason swivels her on her back. Ravaging her body, Jason picks her up, thrusting them against the wall, deepening his stroke. “It’s still mine?” Jason teases. Sam, fights, claws, and bite at Jason, embracing the ecstasy, she goes limp, releasing an intense orgasm all over Jason. “Yes, there it is.” Holding Sam’s sweaty pleasured body, Jason feels peace. Sam is the elixir Jason needed this whole time. He needed to be one with her, to make it all make sense again.
Sam cradles her head on Jason’s shoulder, as Jason slows his stroke. “You want me to stop?” Jason deeply thrusts into Sam again, causing her to squeal with enjoyment. “No, faster.” Sam licks Jason’s ear. Placing her down, Jason’s spins her around, spreading her cheeks; “Home!” Jason grasp into Sam’s hair as he enters her again. Sam arches her back, rests her head on Jason and fondles herself to Jason’s love noises.
Seductively trapped in each other’s love, their moans could be heard well into the early hours of the morning.
Finishing spreading his love throughout Sam’s body, Jason places her in the nook of his body and rolls to his side, pulling Sam closer. Calming their racing hearts, and electrified cells, Jason and Sam speak the only language that matters to them. Still connected as one, they fall into a peaceful deep sleep in each other’s arms. They stay unmoved, joined as one being.
Sam awakens to sunlight bleeding through the bullet holes of the cabin. Still connected to Jason, she slides off of him, breathing a deep sigh. Looking back at a peaceful sleeping Jason, she touches herself remembering last night. Brushing her lips, she recalls his taste; rubbing her nipples, she remembers the feel of his taste. Kissing him charges her up for another round. Moving to the other side of the bed, Sam notices her flashing cell phone amongst the bedlam on the floor. Picking it up, Sam sees the 30 missed called from Drew; the 5 from Monica; 22 text messages from Drew and the time of day.
Realizing she allowed herself to get lost in Jason; Sam quietly gets dress creeping to the front door, Sam looks back mouthing “I love you, Jason Morgan!” She disappears into the woods, as Jason rolls over to an empty cabin.
Arriving at her old apartment, Sam ignores Drew’s latest call but calls Monica’s. After checking in on Danny, Sam showers evidence of Jason from her skin, trapping it in her mind and heart. Sam dresses, and informs Drew through text; she is on her way.
Sam enters the PentHouse to a strangely calm Drew.
Lifting himself off the couch, Drew moves towards Sam. “Where have you been?” Noticing the change in Sam’s demeanor, Drew changes course, moving towards the desk; allowing Sam safe passage into the Penthouse.
“My old apartment. How is Scout.” Taking off her coat, Sam notices the changes made to the apartment. She notices the missing pictures, and the added trinkets poorly hidden throughout the front area. Not worrying herself with the changes, Sam heads for the stair.
“She would be better if she had her mother.” Showing his fangs, Drew grabs papers out of the desk. “You’re friend Spinelli stopped by while you were out.”
Collaboration cred: Lynne
“What are those?” Snatching the papers from Drew’s hand, Sam moves towards the desk. Instantly, her head begins to spin.
“Proof of who the real Jason is.” Drew’s whisper causes Sam to move closer to hear what he is saying. “I didn’t open it. I wanted to wait for you.” Grabbing Sam’s hand, Drew smiles at her. He doesn’t need to look at the letter. He knows what it says; he’s hoping once Sam reads it, all will be right again in their world.
Quickly removing her hand, Sam rips open the letter.
“You’re sure Spinelli dropped this off?”
“Yes, he wanted to wait around until you came back but Maxie needed him.” Drew reaches out for Sam again.
Stepping around Drew, Sam clutches her chest and beings to pace. “This can’t be right. And, Spinelli dropped these off, he found these results?” Flabbergasted, Sam gets weak in the knees. Bracing herself on the desk, she whispers “You could be the real Jason.” Looking at him, Sam shakes her head. Tears form in her eyes, her heartbreaking at this revelation.
“I know all of this has been confusing. A man showing up with my face, claiming to be me; but it’s over now. We can go back to our lives and forget about him.” Drew makes another attempt to be close to Sam, moving forward to be parallel to her. Reaching his hand out again waiting for Sam to receive it.
Realizing she is oblivious to his advances, a rejected Drew becomes angry.
Pounding his fist on the desk, he asked, “What is wrong with you? You’re staring at the proof. Nothing has to change. We can forget about the last two days. We can be us again.” Softening his tone, Drew grabs Sam, pulling her close. “You know in your heart what the truth is, Sam. You’ve known for the last two years. The truth is in Scout, our daughter. In Danny, our son. In everything we’ve built over the last two years and all the years before that. I changed everything for you. I found out who I was because of you.”
Staring at the paper, quietly shaking her head, Sam begins to cry. “This isn’t right. We both know you are not Jason. What game are you playing? What do you want?” Rocking back and forth, Sam searches for her Jason in Drew. She looks into his eyes, listens to his tone, his words; she analogizes the last two years in her mind. “You were never Jason,” Sam whispers to herself.
Raising her eyes to meet Drew’s, Sam communicates with him in a way only her Jason would be able to answer. She looks deep inside him, deep into his soul. “This connection has failed me the last 2 years, and I never knew why until this very minute.” Sam buries her head into Drew’s chest and weeps for her ignorance.
“What do you mean? The paper and Spinelli are telling you who I am. Sam, stop fighting it. You were happy days ago. We can go back to that.” Wrapping himself tighter around her, Drew mistakenly assumes she believes him.
“No, shut up! Stop this! The picture, the phone call. You are not Jason Morgan. Sam begins to shake. “You are not Jason.” Pushing herself off of him, she stumbles back; glaring wildly at the document, Sam crumbles to the ground. “Where did Spinelli find this? Where?! Where did he get the information.” Rage builds inside of Sam. Unable to contain herself, Sam jumps up, and charges at Drew. “Tell me the truth.” She pounds on his chest and screams till her lungs ache within her.
Catching Sam in his arms, Drew tries to contain her. Bracing himself against her assault, he pulls her close; rocking her to his side. Drew tucks Sam under his arm, wrapping his arm around her. “He didn’t say. He said we needed to see them and he left. He seemed uncomfortable being alone with me. I’ve missed you in my arms.”
Squeezing Sam tightly, Drew breathes her in before releasing her to rage.
“This says you and Jason are twins. Not that you’re Jason”. Losing her balance, Sam stumbles back, hitting the desk behind her. “Twins.” The floor beneath Sam gives way, taking with it, the sense of stability Jason gave her that night. “Twins.”
Trying to process the news, Sam flashes to her night with Jason, her hands on his body; his breath on her skin, the ecstasy that filled the room. Exhaling deeply, Sam tightens her grip on the desk. “You could be Jason.” Spinning on her heels, Sam grabs her keys and cellphone and heads for the door.
Closing the door behind her, releasing the breath she had been holding since opening the envelope out, Sam dials Spinelli’s number.
Where are you?
I need to see you, now! Can we meet at Kelly’s?
“Stone Cold”? Eyes wide, with a bounce in his step, Spinelli beams at Jason.
Tackling Jason before he can entirely turn around, Spinelli holds Jason with all his might. “Stone Cold” Spinelli weeps.
Feeling the weight of his tears, Jason allows Spinelli to hold on to him; he lets him squeeze him tight, to linger into this welcomed awkwardness. “Ok Spinelli, that’s enough.” Breaking Spinelli’s embrace, Jason comes into full view of him; time presented in the face of his friend hits Jason hard.
“You look different.” Pulling Spinelli back into an embrace, Jason tries to will the last five years into him. “I’ve missed so much.”
“How are you here? What’s going on? Pushing himself off Jason, Spinelli takes it all in. “It is you. I would know my dearest friend and mentor from anyone. How could I have done this? How could I have given him your life as if it were nothing? Spinelli begins to pace. Replaying every event that leads to Drew’s reveal as Jason, Spinelli mumbles it all out.
“The test matched.”
“He had your old face.”
“He had your memories, well, not right away but eventually.”
“He won over fair Samantha.”
“He won over Sam.” Stopping in his tracks, Spinelli looks to a shattered Jason. “My dear old friend, I am the culprit in all of this. I took your life and handed it to your twin brother.”
Going in for another hug, Jason stops him. “My what? Twin brother?”
Bouncing off of Jason’s arm, Spinelli gathers himself. “The man who thinks he is you is your twin brother. I found the certificates of live birth. It brings me profound joy to declare that the walking filth, which caused unforgivable and irreparable pain and suffering to those we hold near and dear and known as Franco, was never your twin. But indeed there was a twin, and that said twin, was taken at birth.”
Turning in stunned silence, Jason contemplates what this information means. What it means to him. What it means to his family. What it means for their future.
“How is this even possible? Sam had the test run. Franco was proven to be my brother. How is it that this guy is now my brother?” Rubbing his hand on his face, Jason pulls at his hair. His entire world is spinning out of control.
“What does this mean for Sam and her daughter?” Jason grabs Spinelli with such force Spinelli crumbles. “What does this mean for my life?”
Calming his dearest friend, Spinelli grips Jason arms, prying them from his body, looking into his eyes “ It undoubtedly means there is more pain to come. For her, for you, for everyone.” Seeing Jason’s despair sends Spinelli into overdrive.
“It doesn’t mean you aren’t Stone Cold. It doesn’t mean people won’t know who’s real and who’s fake. Those of us who truly know and love you know the truth. We know you’re Jason. I would recognize my truest and dearest friend any…”
“Spinelli! Please.” Jason barks.
“No, this is all wrong. We have wronged you in the most unforgivable way possible. We have stolen what was your life. Your identity, the very essence who you are, and have given it to someone who has now changed everything. Someone who betrayed the sanctity of everything you hold dear. It is wrong that I will do everything in my conceivable powers to amend and make right.” Spinelli’s guilt rolls off of him in waves.
“None of you did this. Especially you. None of you should blame yourselves.”
“How can I not? How can you not blame me?” Bouncing on his heels, Spinelli’s heart pounds through his chest. “You must know it was I who proved it all. You must blame me, that is undoubtedly the reason you didn’t reach out to me post-haste? That is why you, yourself didn’t ask for my assistance?” The guilt consumes Spinelli.
“Was he good to them? To you all?” Trying to shift the conversation and calm Spinelli’s anxiety, Jason stares out into the distance, tears in his eyes. Inside, he’s a wreck. For every new piece of information, more questions are running through his mind. Jason was a simple man, he handles each day and challenges straightforward with no fear, but now he was different. Now, everything was happening at once, and he didn’t know where to begin to connect the dots and sort things out. Everything he knew to be right was wrong, and everything he believed to be his, has been taken. The unknown in this situation made Jason very afraid.
“Could I lose them to him?” Unable to process his own question, Jason shakes it out of his mind. “Nevermind. How did you find this information?”
Stepping towards Jason, placing his hand on his shoulder, “He was good to them. The fact that he won fair Samantha over sealed it for me. He passed all of my rigorous testings, Samantha being the ultimate deciding factor.” Squeezing his shoulder, Spinelli’s heart broke to see his friend like this.
“She was finally happy again. Not like she was before, but she smiled from time to time. She laughed more.”
Yanking himself from Spinelli’s grip, “Spinelli, enough. I said nevermind.” Jason can’t hear anymore.
“Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe coming home was a mistake.” Jason whispers.
“Now you stop it. No one, not me or Samantha, or the countless number of people that love YOU!” Spinelli pokes Jason back. “That miss YOU!” Spinelli pokes him again, “Would agree with
that ridiculous statement.” Beginning to cry, Spinelli walks toward his friend. “Suffice it to say she is no longer happy. No one is happy. Everyone is confused and racked with guilt.
“My presence is making it harder for everyone. Me being here is burdening everyone.” Staring through Spinelli, Jason thinks back to his night with Sam.
“Have you seen her? Was she with you when I came by the Penthouse last night?” Wiping tears away, Spinelli tries to hold it together. He traveled miles to see the truth for himself. He needed to explain and to redeem himself to his friend and make things right again.
Snapping out it, Jason walks towards the back of the cabin. Grabbing the end of a black plastic bag, he drags the body of one of the men. He doesn’t want to feel anymore. He doesn’t want to discuss Sam. The weight of everything is burying him.
Watching Jason’s work, Spinelli is at a loss on what to do. He can see Jason’s mind is made up. “Don’t do this, my friend. Sam needs you. I need you. We all need you.”
“Just go, Spinelli. I don’t want you here. I don’t want you involved.” Dropping the body in a freshly dug hole, Jason moves in to grab another body.
“This isn’t you. This isn’t what anyone would want for you. When you disappeared, pieces of all of us disappeared along with you. This is your life. Claim it.”
Moving towards the back of the cabin, Spinelli’s phone rings.
“Hello. Sam, slow down. I can’t hear you.” Turning away, Spinelli moves away from Jason. “What is it that you need?” Spinelli looks back at Jason.
Hearing Sam’s name stop Jason in his track, dropping the body, moving in on Spinelli, Jason tries to rip the phone from his hand. He needs to hear Sam’s voice. He needs to know why she snuck out. He needs to know what, if anything, last night meant.
“I’ll be right there.” Spinelli spins out of reach, hanging up the phone. “Sam sounds like she’s in dire need of my expertise.”
“What did she say? Did she sound okay?” Jason worries. “Should I come too?” Rocking back and forth, anxiety fills Jason, consuming him, clouding his thoughts.
Moving towards his car, Jason stops Spinelli, “Why do you look like that. What did Sam say?”
“Don’t fret my friend. Sam always needs you. Come. Let us go to her.”
“Is she in trouble? Does she need me?” Jason whispers.
“She will always and forever need you.”
“No, No. You know what I mean. Is she in trouble?” Jason looks Spinelli square in the eyes. “Did she sound like she was hurt or in trouble?”
“No. She needs to talk to me about the papers I dropped off. She wants to talk about you and your twin.”
Releasing Spinelli, “Go. Make sure she’s okay. Go, Spinelli.” Jason pushes him towards the front of the cabin.
“Come with me. Let’s work on this together. The three of us. Sam needs you. I need you.”
“No, I don’t want to burden her. She knows I’m here if she needs me. She would have called me if she were in trouble.”
Watching Spinelli drive off, Jason throws the last body in the hole, covering it, he runs towards his bike.
Aimlessly stirring her coffee, Sam stares out into space, flashes of heat riddle her body. Thinking about Jason, she relives the moments from last night. Rubbing her neck through her arousal, Sam feels Jason’s lips on her body. She feels his hands in her hair, her lips tracing his body; she feels their bodies as one.
Lost in the memories of her that night, Sam doesn’t notice Spinelli take a seat across from her. Beads of sweat glisten her skin, goosebumps cover her body. Trapped in her thoughts of eroticism, Sam can’t register Spinelli’s presence.
“Sam, are you okay? What’s wrong?” Spinelli grabs Sam’s stirring hand. “You saw him, didn’t you?”
Jolted back to reality, Sam smiles at Spinelli. “What is this?” Sam throws the papers saying Jason has a twin. “Do you believe this? We’ve been here before. Franco was supposedly Jason’s twin and that ruined us. You proved that not to be true. Now, he has another twin? A twin we all thought was Jason? A twin I have a daughter with? If this is his twin, who is the real Jason?” Gripping Spinelli’s hand, Sam needed answers.
Sliding his hand away, “This is my fault, I did this. I created the program that mistakenly proved him to be Jason. I found the evidence that gave him the right to take everything that belonged to Jason. I’m to blame.”
“No one faults you for this. And I know Jason would never blame you or want you to blame yourself. He loves you, we both do. So, stop beating yourself up and let’s fix this.” Pulling the papers out of the envelope, Sam wants to get down to business. She understands Spinelli’s feelings of guilt, she has those same feelings multiplied by thousands, but she knows dwelling on them won’t change the situation or prove who the real Jason is.
“Which twin is Jason? Do you know? Can you prove who the real Jason is?” Sam shakes her legs nervously.
“I am unable to prove it beyond any and all reasonable doubt, but I know who the real Jason is. I just left him at the cabin.” Spinelli looks into Sam’s eyes, presenting tears of his own. “ He wants to leave, Sam. He feels like his miraculous return has made things worse, for you, for all of us. I fear he’s going to leave, vanish in the heat of the night, never to return again.” Ashamed, Spinelli avoids the pain in Sam’s eyes.
“Leave, where would he go? Does he know about his twin?” Panicked by the mere thought of losing Jason again, Sam gets up, heading for the door.
Spinelli grabs her arms, pushing her back into her chair, “He knows. I was with him when you called. He doesn’t care about it, he only cares about you; and about what this is doing to you.”
Closing her eyes, listening to Spinelli talk about Jason’s love for her, Sam cries. She knows Jason would sacrifice everything for her. She knows Jason would give up everything he loves if she asked.
“What do you believe? Who is the real Jason to you?” Spinelli asked.
Lowering her head, pulling at her thighs, “Before I saw him, I believed the man I’ve spent the last two years with was Jason. I needed to believe he was Jason.” Sam closes her eyes. “But…he’s not Jason.” “He was never Jason. Things with him were never quite right, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.”
“We all just assumed it was the accident. We all saw the differences but accepted them because we loved Jason. You weren’t the only one.” Spinelli interjects trying to lessen some of Sam’s guilt.
Wiping tears away, “I spent last night with him. I know who the real Jason is. I knew that night on the pier. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew Jason was holding me. I know. I can tell you know. Now we have to prove it.”
Pulling his computer out of his bag” I’ve been working on it.” Spinelli hopped on the first flight out of Seattle when he heard the news of Jason’s return. His only concern was righting his wrong.
“They are twins, we know that. We had multiple tests done. Tests no one knew about until they were finished.” Pulling up files on his computer, he turns the computer towards Sam, “ His name is Andrew Cain.” Showing her the birth certificates.
Pulling the computer closer to her, Sam stares. “Are you sure these are real? How did we not know? Why didn’t this come out when we proved Franco wasn’t Jason’s twin?”
“Sam, I don’t know, but I have something in the works. I’m tracking down Andrew’s records as we speak. I’m waiting for confirmation on a few things.” Pulling his computer back towards him, Spinelli pounds away at the keys.
“I need you to find something Spinelli, anything. You need to sort this out. I need Jason.” Pulling at the sleeves on her sweater, Sam wraps herself up. She wants Spinelli to find anything that will allow her to run to Jason. Anything that will let her tell Jason everything. Anything to tell him the truth.
Looking up from his computer, “Which Jason do you need?”
“Spinelli, what kind of question is that?”
“Jason wants to leave. He would only want to do that if” Spinelli’s computer chimes.
Grabbing his phone, “We have to get everyone together, now!”
Staring through the window at Kelly’s, Jason’s phone rings.
“I told you I would get justice for the man at the hospital. Put your hands behind your back.” The officer from the police station draws his gun on Jason.
Turning around, “What is this about?” Jason shoves his phone back in his pocket.
“I said put your hands behind your back, Commissioner Ashford wants you back at the station.
“I didn’t do anything.” Jason puts his hands behind his back.
“Two men were found dead last night. She wants you in for questioning.”
Hanging up the phone, “We have to find Jason. This is bad.” Spinelli grabs his computer, bolting towards the door.
“Yes, I’m here.” Drew staggered back and forth. “I have both kids. What is this about?” Sweat builds on his brow. “Why at the PCPD?” Panic fills his heart. “See you soon.”
Heading up the stairs, Drew panic grows. “Danny, Danny!” Entering Danny’s room, Drew begins rummaging through his things. Grabbing Danny’s ninja turtles backpack, he throws everything he can find in it. “Danny, come on big guy. We’re going on a trip. Time to put the toys down.”
“I don’t want to go; I want to play cars with mommy. She said we could play today.” Danny ignores Drew, sliding his car up and down Drew’s leg.
Snatching Danny by his arm, Drew yanks him off the ground. “I said we have to go. You can play cars some other time.” Rage fills every inch of Drew’s body. He holds Danny like a rag doll; his body is dangling from his arm, his screams of fear filled the room.
“Stop it, please. Daddy, you’re hurting me.” Danny cries. Fear riddles Danny’s limbless body. Drew had never put his hands on Danny, he has never even raised his voice.
Releasing his grip, Drew drops Danny to the ground, following him down. “I’m sorry buddy, I’m your dad. I’m your dad.” Pulling him into a bear hug, Drew rocks with a crying Danny in his arm. “Your dad is sorry. I never meant to hurt you.”
Regretting the moment, Drew cries for himself more than he cries for Danny.
Nuzzling himself into Drew’s chest, Danny wipes his nose on Drew’s shirt. “It’s okay.”
“Did you just snot me?” Drew laughs. Wanting to stay in this moment with Danny forever, Drew stares into his face. Seeing Jason staring back at him, Drew’s rage fills his body again.
Pushing Danny to one side, he answers his cell phone. “Why do we need her? Can’t the kids come with us?”
“Is that mommy?” Danny grabs for the phone. “I want mommy.”
Pushing Danny off his lap, Drew stands, ripping the curtains down in the process. “Yes, we will be ready.”
Yanking Danny’s favorite car out of his hand, Drew throws it to the ground. “I said we have to go.” Drew flips the bed over, pulls all the drawers out and dumps Danny’s toys everywhere. He’s scared. His instincts are telling him to run; they are telling him Sam doesn’t have good news.
“What are you doing? Mommy wouldn’t like that you’re doing this.” Danny states, following Drew into Scout’s room. “Why are you making our rooms messy? How long are we going to be gone? Where are we going? Will mommy meet us there? Can we get Annabelle The Second? Can she come too? Are we going on an adventure?”
“Shut up for two seconds.” Drew snaps, dropping Danny’s bag, spilling his belonging everywhere. “Dammit!” Blurred with too many emotions, Drew closes his eyes, bracing himself on Scout’s crib.
“Oooh, that’s a bad word. Mommy said we’re not supposed to tell people to shut up.” Danny dances around Scout’s room.
Looking over his shoulder, Drew looks into Danny’s innocent face. He sees the little boy that isn’t his. He sees Jason again. “Can you just go get us some snacks?” Drew shoos Danny out of the room.
Checking the hallway to make sure Danny wasn’t in earshot, Drew places a call. “I’m calling to collect. I need a place to stay. No, just me and the kids. Look, you said whenever I needed you. I need you, now. I have no one else. The kids have to come. Look, we’ll be there in 20 minutes.” Hanging up the phone, Drew places the kids belonging outside the room. Gently placing a sleeping Scout in her car seat, Drew proceeds to destroy her room like he did Danny’s.
The doorbell rings, interrupting Drew. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” He races down the stairway trying to beat Danny to the door. He had forgotten Sam called and told him she was sending the nanny for the kids. Reaching the first-floor landing, “I got it, buddy. Go upstairs and pick out a few of your toys for the trip. Drew stops Danny right as he’s about to open the door.
Cracking the door barely open, “Hey, I’m sorry Sam called you. I can drop the kids off. We’re not even ready. Scout still needs a bath, and I haven’t even gotten a chance to pack their overnight bag.” Drew is out of breath and sweating profusely. Barely able to hold himself together, Drew desperately tries to play doting husband and father.
Trying to push her way into the Penthouse, The Nanny notices the kid’s overnight bag and Scout’s mountain Stroller. “Are you sure you don’t need my help? I can wait, I know they can be a handful this time of day.” Sensing something is not right, The nanny tries harder to push the door open.
Knocking her back with a hard jolt to the door, “No, but thanks. I have everything under control.” Drew slams the door in her face and races back up the stairs to Scout’s room.
“Hey, there baby girl.” Tightening Scout in her car seat; Drew carries her and the rest of the bags downstairs,” Danny, let’s go!
Steadying herself on the door, Sam grabs her keys, unlocking the Penthouse door. She doesn’t want to see Drew; she doesn’t want to be around him. Being in his presence makes her sick, it makes her think of all the mistakes she’s made, all the lies she told herself about the fake Jason, all the hours wasted loving the wrong man.
Plastering the fakest smile she can muster, Sam enters. “Hello, anyone home,” Sam calls into a dark, quiet house. “Danny.” Searching the house, Sam can feel something is not right. The air in here feels stale, used and old. Placing her things on the couch, Sam moves through her familiar surroundings as though she’s a stranger. She feels like a visitor in her own home. Walking slowly through the house, Sam tries to feel a sense of belonging. She tries to feel that sense of home the penthouse has always given her. A strange quiver runs through her body, Sam is unable to shake the feeling of being a foreigner in her own home, she’s unable to feel the security the Penthouse possesses. Moving towards the stairs, she ignores her gut instincts.
The entire house is still, so still, Sam can hear her breathe rattling in her chest. She can feel sweat building in her palms; her world beginning to spins off its axis. Reaching the stair landing, Sam can feel the wrong in the entire situation. She can feel Danny is not here. ”Danny?” Slowly moving down the hall towards the kid’s room, Sam’s legs begin to weaken with every step. Bracing the wall as she walks, Sam knows the truth before knowing she knows. She feels it in her body. She hears it in her soul.
Opening the door to Danny’s room, Sam crumbles into the doorway. She has never seen his room like this. She has never seen his belonging in disarray, destroyed and unorganized. His clothes are everywhere, his bed is unmade and turned on its side. His toy box is tilted on its side spilling toys everywhere; his car tower is broken and missing cars. His Tonka Truck curtains are hanging from their rods. The pictures colored for his loved ones lay scattered on the floor. His room is destroyed beyond recognition. “Is anyone here?” Sam cries out to the nothingness.
Seeing his destroyed room shatters Sam. “Danny, baby where are you?”
On her knees, trying to catch her breath and ease her racing heart, Sam closes her eyes trying to remember the room how it used to be. She remembers all the hours spent playing cars with him, all the nights she tucked him in, him asking for one more story. She remembers Jason’s smile on his face. Opening her eyes, shaking the fears of never seeing him again, Sam tries to focus on the now, and not on what could be happening to the kids.
Crawling into the room, Sam picks up a shirt hanging out a drawer. She thumbs one of Danny’s favorite toys, placing his shirt to her nose, breathing him in. She can feel in her gut, both her kids are okay but in desperate need of her.
Picking herself up off the ground, racing through the clutter in Danny’s room, Sam enters Scout’s adjoining room to find it the same as Danny’s. Whipping out her cell phone, Sam races through the rest of the house. “Jason. Jason. “Where are you guys? Danny!”
“Where are you? I thought you said you and the kids were at home? I’m here, and the house is a mess. Call me, Please.” Circling the living room, Sam tries to calm her frantic mind. Thinking about the last time she talked to the imposter, Sam remembers what he said. She recalls he stated he was home with the kids waiting. She remembers hearing Danny calling for her in the background.
With her phone still in hand, Sam dials a number. Tapping her foot, Sam closes her eyes trying to steady her breathing, trying to push the worst-case scenarios out of her mind.
“Hi, Monica. I’m good! Did um, Jason,” grabbing the desk, Sam has a hard time saying that name. “Did he drop the kids off with you.” Dropping to the ground, Sam catches herself before she begins to cry again. “No, No. Everything is okay, we just miscommunicated. Can you call me if he shows up there with the kids.”
Hanging up the phone, Sam races to her bedroom. Ignoring the fact her room is spotless and untouched, Sam climbs on the bed, removing a painting from the wall, revealing a safe. Sam punches in the code; her birthday, opening the door, only to find it now empty.
Her phone begins to ring, answering she rages. “What did you do? Where are my kids?”
“Shut up!” Drew’s voice bellows through the speaker, unbalancing Sam. Drew’s rage penetrates Sam like a spear, making her fear for her children for the first time since entering the empty Penthouse.
“Where are our kids?” Sam calms herself, trying to soothe Drew. “Jason, they are your kids too. We both love”
“Shut up” Drew orders again.
“He will kill you for this. I’ll make sure of it.” Throwing her phone against the wall, Sam finally screams from the deepest, depths of her soul. Screaming until no more sound will escape her lungs, screaming until her room becomes a war zone around her. Physically and emotionally spent, she crumbles to the ground only able to cry unto herself.
“Jason Morgan, hello, hello.” Walking into the interrogation, Jordan places a thick folder on the table and takes a seat across from Stone Cold. “A lot has happened since you made your grand entrance at the Metro Court.” Opening the folder, Jordan places files in front of Jason. “Your reputation truly, truly precedes you.”
“Why am I here?” Jason stares into Jordan. Jason has been here many time before. Same place, same question just a different cop.
“Now, Now, calm down. I want to talk.” Smiling, Jordan slides papers in front of him. “That entrance into the hotel. Man, that was something spectacular. I caught the replay, and I could feel your energy through the screen.
“I have nothing to say without my attorney.” Pulling at his cuffs, Jason slides some of the papers closer to get a better view. He assumes the commissioner wants to speak with him about the cabin shooting, but he remembers the officers said two men and Jason killed three men at the cabin.
“Ooo wee, I feel so privileged to have heard those words. As I said, I know all about you Jason Morgan, Stone Cold, The gentle hitman of Port Charles, New York. And, I know you won’t talk, and that’s okay.” Getting out of her chair, Jordan paces the length of the interrogation room.
“Early this morning a dock worker found the bodies of two men. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?” Stopping, Jordan faces Jason displaying the cheesiest grin.
Staring at his arrest records, Jason tunes Jordan out. Jason has said all he will say. He doesn’t know what game Jordan is playing, but he refuses to play whatever it is.
Spinning on her heels, Jordan begins pacing the room again. “No, I didn’t think so. This is truly fun for me.” Tilting her head back, Jordan laughs an ugly laugh. “I have to tell you, I’ve dealt with the other you a lot, and he’s nothing like you. Or shall I say you’re nothing like him? I don’t know, I apologize, I’m rambling.” Lost in her own world, Jordan feels lucky to be in the presence of the Real Jason Morgan. She feels like she has earned some official badge of honor being able to question him.
“Anyways, these files are all about you. They told me about you. I read them three years ago when the other you first showed up.” Retaking her seat, Jordan pulls out more files. “I mean, I had to. Everyone and I mean everyone in the squad room and around town, warned me about the infamous Jason Morgan. So I read them, and I waited. I waited for the man from these files.” Placing her hands on the files,” but he never appeared” Jordan stares back at Jason.
Gripping his fist together as hard as he could, Jason listens to Jordan intensely.
“The other guy did things, he got arrested for things, but he wasn’t the man from these files. He wasn’t Stone Cold. I never got that Stone Cold killer vibe from him, and I know that vibe well, I’ve worked for the FBI. I’ve been in the presence of some ruthless badass killers.” Jordan leans back, crossing her arms around her. “But you, I knew you were about that life the moment I met you. And every moment I’ve spent with you since proves to me you are the man from these files.”
“What is this really about? What do you want Commissioner?” Looking up from the files, Jason reveals himself to her. Shedding the Stone Cold look, he wants to hear more about Drew. He wants to hear everything. The more people tell him how different the other guy is from him, the harder it gets for Jason to accept his loved ones allowed another man to take his place.
“He speaks.” Jordan laughs. “It’s about you, about your reputation and it’s about those men on the pier.”
“You haven’t said anything about those men.” Jason tries to hold on to his softer side as Stone Cold threatened to take over.
Leaning against the table. “Yea, let’s be real. We both know if you are Jason Morgan, you aren’t going to talk to me. I’m a cop.” Jordan reveals a smirk.
Jordan is having the time of her life. She heard about Jason Morgan when she worked for the FBI, and she relished the idea of taking him down when he first came back to town. She’s more excited now than she has ever been to question an alleged criminal.
“I figured we could talk about your reputation while we wait on Diane and how that other guy never lived up to it. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disrespect him, but I have to say that other guy is a little bitch, and I get the feeling bitch, and little has never been used to describe you.’ Jordan laughs with conviction.
Revealing a small smirk, Jason relaxes in his chair. He never expected the commissioner to be so forthright with him, but he respects her blunt honesty.
“He smiles, none of the reports said you did that.” Jordan laughs. “We can talk about the men on the pier if you want.”
“Are you going to arrest me or let me go?” Feeling his cell phone vibrate in his pocket for the fourth time since arriving at the police station, Jason becomes uneasy.
Pulling her chair far from the table, Jordan slowly lowers herself into the chair. “Good question.” Crossing her legs, “I haven’t decided what I should do, and I can’t make any choices until your lawyer shows up.”
Cracking his neck, lower his eyes, Jason focuses his stare, “What do you want to know?”
Scooting her chair closer to the table, “Is it true the only time you’ve been locked up, it was voluntary?
“Are you enjoying this? Jason scowls. Baffled by her approach, Jason doesn’t know who he should be for her. Jason or Stone Cold.
“Is that a problem for you?
A knock at the door interrupts Jason’s response. “Commissioner, you’re needed out here. Now, please.”
“Yes, be right there!” Rising from her chair, and heading to the door, Jordan turns back to Jason. “Life of the big boss is never over. Sorry, this got cut short, but we are far from over.” Winking at Jason, Jordan leaves the interrogation room.
Picking herself up of the ground, Sam surveys the damage. Feeling a sense of relief, she exhales, releasing all the tension from her soul. Embracing the wreckage of her room, revealing it as a mirror to her life, Sam forgives herself for the choices she made. Now, grounded in her absolution, Sam knows what needs to be done.
Stepping through the debris of a fake life, Sam searches the room for her thrown cell phone, finding her wedding photo instead. Feeling a ping in her chest and a tightness in her stomach, Sam stares at the smiling couple in the picture. Unable to recognize the woman looking back at her, she becomes sick to her stomach. “How could I been so stupid?” Sam throws the picture at the mirror, shedding her final tear.
Shielding yourself from flying glass, Sam spots her cellphone. Picking it up, she dials a number.
“Pick up, please pick up, Jason! Dammit!” Throwing the phone on the bed, Sam enters her closet to find all of Drew’s belongings are gone. Every one of his dresser drawers is empty, and Sam becomes frantic. She quickly changes into black jeans and a black t-shirt; grabs her cell phone, her keys, knife, and gun. Securing them all in their appropriate places. Heading for the door, taking one last look at the mess she’s created, Sam leaves her room, crushing her wedding photo with Drew under her.
“Why is Jason back here? He already answered all of your questions. We want to see him now.” Anxious to know why she been called down to the PCPD, Carly rages on all the officers.
“Carly, Carly, Carly! I should have known it was about you. Let me guess; you want to see Jason.” Jordan shoots a smug look at Carly.
Placing her hands on her hips, “I don’t have time for your games, Jordan.” Carly isn’t worried about Jordan, or her authority. She worried about her best friend and the fact that no one mentioned Jason was locked up when they told her to come down here.
Who’s playing games, Carly? I have a hitman back from the dead, and bodies are piling up.” Standing close to Carly, Jordan breathes into her face. “I am the one who doesn’t have time for games. I have a job to do!” Ready to go toe to toe with Carly, Jordan places her hands on her hip, whipping her neck in the process.
Stepping back, placing her hands in front of her, Carly sucks her teeth at Jordan. “No reason to get cute. You know I won’t leave until you let me see him.”
“What are you all doing here anyway? None of you are lawyers. Jason doesn’t need you; he needs Diane.” Getting back in Carly’s face. “This is my house, and Ms. Carly, you, my dear do not give orders in my house. Now you can all leave peacefully or wait quietly out here. Those are your only options. Choose wisely.”
Jordan turns on her heels, heading for the interrogation room. “ I’m serious Carly, I better not be called back out here. Or I will put Jason in a cell and wait to question him after he’s sat for a few hours. Try me!” Jordan slams the door.
Grabbing Carly before she can pounce, Sonny spins her around, pulling her in close. “Sonny do you know what this is about? Why do they have Jason again? She can’t do that.” Carly whines.
“Carly come over here. Diane is on her way, she’ll handle it.” Grabbing her arm, Sonny guides Carly to a squad desk. Placing her into a seat, “Carly, you need to calm down. Okay. That’s our Jason in there. He can handle Jordan.” Taking a seat next to her, Sonny tries to calm a ticking Carly.
Ignoring Carly’s mad dash towards her, Diane saunter’s in the interrogation room, slamming the door in Carly’s face. “Why is my client being questioned without me?
“Well, hello to you too Diane, right to business I see.” Putting her game face on, Jordan prepares to read Diane like a book. “He wasn’t being questioned. We were waiting for you and simply discussing the past.”
Side-eyeing Jordan, Diane takes a seat next to Jason. “My client has done nothing wrong. You just released him 24 hours ago.”
Standing up, interrupting Diane, “ Yes, and within those 24 hours two bodies were found.”
Standing taller, Diane interrupts Jordan. “And you automatically accuse my client?” Moving to the side of the table, Diane picks up some of the papers up. “And what is this? The past you were talking about?”
Rushing into the PCPD, Spinelli spills all his files everywhere. “Gracious Greetings, glad you could all gather here. Did anyone get Jason on the phone, my several attempts yielded no results.” Looking around the squad room, “Is Samantha here. She was supposed to bring um.”
“You can say it, the imposter.” Sonny chuckles, looking at Spinelli ten types of crazy.
Helping Spinelli with his papers, Carly hisses “Sonny stop it! We don’t know who or what he is.”
“We know he’s not Jason.” Sonny mumbles. Unmoved by all the chaos, Sonny wants this all to be over, so he can have his best friend back. His right-hand man, his brother.
Lifting herself up, Carly smoothes out her dress and hands Spinelli his papers. “Spinelli, why did you call us here? And do you know why Jason is being questioned?”
“What do you mean questions? Is Jason already here? Why?” Dropping his gather papers, Spinelli rushes to the interrogation window. “This is why my many calls went unanswered.”
Stepping behind Spinelli, “I don’t know. We came because you told us to and we found him in there. All they told us was Jordan was questioning her.” Leaning in close to Spinelli “Why did you want us here? What did you find out?” Carly is desperate for answers. She is desperate for the truth.
Sidestepping Carly, Spinelli focuses his gaze on his files. “I found something, or maybe everything. Or nothing. Stone Cold needs to know now; I need to talk to him.” Nearly knocking Carly over, Spinelli heads towards the interrogation room. What he has to tell Jason will change everything and everyone.
Grabbing the knob, Spinelli falls to his knees. “What is the meaning of this?”
Sonny grabs Spinelli, moving him away from the door. “Don’t go in there. Jason has it under control.”
“But I must, I need to right this wrong. I need to tell Jason what I found out.”
Picking Spinelli up off the ground, “What did you find?” Sonny ask.
Looking Sonny deep in his eyes, “I know who the real Jason is and what happened to him.”
“Where’s Jason?” Sam comes barging into the squad room. She doesn’t register her surroundings. She’s on a mission, find Spinelli, that will lead her to Jason. “Did you get a hold of him?”
Seeing the desperation in her eyes, Spinelli doesn’t speak, he points to the interrogation room and watches her go. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I need to speak with Jason. Please.”
Jumping at the sound of the door-busting open behind her, Jordan grazes her gun her fingers. “I already told everyone. Jason speaks to me first, or he sits in a cell.”
Ignoring Jordan, Sam pleads to Jason with her eyes.
Springing out of his seat, Jason turns his attention to Jordan. “Give me five minutes with Sam, and I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.” Jason can see something is wrong. He can see Sam needs him. Pulling at his cuff, Jason wants to break free, grab Sam and tell her everything will be okay.
“No, it doesn’t work that way, Mr. Morgan. Like I told Carly. You’re in my house, and I make the rules.” Taking her seat, and collecting up some of the papers, “ You should take your seat to Mr. Morgan. We’re almost done here unless you want me to put you both in jail cells for the night.” Turning in her seat, Jordan face Sam, “The faster you run along, the faster I can finish up here, and you can have that chat you so desperately need.”
Slamming the door behind her, Sam stands frozen. Unable to hear the chatter around, unable to listen to her thoughts. The thumping of her heart is all she can hear or feel. Reaching for her cell phone, Sam calls Drew. “What do you want me to do?”
Stalking out of the interrogation room, Jason searches for Sam in the crowd of people. He searches for her warm smile in the cold faces, her undeniable love in the sea of worry. “Where’s Sam?” Jason panics.
Darting my eyes through the chaos, I search for her. I search for her knowing I won’t find her. I search hoping her last message to me was a lie. The look on her face, the movement of her body, something was wrong. Terribly wrong. “Where is Sam?” I bark, drawing everyone’s attention to me. I don’t wait for an answer when I can’t locate Sam, I head for the door.
“Stone Cold. Oh, Stone Cold, I need to speak to you at once. It’s of the utmost importance.”
Scattered, Spinelli trips over himself trying to get to me. I see the years haven’t changed him. Barely registering him, I blow right past him. I know he is there, but I don’t hear his word. My vision is tunneled, hearing is tunneled, my body is tunneled. Sam was all I could see.
Reaching the front door, Spinelli steps in front of me. “We need to speak at once,” Spinelli whispers. Staring at him, I see the desperation, it drips off him like sweat on a hot day. My attention is all he wants, and I know what he has to say is essential, but it’s not about Sam.
Pushing him out of the way, Carly grabs me, pulling my attention towards her. “Jason, what is going on? What did Jordan want with you?” Surveying the room, Carly looks around, lowers her voice and whispers, “She was smug as hell. I hate when Jordan has the upper hand. Did Diane hand her, her ass? What was this all about? Jason? Jason, are you listening to me?”
Sonny interrupts from the other side of the room, “Carly give the man a moment to breathe and let Spinelli talk to him.” He’s casually seating at one of the desks, half leaning on it. He’s dressed in designers from head to toe. Looking up at me, he nods letting me know he always has my back. He could see I was preoccupied. He could see I was somewhere else. He could see I needed saying.
“No, Sonny. Something is going on –
“Where’s Sam?” I cut through the noise. “ She was just here. Where did she go?” Pulling away from Carly, and brushing her and Spinelli aside, I search the squad room one last time in vain. “Did she say anything? Was she alone? Why did you guys let her leave alone?” Pacing the squad room, I can feel the wrong floating in the air. I can sense the shift in security my family once had. My heart fills with guilt. I should have never left Sam once I got her. I should have made her stay. I should have made her understand. Immersed in my own thoughts, I don’t hear Spinelli talking until he touches my shoulder, stopping me, grounding me.
“Um, Jason, it’s of great importance that I speak with you post haste.” Circling to be face to face with me, Spinelli pushes papers in my face. “I’m afraid Fair Samantha came as went, expeditiously. She didn’t speak words to us, she didn’t even acknowledge us but knowing Fair Samantha she would want you to know and want you to hear what I have to say.” Pushing the papers further in my face, Spinelli doesn’t let me sidestep him this time.
Looking him square in the eye, “No Spinelli, whatever it is can wait.” I knock the papers out of his hands, push him to the side harder this time, again heading for the door. What Spinelli wants doesn’t matter, he couldn’t possibly know what Sam would want right now. He didn’t see her face. He didn’t look in her eyes or hear her voice. He doesn’t know she needs me.
“No Jason. This can’t wait. It’s everything. It’s the holy grail. It’s the light in the dark. It’s the right to my wrong, and it must be addressed now.” Scrambling to gather his papers, Spinelli tries to sort them out, he tries to find the truth in the mess. “Jason, please listen.” Looking back to see me leaving, Spinelli hurries to halt my forward process. “You want to hear what I have found.”
Grabbing Spinelli, pinning him to the wall, “Is it about Sam?” I rage in his face. It’s not what I want, but my instinct overrides all rational judgment. I feel in my gut something is wrong with Sam. And, no one, friend or foe will stop me. I can’t hear Spinelli, I don’t want to listen to him. The only voice I can hear is Sam’s, and it’s saying, I need you, Jason. Your family needs you.
I always loved Spinelli’s fight and will. Pinned against the wall, he still tries to shove the information down my throat like a mother force-feeding her children medicine to heal their sick bodies. “Well um, no not particularly.” Shoving the papers into my face again. “ If you let me explain, you would understand. It affects everyone.” Wiggling out of my grip, Spinelli pleads with me. “Please, my friend just listen to me.”
Seizing the papers from him, I throw them aside once again. “I’m sorry, Spinelli. This can wait. Sam can’t.” Placing Spinelli on the side of me, I retrieve my buzzing phone and move away from the crowd. Quivering at the sight of Sam’s name on my screen, I unlock my phone to listen to the voicemail from her. Collecting my thoughts, I place the phone to my ear as her voice rings through calming my raging heart. Listening to her words, I feel her pain, I feel her hurt.
“Jason, Hi. Um, it’s me, Sam. I ah, I. Um, you’re locked up, and I don’t know why or when you’ll be released. And um, I need you. I mean I need your help. I can’t tell you like this. I should have told you from the beginning. I should have… A lot of things happened that I shouldn’t have. This is all my fault, and I thought I could fix it by myself, but I need you. I tried to wait but I can’t. He has.” beep! The call abruptly ends.
Drowning out all the outside noise, closing my eyes, concentrating on Sam’s last words; I picture her face, her desperate eyes, and her quivering mouth, mouthing I need you. Her voice is sweet and calm. To the untrained ear, you wouldn’t know she was scared but I know Sam, and I know she is putting on a brave face. For me, the kids or herself, I know, Sam will fight. Shaking the image from my mind, “Sam.” I mouth, heading for the door.
“Jason, wait. What is going on?” Grabbing me before I can escape, Carly looks upon me with horror reflecting back on her. “What’s wrong? What was that phone call about?” Carly hammers on. She loves me as only she can, and I know her questions come from fear for me and under normal circumstances, I would take the time to calm her down, but now isn’t the time. Snatching myself away, I look through Carly. “I have to find Sam. Can you tell me anything about Sam?”
“Sam? She came and left. She didn’t speak to us. She went in there with you, and I don’t recall her leaving. I was focused on getting you out.” Grabbing my arm, I know Carly can feel the nerves radiate through me. My entire body is on fire, giving a slight hum to my skin. “What’s wrong Jason?” Carly ask. “I can tell something is wrong. Let me help, let us help.” She reaches behind her to Sonny without taking her eyes off of me.
Ignoring Calry, nodding at Sonny, I finally leave the PCPD in search of the heart that beats out of my chest. Spinelli follows after, papers trailing behind him. “Jason, Jason wait. You need me, I can help.” He cries.
Grabbing Spinelli before he can leave, Carly too knocks the papers out of his hand, “Spinelli, tell me everything you know. Something is going on, Jason needs me, and you said you know what’s going on.”
Spinelli looks from the Carly to a leaving Jason. “I don’t know where he’s going or why he needs to find Sam.
“But you said,” Carly says.
“No, I said I know what happened to Jason missing years. I don’t know what could be laboring Jason now.
Racing over to the Penthouse, I replay Sam’s message over and over again. I play it on repeat like it’s my favorite record. Her voice sounds so sweet, so casual, so breathless; like a mother’s lullaby on a baby’s ear. I know she’s trying to tell me something without telling me something. I can hear the panic she’s trying to mask; the fear she trying to hide. I analyze what she said, how she said; trying to decipher any secret message in her words. I’m positive there’s more she wanted me to know.
Arriving at the Penthouse, I barely get my truck into park before I’m out and running for the entrance. Every minute that ticks by I feel the danger to my family, mounting. Racing up the 14 flights of stairs, trying to forget the regrettable night Elizabeth did this very thing in the dark, I transform myself into who I need to be. I become the person people fear, the person people need. I transform into Stone Cold. With my hand on my gun, I enter the 14 floors, cracking the door to the hallway, I scan the area. The hall is dark and silent, giving me a surreal feeling. This place used to be home, and now it feels like a prison holding my loved ones hostage.
Letting my gun guide me, I move towards the Penthouse door to find it slightly ajar.
“Sam?” I call into the house. “Are you here?” Pressing my gun against the cracked open door, I listen for signs of life. “Sam?” I call out again only hearing the echo of my own voice against the silence.
Swinging the door wide, everything is still.
Stepping into the house, I feel everything and nothing hit me all at once. All I wanted was to walk into my home and find my family waiting for me. I dreamed about it, prayed for it and now to actually be here; to be home. It wasn’t what I imagine. Walking into a dark, cold house felt like God was playing a cruel joke on me. I felt like a foreigner in my own home as if I didn’t belong.
Gliding through the main level of the house, my eyes are alert, and my gun is ready. “Sam?”
The house smelled like her; flowerier and sweet, with a hint of lavender. My favorite. The whole house smelled like she just finished bathing. I use to love coming home to this smell. To her fragrance. Her essence surrounds me, replacing the air in my lungs with her sweet scent. Yearning for her from my core, I just want to be wrapped in her everything.
Circling the room, I take it all in. I take her in. Filling my lung with her sweet scent. My soul yearns for hers, it aches for it’s missing piece.
Moving through the house, my body tenses up, making me feel out of place. The living room was how I remember it. The furniture was different, but the set up was the same. I remember the pictures on the mantle, more have appeared over the years, pictures of people I don’t recognize but the ones I cherished the most are still there. Emily and Lila. My beautiful wife. My sweet Michael as a baby, and one I’ve never seen but remember taking it like it was yesterday.
Brushing my fingers over Danny’s face, I slowly pick up our first family photo. Our only family photo to date. I remember Sam’s words like they are being whispered in my ears at this exact moment. “Our first family photo.” She was so happy that day. I was so happy that day. We were a happy family that day. “Say cheese!” Her smile, I can see it. Her joy, I can feel it. My son in my arms, Sam by my side, smiles on all our faces; it was everything I feared but wanted. It was everything I still wanted. Remembering us together was as real to me now as it was all those years ago. Closing my eyes, I let the memory sweep me away to happier times. “They’ll probably going to be a million more.” A promise never fulfilled. A photo of a family that never got a chance to be.
I wanted for just a moment to be back there. To be in that moment the three of us alone, happy, and smiling. I wanted to go back to that moment and never leave them. I wanted to go back and live in the love and light forever.
Placing the picture where I found it and pushing the memories away, I continue my journey through the past.
Spinning on my heels at the sound of noise, I take in the whole room. Memories of what was fight with what-if thoughts. I remember the life shared here. I remember the life that was planned here. I remember when this was all mine. When this was my home when she was my wife when this was my family when this was our future. The here and now might look different, but the bones were still the same. Our hearts were always the same.
Seeing no sign of life or a struggle, I move up the stairs to the second floor.
Gun-armed and ready, I let it take the lead, guiding me through my past. Leading me on my journey into the unknown. “Danny? Sam? Is anyone here?” I whisper taking every step, as gently as possible. Only able to hear my beating heart, silence surrounds me again. Silence has always been my friend, but now it threatens everything I love, making it my worst enemy.
Rounding the corner of the second-floor landing, the anxiety in my chest builds as I get closer and closer to the master bedroom. Our bedroom. The last place we were a family together. The only place we were connected as a family before everything went horribly wrong.
Looking down the long hallway, everything feels foreign. There are more doors than I remember, the walls have been recently painted, and are liter with pictures. The hardwood floors are now carpeted, and baby gates block every opening. The life I once lived here was long gone. It was more than gone, it was stolen, disassemble and given to the highest bidder.
Moving through a life I never got to live, I try the first door closest to the stairs. “Sam, are you here?” Pushing the door open, no longer letting my gun guide me, I enter the shattered room.
I don’t recognize the room we once shared as husband and wife. I don’t recognize anything about it but the open safe. Stepping further into the room, I hear a crack under the weight of my foot. Looking down, I find Sam smiling face in all white looking back at me. She holding flowers and lighting up the room with her bright eyes. She looks beautiful and peaceful.
Her smile lifts my spirits, reminding of her inner warrior.
Lifting my foot to reveal the full destroyed picture, my heart shutters at the imposter holding my wife. Picking up what was left of the photo, I take in the reality of what this photo is and what it means. Closing my eyes, I try not to think about the moments that transpired before it was taken. I try not to think about the vows that were exchanged. The pledge to love and honor. The I do’s followed by you may kiss the bride. I try not to think about my wife becoming someone else’s.
Throwing the picture at the wall, I move further into the warzone room. Destroyed, Sam’s life the past five years clutter the floor, making it hard to move.
Staring at the bed we once shared, her essence hits me out of nowhere, surrounds me again, transporting me back to our last moments together. “Jason I can’t believe this is happening. I love you so much.” Sam’s voices echoed through the room like a trapped ghost. “Sam” I whisper, circling the room for signs of her. “This ring is never coming off my finger ever again.” Her voice nibbles at my ear.
Shaking her ghost off of me, I head for the closet.
The walk-in closet is the only thing normal about the whole room, except an entire side is empty. My side. My side of the closet is vacant, untouched and abandoned. It’s like it been waiting this whole time for me to return and make everything right again.
Moving deeper into the closest, I brush against her clothes. The smell of her is at its strongest, it’s most potent in here. Her scent was aimless and trapped, waiting to breathe life back into me. Taking a moment to breathe her in, I realize how much I miss her. How much I need her. How much of me is her. Grabbing one of her dresses and holding it to my nose, I take all of her in. Breathing her into my soul, transporting me back to our first night back together. I can feel her touch tickle my skin. I can taste her skin on the length of my tongue.
“God, please let her be okay, please let them all be okay. You didn’t bring me all this way just to lose them now.” Praying to the heavens, I make my way out the closet and back into the war zone.
Standing in the threshold, examining the scene one last time, the memories hit me again. “Even through everything, I never stop. All those what if’s are coming true now.” Guiding me out of the room, our last night together, our only night together wraps me in its warmth.
Nothing was the same about this house of mine, nothing but the smell of her.
Hugging the wall, I move back into the hallway, descending further into the house, further into my unlived life.
I knock down one of the many pictures lining the walls. It’s a baby picture of Danny. He’s smiling right at the camera and throwing leaves in the air. You can tell he’s happy just being him. He looks so much like me. It’s crazy to think I made him and didn’t know. It’s crazier to think he doesn’t even know.
Slowly moving further down the hallway, I stop at each picture on the wall. The left side was Danny, and the right side was Scout. The left side had considerably more photos. Sam document everything. Walking the hallway was like having an unguided tour of my son’s life. From birthdays to life-changing events, it was all here. His first step to his first day at school. His whole life a picture movie waiting for me to view.
Taking more time than I intended in the hall, I find my way to the room that was supposed to be Danny’s. I flip the switch to discover a destroyed pink room but not my pink room. This room was different. It was made for a little princess, not a grown one. Unicorns and rainbow lace the pink painted walls, a canopy hangs from the ceiling, marking the spot where her crib once stood. This was Sam’s daughter’s room. This was where Emily Scout lived. This was the room she always wanted for the little girl that always escaped her.
Stepping away from the room, I move deeper into the house. Eye’s still alert, gun steady.
Reaching the next room, I don’t have to guess what this room is now. A homemade sign, probably made by Danny with the help of Sam hanged from the door. The sign read ‘Danny’s Room.’ His room, one of my favorite rooms in the house, my old weight room. Stepping into his room, I’m not surprised that it too is a mess. I don’t register the mess, to me this was Danny’s life. A life I never got to see blossom.
Moving to the center of the mess, I take my place with his things. The world falls away, leaving me alone with the son I never knew I had.
I wanted to know everything, what he liked, what he loved and what he didn’t. Did he like adventures like his parents? Was he bold and in your face like Sam or quiet and subtle like me? Did he like motorcycles or cars. What was his favorite color? Did she read to him about the world? Did he love his life? Was he happy? I wanted to know about every second of every day of his life. I wanted to know it all.
Picking up a book, one of my many questions were answered. Titled South America, the book was worn out at the seams. It eased my anxiety and calm my guilt to know they had moments together, with me in the middle.
Holding the book close, fighting the tears, I pull out my cell phone and press a button. “Spinelli, I need you, now. Come to the penthouse.” Hanging up the phone, I throw it to the side, continuing my quest to know more about my son.
Touching everything I can of his, I imagine what he did with it. How he played with it. What his favorite was? His whole life was in this room, and I knew nothing about it. I knew nothing about my own son, and he didn’t know me. The pain of the truth is indescribable.
Haunted and tortured by a life never lived, I muster the strength to leave Danny’s room.
Roaming through the rest of the house, I hear a noise coming from the first floor; pulling my gun out, I slowly make my way towards the sound. I know it can’t be Spinelli, the kid moves fast but not that fast. Circling around the corner of the stairs, I spot her before she can spot me, quietly as I can, I creep down the stairs, locking the women in my sight, “Who are you?” I startle her. Turning quick on her heels, she becomes terrified at the sight of my gun. Pulling her hands up in a surrender pose, the woman screams while slowly backing away from me.
Seeing the fear in her eyes, I mimic her movements, I put both hands up, signaling to her I mean no harm. Tucking the gun safely into my waistband, I move further away from her. “I won’t hurt you. I just want to ask you some questions.” I stated as slowly as possible not to come off any more frightening than I already had.
“Who are you?” She screams like she was unsure any sound would come out her mouth.
“I’m um I’m looking for Sam and the kids,” I explained unsure of how to introduce myself. I don’t know her, and I know she doesn’t know me as Jason. Already scaring her with my gun, I didn’t want to scare her with my true identity.
“You’re him aren’t you?” She asked easing the tension in her shoulders. “You’re the man that saved Sam?”
“Yea that’s me.” Relieved that she is no longer scared, I move a little closer to her. “Do you know where Sam and the kids are?” I ask.
Looking at me like she had seen a ghost, the woman ignores my question. “Your face.” Moving in closer to me, reaching her hand out like she wants to touch me, “I’ve seen it before. In Danny’s baby book.” Looking back at the mantle, lowering her hand, she chuckles a little. “You’re the daddy before daddy got a new face or at least that’s how Danny describes it.”
“He calls me daddy?” I ask, losing focus of my true purpose. “He knows I’m his daddy?”
Hearing the desperation in my voice, the woman steps back taking me, making a point to watch my hands. “Who are you? Why are you here?”
“I already told you, I’m here for Sam and the kids. Who are you?”
With a shaky voice, she whispers, “I’m the nanny. Sam asked me to come to get the kids.”
Leaping out if my skin, “You’ve talked to Sam? What did she say?” I slightly jolt towards her causing her to jump back into the chair.
Moving closer to the woman, I can see she is scared again. Knowing Sam and the kids don’t have the time for me to coddle the answers out of her, I ask you again “What did she say?”
“Please, I don’t know anything. Please, don’t hurt me. I don’t know anything.” She cries, shielding her body from the blow she believes I’m about to serve.
Back away, throwing my hands up to the air, I try to reassure her I’m not here to hurt her or anyone. “No, No. That’s not what I’m here for. I won’t hurt you. I’m here to help.”
Not listening to me she chants, “I know nothing, please don’t hurt me.” over and over again.
Trying to figure a way through this situation, a soft knock at the door saves us both.
Peeking his head through the door, Spinelli appears like a fresh breath. “Oh Stone Cold, I’m overjoyed you finally called me.” Entering the house, Spinelli places his bag on the desk right as the nanny attacks him.
“Oh, Damien you’re here.” Wrapping him in her arms, She cries into him. “I didn’t tell him anything. You have to, believe me, I didn’t tell him anything.”
Bug eyeing me down, Spinelli tries to peel the frightened women off of him. “What do you mean? It’s okay he’s…um he’s a friend.”
Placing her in the desk chair, Spinelli wipes her tears. “What’s going on?” Looking from the woman to me, Spinelli questions us both. “Why are you here? Where are Sam and the kids?” Inching closer to me, “Why are you here of all places?” He whispers.
Feeling my patience running out, “Sam and the kids are missing! And the upstairs is trashed like someone was looking for something.” I bark. Pointing at the woman in the chair, “She knows where they are.” Staring into her soul, Stone Cold has completely taken over.
“No, I swear I know nothing. I swear on my children’s lives.” She cries, closing her eyes like she couldn’t trust anything she was seeing.
“You’re lying. She told me she had spoken to Sam.” Fed up, I move in closer. “You know something, just tell me.”
Blocking me from the woman, “Whoa, get yourself together. I’ve never seen you like this.” Spinelli pushes me back from her trying to talk me down with his eyes. Trembling in the chair, the woman shakes her head chanting “I don’t know anything, I don’t know anything.”
Pulling me to the side, Spinelli tries to talk some sense into me.”What has gotten into you? I know you’re worried about Sam but”
“No, Spinelli, I’m not worried I’m terrified for Sam. Someone tried to take her the other night, and now the house is trashed, and everyone who lives here is missing. You need to talk to this woman. You need to get us to tell her what Sam said”
“Mr. Spinelli, do you know this man?” The lady asks interrupting our hushed conversation.
Turning his attention back to the women, but still managing to keep me at bay, “Just call me Spinelli and yes, I do.” Standing side by side with me, Spinelli beams at the woman. “He is my oldest, dearest, and most trusted friend. And Sam’s too.” Taking her hand in his, Spinelli reassures her. “You can trust him.”
Looking from the women to me again, “If you know something about Sam or the kids, she would want you to tell him. Trust me, she would want you to only confide her secrets to him.”
Looking at me with big watery eyes, the woman eases into the chair, “Mrs. Morgan asked me to come to get the kids, hours ago. She asked me to take them to their Grandma Monica’s house. The kids don’t usually go over there on school days, but she said they must. She and Mr. Morgan had an important meeting, and she didn’t know how long it would be. I told her I could stay with the kids until they arrived home but she insisted I take them to the mansion.”
“So the kids are at Monica’s. Problem solved.” Spinelli states interrupting the woman mid-sentence. Turning his back to the women to look at me, “Now that we know where the kids are, can we get to more important matters? You’re lost-”
“I said Mrs. Morgan wanted me to pick up the kids.” The woman interrupts Spinelli. “But when I got here Mr. Morgan said no. He said he would take the kids. I insisted that Mrs. Morgan wanted me to, but he said no and closed the door in my face. He wouldn’t even let me come in.” Fidgeting with her purse, the woman lowers her head and falls silent.
“What is it?” Spinelli asks her. “You can tell us.”
Looking straight at me, she continues. “Mr. Morgan is always so nice. Sweet and caring. Soft-spoken but not today.” Placing her attention back on her purse, the woman falls silent once again. Several minutes go by before she speaks again. “ Something was off, I could feel it when he first opened the door. He was frantic and sweaty. The house was quiet. I didn’t hear the kids, and I should have heard the kids. It was 4:30 in the evening. The baby should have been just getting up for her feeding and Danny should have been at the desk doing his homework. The Morgans usually keep the kids on a tight schedule.”
“Was Mrs. Morgan here?” Spinelli asks, taking the words out of my mouth.
“Not that I could see, I pushed my way in a little and saw packed bags and Scout’s mountain stroller. He lied to me, he told me he still needed to pack the kids overnight bag. That’s when I knew something was wrong.”
Looking at Spinelli fearfully, “I know what Mr. Morgan is or was. I know his lifestyle is dangerous. They told me this when I started. So, I thought maybe something was wrong, and he was protecting me you know. So, I waited to make sure I didn’t need to call the cops. I waited until I saw Mr. Morgan pack the kids and all the bags in the car. There were a lot of bags.”
“Was Mrs. Morgan with them? Do you know where they went?” I desperately ask.
She shakes her head no as she starts to cry.
“Why did you come back here if you knew everyone had left? Why are you crying? What else do you know?” I bark, pacing the room trying to figure out what life is. My homecoming wasn’t supposed to be like this, but I guess my life was always like this.
“Mrs. Morgan left me a message. I should have followed him. I should have made him let me take the kids. I should have done as I was told.” The woman cries.
“What does that mean? What did she say?” Charging at the woman, I scream in her face.
“She said whatever I do, don’t leave the kids with Mr. Morgan.” Trembling and sobbing, the woman shields herself from me. “I didn’t get the message until after he had left with the kids. I didn’t know, okay! I’m sorry I didn’t know. Tell Mrs. Morgan I didn’t know.”
Pulling myself away from her, I realize I’m back at square one. I don’t know where Sam and the kids are and, I don’t know what is going on in my own life. Pacing the room, pulling at my hair, I try to figure out what’s next. “Do you know where he was going or where he could have taken the kids.?
“He had Scout’s mountain stroller.” She states looking around the room. “And I don’t see it here now, and I know I saw it when I got that little peek.”
“What does a stroller have to do with anything?” I yell, growing more and more frantic with every passing minute.
“It has everything to do with this. Mrs. Morgan is the only one that uses that stroller, and she only uses it when she goes to her secret cabin.” Pointing at me, “The cabin that has the pictures of you everywhere.”
Tensing up at the mention of the cabin, I think about the men that found us. I assumed this whole time they followed me up there, but maybe they were sent by someone. “Mrs. Morgan said Mr.Morgan didn’t know about that cabin.
“Revealing a little smile, “He doesn’t know, just like she doesn’t know about his secret getaway. The Morgan’s have many secrets. Secrets that I don’t tell anyone I know. Secrets they don’t know I know.”
“This secret place Mr. Morgan has, have you ever been?” Spinelli asks.
Shaking her head no, the woman takes out her cell phone. “I’ve never been inside, but one time I had to use Mr.Morgan’s truck for the kids. When I press the home button on the GPS, it took me there.” Showing us her phone, “I saved the address just in case. I thought Mr. Morgan was cheating on Mrs. Morgan. I wanted the address if she ever came to me asking about it.”
Retrieving the phone from the woman, Spinelli pulls out his laptop, moves to the couch and goes to work. The clicking of the keyboard is all I hear as I paced the room waiting for news. The woman watches my every move, her eyes darting back and forth in her head.
After what seems like an eternity, Spinelli’s computer pings, followed by an “I’ve got something guys.”
Rushing over to the couch, I take one side as the woman takes the other. Pulling up an aerial view of the cabin, the woman confirms that is the house; while Spinelli confirms this house with the right telescope can see clear across the woods to my cabin.
Wasting no more time, I had all the information I needed, I bolt for the door.
“Jason, wait! You don’t know what you’ll find out there.” Spinelli says. Ignoring him, I open the door and head for the stairwell. The only thought in my head was to find Sam, find my family.
“There’s nothing here, Spinelli. I’m telling you it a pile of ashes.
“Spinelli, Stop! I hear something.” Jason screams into the phone.
“He has the kids!” I scream into my dead phone, throwing it into the passenger seat.
“Ahhhhh” Pounding on the steering wheel, screaming my lungs out into the darkness, I cry from my guilt; I weep for my shame, I weep for my weakness.
“They need you! Your kids need you. He needs you! Pull it together! You are Samantha Morgan!” Pulling one hand off the steering, I grab my cell phone, plug it in and turn the truck engine. I cannot break down. I have to be strong. There is no other choice. This is all my fault.
While I give my phone a moment to charge, I clean myself up, clearing the makeup off my face and pulling my hair back into a tight ponytail. I ready myself for war. I do not know who this man has become in the past few days, but one thing is clear. I have no clue who he is. I have never known. Before grabbing my phone and following the imposter’s demands, I close my eyes and clutch my chest. I need one moment of peace, to think, one moment to feel something other than the crushing weight that has taken permanent residency on my chest.
Willing the nerves away, I put the address from the first text he sent in my GPS.
After driving 30 minutes outside the city, I end up at a rest stop off the highway.
“What is going on? Why did you send me here?” Slamming my truck door, I shout into the phone and pace on the side of the highway as the pressure on my chest intensifies.
“Wait for the next text.” He hangs up before I can protest, and my phone vibrates with a new address.
Hopping back into the truck, I punch the new address into the GPS. I can’t let him get to me.
Frustrated, I hop back on the highway and head towards the new location. After 45 minutes of driving in the opposite direction, I end up at an abandoned building 15 minutes from the heart of Port Charles. I park around the block and slowly step up to the side of the building.
No one is around. Everything is quiet. The house is quiet.
I creep up the front stair, with my gun drawn when my phone vibrates in my pocket. Startled, I pull it out to reveal a photo of the kids on Fakeson’s lap. He’s calling me.
“Hello! I’m done playing these-”
Cutting me off, his voice thunders through the phone, “You’re not done till I say you’re done. You should have called by now, have you reached the other location?”
“Yes! What is-”
“Wait for the next text message.” He hangs up.
Beyond pissed, I stomp back to my truck and fight with the door trying to get in. Every minute that passes, every game he plays with me, my hatred and lack of understanding for him mount. The only thing that makes me stay the course are my kids. Danny and Scout. He has my whole life, and there is nothing that can stop me from getting them back.
This time he does not give me an address. Instead, he sends a text message every five minutes telling me where to turn and when like he is tracking my every movement.
Get back on the highway appears on my phone first. Then get off at the second exit. Then turn left, then right.
After driving another 20 minutes north of the city, I arrive at a little cabin tucked nicely behind what seems like hundreds of trees. If the imposter had not given me the exact direction, I would have never found this place. You cannot see if from the road. One would never know there was a cabin here, and it does not help that darkness is everywhere. It is the perfect place to hide.
Turning my headlights off, I pull the truck between a row of trees, hiding it from the view of everyone. With how dark it is out here, no one should be able to see it from the road or the cabin.
Checking my gun, I return the clip and tuck it into the back of my pants. I open the door and place my lock cracking tools into the side pocket of my leather jacket, I secure the hairpins in my hair before I trek through the woods towards the cabin. I move as quietly as possible while marking some of the trees with my knife. I’m hoping I won’t need to use them as a guide back to the truck, but if I have to run in this darkness, these markings will be my only saving grace.
Taking a deep breath, I stand frozen at the door, unsure of myself. I know what I need to do, but I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t feel like myself; I haven’t in a long time. I can feel the battle raging inside me. The image that makes me doubt myself. The battle that is telling me I can’t do this.
Shaking my hands, and feeling the sweat build between my breast, I hesitate. I have never felt so much uncertainty in my life. Placing my fist to the door, I go to knock. I have to knock, my kids are on the other side but I can’t. I can’t make my hand tap the door. Stepping back and rechecking the address on the house, I know I’m at the right place yet I can’t knock on the door.
Feeling a rush of adrenaline, my legs guide me around the house and to the windows. My mind and body are working for me. They are doing what I can’t do. They are fighting for us.
Slowly moving around the house, I feel like I’m dreaming. My legs are moving, but my mind is still reliving that earlier moment, stuck to that fear, to his voice.
I hear nothing coming from the house, the windows are painted black, newspapers line them, and no light peeks through. I continue to move along the perimeter of the house until I reach the backside of the house and see the light coming from one of the windows. The light hitting the darkness of the woods, knocks me out of my fog, and quicken my step.
Reaching the window, I see Danny playing on the floor. He’s in the front area of the house racing cars up and down Scout’s arm as she throws her head back in laughter. I love seeing them like this. Happy, secure and loved. Seeing them causes my motherly instincts to kick in. Every ounce of doubt I had about myself leaves my body and is replaced with a fierce fire pushing me to protect them.
Lightly tapping on the window, I try to get Danny’s attention, but his eyes are glued to Scout. Everything inside me wants to jump through the window and grab my baby boy.
Closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, I tap on the window a little harder. “Danny’ I whisper.
I tap a little harder, getting Danny’s attention this time. Popping up from his seated position, he stops himself from running to the window. Standing in the middle of the room, Danny stares at me.
“Danny!” Waving my hand to direct him to come closer, Danny shakes his head no and points at me.
Turning around to see what he is pointing at, I feel someone grab me, and everything goes black.
Bolting up in a panic, I awake in a dark room, alone. “Ouch!” I grab my head to calm its pounding and help my eyes to focus when I hear Danny singing the theme song to Cars. Forgetting about my splitting headache, I jump up and head towards the door. “Danny!”
Reaching for the doorknob, something yanks me back; hurling me onto the bed. Disorientated, I raise myself and lean against the bed. I don’t recognize my surroundings. The room smells of oak, and fresh paint and the carpet feels soft and brand new. I know I’ve never been here before. Taking a moment to settle myself and take things in I wonder what time it is and if we’re still at the cabin.
Trailing my hand down my leg, I pull the lock off my ankle, “Owe!” After tending to the fresh wounds the chains left behind, I slowly and quietly move through the room. Paying close attention to stay close to the ground, I grab the sheet off the bed and place it over the lamp.
Taking a moment to slow my breath, and calm my racing heart, I close my eyes and listen. I listen for any and everything. I listen for Danny’s sweet voice, and Scout’s light laughs. I listen for his rough voice and threatening footsteps. After a while only hearing Danny and Scout, I turn the light on and search the room. I know I can pick this lock, but I need a little assistance.
Searching my body first, I find nothing; he took everything, even my hair tie, and pins.
Dropping to the ground, I search the floor, under the bed, and the drawers of the nightstand for anything that will assist me with this lock. There’s nothing. The room is empty. There is nothing in the room except the bed, nightstand and lamp — nothing more, not even a closet. There are no paintings on the walls, no pictures hung. Only four walls and a door. Defeated, I sink to the ground, trying with every fiber of my being not to break down!
“They need me! Your kids need you! He needs you.” I chant to myself as tears fill my eyes and despair covets my soul.
Calming my hyperventilating lungs, I picture his face. His eyes. His smile. His soul. Over the years it had faded. I could imagine him but not as vividly as I can now. I could see his face but not the way the left side of his mouth raised higher than the right when he smiled or how big his eyes got when he saw me. I could remember his voice but not his laugh or the way it made me feel. I remembered Jason, but somehow over the years, I forgot myself until now.
Blowing all the air out of my lungs, I open my eyes and reexamine the room. Moving slowly, taking my time to look at everything attached to everything; my eyes land on the screws holding the metal frame in place.
After a short while, I manage to get one of the long screws that hold the frame in place, loose. It’s exactly what I need to pick this lock.
It takes me a while, but I manage to remove it just as I hear footsteps approaching the room.
“I’ll be right back, stay there.” The imposter says to the kids as I barely make it back on to the bed before his voice sails through the room, and the door opens, lighting the room.
“Mommy is still sleeping, guys. She didn’t feel good when she arrived.” His voice makes my stomach turn as he closes the door.
Darkness fills the room again, and I’m on the move. Slowly creeping towards the door, I press my ear towards the door and wait. It’s the same sounds as before. All I hear is Danny, Scout, and the tv. Slightly opening the door, I peek one eye out the crack. I can’t see much, part of the tv and what looks like Danny’s arms but they keep coming and going. Opening the door enough to poke my head out, light floods the room.
Blinking hard, my eyes adjust to the brighter lights, and I noticed two other closed doors in the same row as mine. Testing my luck, I open my door wide enough to squeeze out.
After checking the other two doors, I find them locked; I move further into the house; strategically making sure to stay close to the walls, I hear Scout cry out. Throwing out all logic, I run towards her cry.
I slow myself as I enter the main room, to find Danny dancing and singing to Scout. She wasn’t crying. She was squealing with joy.
Forgetting everything else, I gush at my kids. True love fills my soul, and I feel like I could be whole again.
Knocking me back to reality, his voice smacks me in the face. “Look who it is. Took you longer than I thought it would!”
Standing up, “You’ve gotten a little rusty. I guess that’s what having a husband and kids will do to you.” He smirks at me.
Before I can respond, Danny tackles my legs, “Mommy, Mommy, I’m so happy you’re finally here.” Ignoring his words, I wrap Danny around the back of my legs and use the blanket Scout is sitting on to pull her towards me. The imposter doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t care that I want my kids far away from him.
Picking up Scout, examining her face and touching her all over, peace finally washes over me. Feeling my kid’s bodies against mine is the strength I need to finish this. I have to do it for them. For Jason. For myself.
Standing up and stepping forward, the imposter pleads with me. “Sam, you’re not thinking straight. You’re scaring our kids.”
“Our, kids? Danny isn’t yours. Moreover, in light of everything, I don’t know if Scout is yours either.” Fighting back the rage I feel from the thoughts of being with him; I calm my voice and my breathing because he’s right. My kids need to see me strong and capable. They need to see their mom and not this hysterical out of control victim I’ve been for too long.
Lowering my voice, placing Scout on my hip, I grab Danny’s hand. “Where are we? Why did you bring us here?”
The imposter smiles, cracks his neck and falls back onto the couch as if he has not a care in the world. “Sam, my dear, naive Sam-”
Taking advantage of his relaxed state, I bolt to the back of the house, dragging a scared Danny behind me. Getting out is all I can think about at this moment. Getting to safety was all that mattered. Reaching the farthest point of the house, I reach a dead-bolted door and the kitchen window I first saw Danny. This house was set up for only one way in and one way out.
Darting my eyes around the room, I try to figure out my next move. The only way out is through the front door, and the only way to it is through the imposter.
“Sam, I need you to calm down and stop scaring the kids!” The imposter screams from the front room as Scout begins to cry.
Shifting Scout’s body against mine, I give her a slight bounce to calm her as she buries her face into my neck. Nestling her deeper into me, I wrap her blanket around me, tying Scout to my body. I know I will have to move quickly and swiftly, I need to know she’s safe. Peeking around the corner for the imposter, lowering myself to be level with Danny and I sweep his blonde curls out of his face. “Danny, Mommy needs you to do everything I tell you to do. I need you to stay as close to mommy as you can and no matter what don’t let go of me. If I move, you move. Do you understand Mommy?”
Smiling that smile that makes him look most like Jason, Danny nods his head, “Yes mommy but I’m scared.”
Pulling him into me as his smiles fade, I kiss them both long and hard. “It’s okay. Mommy is here.”
Feeling their love seep through me is all the re-enforcement I need.
Straightening my spine, I secure Danny to my side and make sure Scout is tight to me, before checking every drawer in the kitchen. I’m looking for anything, a weapon, my cell phone, keys. Everything is empty. No dishes, no food. Nothing. He wasn’t planning on having us here long. Slowly moving out of the kitchen and back towards the front of the house, Danny makes sure to stay close to me. When I move, he moves. He indeed is mine and Jason’s son. Giving his hand a little squeeze, I peek my head around the wall before entering the main room, the imposter is gone, and the door to the right is open.
Moving as quietly as possible the kids and I head through the open door looking for an escape, only to find more locked doors. Panic starts to feel me as the imposter’s voice begins to chase us through the house. “You’re scaring the kids. Sam, please stop this, I want to talk.” His voice claws at the back of my neck making my hands sweat, causing the pressure on my chest to increase. “We’re safe here Sam. You’re safe here. No one is going to get in or out. Sam, stop and think about what you’re doing to the kids.”
Looping around the house we end up back in the main room, the door is closed, and the imposter is still missing. I can’t see him but . his voice still claws at me.
Releasing Danny’s hand, I retrieve the screw I used to free myself earlier and try to pick the lock. I almost feel it pop when Danny decided to leave my side. Dropping the screw, I grab Danny’s hands as Scout begins to cry and fight her restraints. Everything falls apart. Scout almost falls free, and Danny fights me.
Feeling the pressure beginning to crush me, I block the feeling out and pull a crying Danny into me. “Mommy, what’s wrong? Why are we running from daddy?” Danny sniffles into my shoulder.
Pulling him closer, forgetting my surroundings and what we’re running for, I cry into my babies as they cry into me.
“You were never going to get out that way.” The imposter strolls into the main room, still smirking with a smug look in his eyes.
Swinging Danny behind me, pulling Scout as close as possible, I glare at the imposter. “You don’t have to do this.”
Walking towards us, “What am I doing?” He asks.
“Please stop this you’re scaring the kids. They don’t understand. They are too young.” Wiping my tears, I try to appear unfazed by his advances, but I’m terrified. Not so much for me but my kids.
Pushing us deeper into the door, the imposter keeps coming. “I’m not doing the scaring, Sam, you are. Dragging them around the house like I’m a monster scares them. I’m their daddy. I’m just trying to protect my family. You are scaring them. Look at them.”
Looking down at my kid’s faces, I don’t recognize them. I have never seen fear in their eyes, I’ve never seen fear that was caused by me.
“They were fine until you came.’ The imposter continues as he reaches us. “They were happily playing until you arrived. Sam, let me help you. It’s been a long couple of days.” Grabbing all of us, he pulls us into his embrace. Squeezing us tight, I rest my head on his shoulder and try to collect my thoughts. I try to calm the chaos in my mind.
“No, stop. Don’t touch me.” I whisper.
I feel the tension leave the imposter’s body; he pulls us tighter as I grab Danny’s hand. Using his shoulder, I push my head and my body off him. Wiggling out of his grip, I push him away from us with my free hand and run to the other side of the room.
At this point, I’m running in circles with no direction.
“Sam, you NEED to stop this.” The imposter screams, stomping his foot on the ground.
“I told you not to touch me. Don’t you ever touch me again.” Taking a step back, I drop Danny’s hand and pick up a chair from the dining room set. It’s the only thing in the whole house I can use to defend myself. The imposter made sure to clear the house of anything I could use against him.
He anticipated this fight.
Waving the chair in the air, “Just let us go!” My voice cracks. The gravity of our situation settles in my chest causing the chair to shake in my hands.
Shuffling to his right side, The Imposter takes a slight step towards us.
“Stop moving! Unbolt the door and let us go, please.” Raising the chair high above my head, I let him know I’m not playing.
“Sam.” Taking another step towards us, The Imposter dodges the chair I sent sailing through the air at him.
“Stop. Please stop. I want to go home.” Crouching down, covering his ears Danny cries and shakes. He’s never experienced a fight between us. He’s never heard me raise my voice to anyone.
“I said don’t come near us.” Grabbing another chair, I move closer to Danny while trying to keep both eyes on the imposter. The weight of the chair and this situation makes it hard to stand upright. I never thought I would be here or that I would terrify my kids by just protecting them. I never thought I would have to protect them from a man they loved or that I would have to fight a man I thought I loved. I could have never been prepared for this situation. Alternatively, the consequence that will affect us all after this night is over.
“Danny, look at Mommy. I need my big boy, Danny!” I plead with a crying Danny. Everything inside of me wants to drop the chair and comfort my son but I can’t. One wrong move and we could all die. “Danny please!”
Turning his attention to Danny, “It’s okay, buddy. Mommy is sick but Daddy is here, and I will fix everything.”
Throwing another chair, pushing the imposter further back, “Don’t talk to him!” I grab Danny, wrapping his arms around my leg. “You’re a big boy. Everything is okay.” I whisper to him.
Still backing away, “Sam, I can’t let you leave with the kids when you’re acting like this.” The imposter hides in the shadows of the room.
Picking up another chair, “Yes, you can. Just unbolt the door.” I move closer to the window.
“Sam, I love you. I love our family. I love-” Cutting the imposter off, I strike the big bay window that lights the main room with the chair. I didn’t know what I was doing until the glass was flying everywhere. “Get down Danny,” I scream while clearing the rest of the glass from the window. Breaking the window was never apart of my plan. I never had a plan, I knew I needed to get out of that house. I knew I had to get away from him before he got ahold of me.
“Ahhhhh!” Turning the chair on the imposter, I throw it right at him, hitting him this time. Feeling victory rain over me, I don’t wait to see the aftermath, I scoop Danny up and jump out the window. Cutting my leg as I jump out, I don’t think about anything other than getting to the truck. I don’t think about the blood dripping from my leg or the two struggling kids in my arms. I just run.
Circling the front of the house, seeing the front door open; I abandon my original thought and run straight into the woods. Finding a clearing of trees that hide us from view, I lower Danny to the ground.”Shhhh, big guy, we have to be extra quiet. Let’s pretend we’re playing hide and seek. Okay. You, Scout and Mommy, are hiding from daddy.”
Wiping his tears, Danny nods in agreement trying to quiet his cries.
The traumatized look in his eyes tells me my sweet innocent boy will never be the same again.
“Shhh, baby girl, Momma is here! You’re okay! It’s okay Emily.” Turning my attention to a crying Scout, I hear his voice through the trees.
“SAM, You are starting to piss me off. What happens next will be on you. Just remember you did this to yourself. Just come out! It will be easier for everyone. SAM!”
Hearing his voice scares us all.
Ignoring my bleeding leg and crying kids, I grab Danny’s hand and start running further into the woods. With every step I take, I feel the imposter’s presence closing in on me. Using the lights from the house to guide me, I circle the perimeter of the house, running until I reach the clearing where I hid my truck.
“Dammit, Dammit! No” Finding the tracks in the ground where my truck had been parked, I scream into the darkness. “This can’t be. Why? No, I can’t!” Circling the spot, I let all the emotions I’ve been holding back, out. I punch the air and kick the ground. I fight my emotions until they win, crushing me to the ground. Pulling Danny into me, I finally feel my kids. I finally feel their warm, love. Feeling them in my arms centers my mind, making what needs to happen clear.
Crying into my neck, “I want Daddy. I don’t want to play hide and seek anymore.” Danny whimpers in my arms and my heart breaks for them. I feel like a horrible mother. I’m supposed to keep them safe, and I have failed.
Looking at the stars, holding my kids tight, “I need you, Jason. Your family needs you!” I whisper into the darkness.
Whipping myself and the kids around in a tight circle, I see his dark silhouette approach us.
“Please, just let us go!” I cry into the darkness.
“What are you playing?” Pushing Danny towards the back of the house, I move away from Drew and sneer at him.
Placing his arms out toward us, and looking at me with concerned eyes, the imposter doesn’t advance. “You need to pull yourself together. Our kids don’t need to see their mother like this. Sam, you’re not well.”
“You’re right. I haven’t been myself well for a while now, but I know why and I know how to fix it.” I state, slowly moving the kids further away from him. I do not have a plan. I will do anything to keep my kids safe and get them out of this house.
“Sam?” Jason whispers into the wind.
Seeing Sam’s dark silhouette huddle around the kids, Jason panics, he can see Sam shaking with fear. “Sam.” With conviction in his voice, Jason moves toward them with caution. He can feel someone watching them. Trying to keep his eyes on Sam, and the surrounding woods, Jason creeps. He can’t bear to see them so vulnerable and exposed, he wants to run to them, wrap them in his arms and shield them but he knows that could put them in even more danger. Something is wrong. He can feel it in the air.
“Jason.” Sam holds her breathe at the sound of his voice. It fills her entire body with hope. Closing her eyes and clutching her chest, she doesn’t believe it’s him. She just can’t. Her mind is playing tricks on her.
“Sam, Run to me.” Jason continues to watch the woods, terrified for his family. The presence of another trigger all his sense. Jason is amped up, alert and ready for anything.
Spinning around to see him, Sam drops to the ground, pulling her kids closer. “Jason, please tell me it’s you. Please tell me I’m not dreaming.” She breaks down, sobbing as Jason’s face lights up in the moonlight. His blue eyes sparkled with the stars. His blue eyes are the only light in all the darkness.
Quickening his step, Jason rushes to Sam’s side, tucking his gun in his waistband. Praying they were okay, and that nothing too serious has happened to them, Jason scoops them all in his arm, shielding them from the night. “You’re not dreaming. I’m here. I found you.” Jason whispers in Sam’s ear as Sam, Scout, and Danny all cry into his chest.
Feeling the tears of his family, Jason is beside himself. “I got you. I got you all. It’s going to be okay now.” Staring out into the darkness, fighting back the tears, and trying to be the rock for his family, Jason blames himself for their circumstances. He blames himself for their pain. Hearing movement in the trees, Jason turns, retrieving his gun while searching the trees. “I got you.”
Exhausted from their night, Scout, Sam and, Danny finally breathe and calm themselves. There, in Jason’s arms, his family rest, they find peace. “What are you doing out here?” Jason whispers into all of them pulling them closer. He could feel that they needed him. Their fear dissipates with every squeeze applied. Holding his family until they were completely covered in his love, Jason watches all around them. He knows they are not alone. Drew is still out there. He can feel him in the trees, and once his family’s cries stopped, he could hear him in the movement of the trees. Jason knew he had to get them out of the woods and somewhere, safe but he also knew they were too fragile to move right away. He knew they would break with any sudden movement.
Looking all around, waiting for Sam to calm herself, Jason contemplates their next move. He thinks about shelter, his truck, and their cabin deep in the woods.
“Can you move Sam? Are you hurt?” Jason tries to pry himself from Sam’s grip, but she won’t let go. She can’t believe he’s there with her and she still doesn’t believe it’s him, that he’s home. She doesn’t know how he found them, but she’s grateful. She’s grateful he’s alive. She’s grateful he’s the real Jason. She’s grateful for his love. Pressing her face deeper into his chest, Sam listens to his heartbeat. His steady, calming, reassuring, familiar pulse. She soaked the sound up, teleporting her years in the past. Taking her to moments of peace, to moments of security. Soaking up his energy, Sam takes Jason in. She breathes his scent in and presses her weight into him. She felt herself healing in his arms.
“I knew you would find us. I knew it. I could feel it in my bones.” With a renewed connection to Jason, she completely let’s go in Jason’s arms. She gives all her burdens, pain and worries to him. Feeling secure in his arms, Sam knows Jason has her. She knows she doesn’t have to worry or fight alone anymore. She knows everything is going to be okay.
Peeling Sam off of him, “Sam, I will always find you. Always!” Jason gazes at the three of them through the moonlight.
“I knew you were coming. Something deep inside of me felt you. I called out to you. and you came.” Slurring her words, and closing her eyes, Sam faints.
Pulling Scout from Sam’s body, Jason pulls her close to his chest. There was no way to save Sam without hurting Scout in the process, and Jason knew Sam would want him to save Scout before her, always.
“There there, little one. It’s okay. I got you.” Pouting her bottom lip, Jason soothes Scout’s whimpers before she can turn them into a full cry. He pulls her close to his heart and pats her back. Walking in circles around Sam, Jason notices her bleeding leg. Wanting to kneel and tend to Sam’s wound, Jason hesitates. He is unsure at the moment. Scout isn’t entirely calmed down, and Danny is now having a complete meltdown next to Sam. He hasn’t dealt with kids this little in years, and to him, these are his kids, with Sam.
“Mommy, wake up. Please. I want to go home. Mommy, wake up.” Danny shakes a lifeless Sam.
Balancing Scout on his knee, Jason lowers himself to Danny, “Hey Danny!” Jason places his hand on Danny’s shoulder. “Do you remember me?” He asks as Danny snatches himself away. “Whoa big guy, I won’t hurt you. I want to help your mommy, but I need your help first.”
Turning himself towards Jason, “She cut her leg when we jumped.” Danny picks himself up off the ground. “I don’t want to play anymore. I don’t want to hide from daddy anymore.” Tackling Jason with a hug, Danny nearly knocks Jason off his feet. Wrapping himself around Scout and Danny, Jason tries to make them feel safe. He knows the only way he will be able to help Sam is if both kids are calm.
“I got you, big guy. I got Mommy too.” Jason spins Danny around and lowers him to the ground. “You look big and strong. Do you think you could hold your baby sister while I help your mommy?”
“Yeah, I hold Scout all the time.” Danny beams at Jason.
Placing Scout in Danny’s lap, “You will protect her?”
“Mommy says it’s my job as her big brother.” Kissing her cheek, Danny settles himself with Scout. His racing heart beings to calm, and for the first time since jumping out of the window, Danny starts to feel safe.
Wanting to stay in this moment with the kids, Jason is in awe of them. “Mommy was right.” Turning his attention to Sam, Jason frantically checks her pulse. “Sam, can you hear me? Can you wake up?” Breathing a sigh of relief, Jason feels her veins pulsate against his finger. Her pulse is weak, but it’s there. Lifting Sam up onto his lap, Jason rolls her pants leg up and cups his hand over her cut. “I got you baby. Everything is okay. I’m here.”
Looking over his shoulder at the kids, “Hey Danny!” Jason calls for Danny, who is kissing Scout’s eyelids. “Danny, look at me, please?” Jason commands, placing his other hand on Sam’s leg desperately trying to stop her bleeding. “Can you hand me Scout’s blanket?” Jason asks, getting Danny’s attention. Gently sliding Sam off his lap, Jason grabs the blanket from Danny while taking off his belt. All he can think about is stopping the bleeding. Exposing the cut caused it to gush. “You have to be okay. I need you, Sam. The kids need you. Your family needs.”
Tightening his belt around her thigh, Jason scoots to Sam’s head, placing it in his lap. “Sam, baby, please open your eyes.” Jason pleads with her. “I can’t do this without you. We need you.” Pulling her into his chest, Jason whispers into Sam’s ear.
“Is mommy okay?” Danny asks, scooting closer to Jason, resting his head against him. The closer he was to Jason the safer he felt.
“She will be, we have to get you all out-” Hearing something in the woods, Jason’s body tense up startling Danny. “What wrong?” Danny mimics Jason, darting his eyes all around. Jason confident someone is out there.
“Hey, Danny. Was your daddy out here with you?” Jason asks while assisting Danny to his feet.
“He was in the house with us. Mommy said we were playing hide and seek. She said we were supposed to hide from daddy, but I don’t want to hide anymore. I want to go home. Are you going to take us home, Mommy’s friend?” Danny rocks from side to side, struggling to manage Scout’s weight against his.
Lifting a lifeless Sam, “Yes, I’m going to get us home.” Jason cradles her close to him.
Whipping himself around, Jason hears the footsteps closing in on them. “We gotta go.” Slinging Sam over his shoulder, Jason grabs Danny by the back of the neck, guiding him through the woods.
Jason tries to move fast through the woods, but Danny’s little feet prove to be a considerable obstacle. He can’t keep up and every few steps it looks like he might drop Scout.
“Are we almost there?” Stumbling, Danny struggles to keep up. Stopping to allow him to catch up, Jason hears the footsteps following them. “Danny, do you know where your Daddy is now?”
“Trying to find us, silly.” Danny laughs.
Finding nothing funny about what Danny said, Jason picks Danny and Scout up with his free hand and quickens his step. Jason knows he’s at his most vulnerable. His family is exposed, meaning his heart is exposed.
“We’re almost there. Do you think you could walk the rest of the way?” Seeing his truck up ahead, Jason lowers Danny and Scout to the ground. He’s exhausted but determined to get them to safety.
Noticing something is wrong, Jason stops behind a tree close to the truck. Lowering Sam to the ground, Jason pulls his gun out, hiding it from the kids’ view. “I need you to stay here and protect your mom and sister. I’ll be right back.” Spinning on his heels, Jason doesn’t wait for Danny’s response.
Pulling his gun in front of him, gripping it with both hands, Jason moves towards the car. Circling around, keeping an eye on Sam and the kids, Jason finds the doors to his truck wide open, and the back tire slashed. Slowly approaching the truck, Jason points his gun into every open door; checking every inch of it.
“Danny, are you still protecting your mom and sister?” Tucking his gun into his waistband, running around the truck checking all four tires, Jason calls into the woods at Danny.
“Yes,” Curled up with his mom and sister, Danny shouts back.
Circling the truck over and over again, Jason tries to figure out what’s next. He knows he has to get Sam help, she’ll bleed out soon, and he knows he has to get them all to shelter before the cold sets in. Pulling out his cell phone, walking back towards Sam, Jason dials Spinelli’s number.
“Ahhh, stop. Jason.” Sam screams out.
Sliding on his heel, pulling his gun out, Jason runs to his family.
“He has him. He took Danny.” Pointing into the night, Sam screams out in agony.
“You found me.” Danny grabs Drew’s leg, nestling himself into him. “Can we go home now? I’m really sleepy.” Rubbing his eyes, Danny pushing all his weight into Drew’s body. He loved the smell of his daddy. It reminded him of home.
“Soon buddy! We have to get mommy and Scout first.” Rubbing Danny’s hair, Drew watches Jason try to calm Sam down. Tuning everything around him out, Drew snarls at them. He can’t stand to see them together. “She’s mine. They’re mine.” Drew shows his teeth. Holding Danny close, Drew closes his eyes, letting Sam’s cries of despair rain over him. He relishes in it. They fuel him.
“That’s Mommy. She’s hurt. I’m supposed to be protecting her.” Letting go of Drew’s leg, Danny runs towards the screams. “I told the man.”
Snatching Danny back to him, Drew starts to run in the opposite direction. “Shhhh, we can’t let mommy know where we are. She’s still hiding.” Throwing Danny over his shoulder, Drew hightails it back towards the cabin.
“No, she’s not. He said I was supposed to protect her. I promised him.” Scared, Danny starts hitting Drew and scratching him in the face. “Mommy!” Kicking and screaming, Danny claws Drew’s eyes. Blurring his vision, Drew stumbles to the ground with Danny in his arms.
“You little shit.” Drew groans.
Wiggling away from Drew, Danny stomps his feet and pouts his lips. “I want Mommy!” He’s on the verge of a meltdown. He’s tired, cold and scared but more than anything he’s confused and he wants his mommy. He doesn’t know that he should be afraid, all he knows is this man is his daddy.
Grabbing Danny by his arm again, Drew drags him. He doesn’t care what Danny wants. Drew knows he can’t stay there. He knows it’s only a matter of time before they hear Danny’s cries and Jason comes looking for him. Drew is losing his patience and his love for Danny.
“Noooo, I want mommy.” Biting his hand, Danny runs from Drew. Huffing his little lungs, Danny runs with all his might. “Mommy!”
Roughly grabbing Danny’s arm midstride, pulling him eye level. “You are going to do what I said.” Drew shakes his little body.
Clawing at his eyes again, Danny screams, “You’re scaring me. I want Mommy!” Danny kicks and fights. He doesn’t recognize Drew. He doesn’t see his dad, he sees a stranger. Using every muscle in his little body, Danny struggles with Drew.
Landing a kick right to Drew’s groin, Danny hits the ground hard, knocking the wind out of him.
Shaking the feeling back into his head, Danny crawls away from Drew, who is moaning in pain. “Stop, I want mommy. MOMMY!” Danny screams. Struggling to his feet, tears begin to well in his eyes as he tries to escape. Fear consumes his body, and his instinct kick in guiding him towards the sounds of his mother’s voice.
“Come back here you brat.” Drew fingers Danny’s feet.
Debating whether to go after Danny or stay with Sam, Jason lifts Sam and Scout in his arms, shuttling them towards his truck. He was torn. He wanted to do what Sam wanted which was to go after Danny but he couldn’t. He couldn’t leave his girls alone in the cold, alone and exposed.
“No, stop. Jason, you have to go after Danny.” Sam struggles in his arms.
“Sam stop. Stop fighting me.” Looking her deep in her eyes, Jason places her in the back seat of the truck, brushes the hair out of her face and retrieves Scout from her shaking hands. “We will get him back.” Jason wasn’t worried about what would happen to Danny, he was concerned about what Sam would do to get him back.
Pushing Jason out of her way, Sam stumbles out of the car. “No Jason, we have to go now.” All she can see is Danny’s scared face disappearing into the darkness, and it makes her weak all over. “We have to Jason. We have to!” Falling to her knees, Sam pulls on Jason’s leather jacket to help ease her to the ground. “Jason, it’s like before. It’s like when he was born.” Fighting Jason’s help, Sam struggles to get to her feet. “He’s scared, Jason. I know he is.” Letting go of Jason’s coat, Sam slides down the side of the truck hitting the ground. “I failed him again. I let someone take him again.”
Crouching down, Jason shoves Scout in Sam’s arm. “Here.”
Shaking her head no, Sam tries to push them both away.
“She doesn’t want me, Sam. She wants her mom. She needs you.” Jason forces Scout into Sam’s arms and pulls her to her feet, “You didn’t do this, Sam.” Pulling her into him, Jason rubs her back.
Pulling away from Jason, turning her back to him, Sam places Scout in the backseat of the truck. “Yes, I did.” Lowering her head, Sam feels defeated. “I allowed.” Cutting her off, Jason spins her around and pulls her in. “You didn’t do this,” Jason whispers. Wrapping her arms around Jason’s neck, and resting her head on his chest. “I allowed that man into our lives. I knew. Jason, I knew.”
“Sam, stop and look at me. Jason cradles her face in his hands, “Do you think he will hurt our son?” Placing his forehead against hers, Jason feels Sam move her head side to side.
“I don’t think so, but I don’t know.” Sam cries. “I don’t know anything other than he has our son.”
“Are you sure?” Jason questions.
“Yes, I’m pretty sure. He wants us to be a family. He still wants to be you.”
“Good! That’s good for us. I’m going to get him back. Just like last time.” Jason brushes into Sam’s ear as he opens the door to the truck. Stopping himself before placing Sam in the seat, Jason turns them both back towards the woods. “Do you hear him. He’s fighting. He’s a fighter, Sam, just like you.
Hugging Jason tight, “No, he’s a fighter just like you.” Sam listens to Danny’s cries for her.
Turning away from the cries, Jason places Sam back in the truck. Checking his gun clip, he returns it to his waistband.
“You can’t go with that, Jason.” Sam looks upon Jason with worried eyes, and a slight shake in her hands. “Danny is out there. You can’t shoot your gun. It’s too dark, you could hit Danny. He answers assuredly; no I won’t.
Wiping the hair stuck to her face away, Jason places the gun in Sam’s hand. “You take the gun.” Holding it and remembering his excellent marksmanship, she pushes the gun into Jason’s stomach, “No you need it more. He has my gun. He could kill you, Jason.”
Closing Sam’s hand around the gun, and kissing her forehead, Jason places her legs into the truck, closing the door. “Lock it!” Jason mouths, pressing his hand against the window. He doesn’t want to leave them, but he can see Sam’s pain. Their family isn’t whole.
Pressing his hand into the window hard, Jason mouths I love you as Sam stares him down through watery eyes and watching him disappear.
Slowly backing away from the truck, Jason lowers his brow, constricts his jaw, squares his shoulders and tightens his body.
Swiftly turning on his toes, Jason runs into the darkness.
Pulling Scout into her lap, Sam lightly touches Jason’s handprint and watches him until the darkness swallows him whole. “I love you too,” Sam whispers.
Settling Scout to her bosoms, wrapping her in the blanket, Sam rolls the window down and starts screaming Danny’s name into the darkness.
Running through the woods towards Danny’s cries, he’s prepared to die for his family. Looking to the sky, Jason says a little prayer as Drew’s voice roars through the trees. Slowing his stride, Jason sees Danny struggling on the ground, following his body all the way to Drew.
“Stop fighting me, Danny.” Dodging Danny’s weak kicks, Drew drags Danny back towards him. “You’re going to see mommy once you stop fighting me, I promise.” Drew struggles.
Digging his heels into the dirt, Jason lunges himself forward, hitting Drew in his face; kicking him again and again. Losing himself in beating Drew’s ass, Danny’s whimpers draw Jason back to the present. Racing over to him, Jason grabs him and whisks him into the woods. “I got you. I’m going to take you to mommy.”
Shifting through the trees, Jason runs as fast as he can, as Danny wraps his arms around his neck, burying his head, shielding himself from the sharp cuts of the wind. Seeing the truck in the distance, Jason widens his step. “I see mommy.” He whispers to Danny.
Stopping in his tracks, Jason slowly lowers Danny to the ground, and whispers in his ears. “Run to your mommy, follow her voice.” Pushing Danny into the darkness, “Don’t stop running until you reach mommy.” Patting his behind, Jason sends Danny off on his own. Turning on his feet, Jason raises his arms in the air, lowers his brow and searches for Drew in the darkness.
Returning the gun in his waistband, circling around to face them while watching Jason send Danny off into the darkness, Drew waits. He waits as Jason surrenders to him. Launching himself off the tips of his toes, Drew tackles Jason to the ground. Landing a punch as they soar through the air, Drew reaches for Jason’s throat. Blocking his attempts as they hit the ground, Jason rolls on top of Drew; landing his elbow to Drew’s face, Jason planets his knee hard into Drew’s ribs. “Ahhhhh” Drew screams out.
Pushing Jason up and off him, Drew flips overs, perching on his knees, and throws dirt in Jason’s face before charging at him again. “You should have stayed gone.”
Shifting to the left, Jason dodges Drew grabbing him mid-air and slamming to the ground. “You should have never come.” Looking Drew straight in the eyes, Jason pounds his face. “Why?” Jason screams with every punch to Drew’s faces. “Why did you take my life?”
Sticking both his thumbs into Jason’s eyes, Drew flips around Jason wrapping him into a chokehold. “You’ll never see them again.” Clawing, scratching and prying at Drew, Jason fights to get free. Tapping at Drew’s arms, darkness surrounds Jason as his body begins to relax under the weight of Drew. Squeezing harder around Jason’s neck, Drew pictures Jason’s dead body on the ground before him. “They were happy. And they will be again when-”
Fighting his fading vision, Jason headbutts Drew breaking his nose.
Releasing his grip, grabbing his nose, Drew falls forward in pain. “Son of a bitch.” Jason knocked the wind out of him. Spitting blood from his mouth, Drew seethes with anger. Wiping the blood from his face with one hand, Drew grabs the gun from his waistband with the other. Rising from the ground with purpose, Drew loads the chamber of the gun and points it at Jason.
Crawling away from Drew, Jason coughs air into his lungs. “You could never be me. You talk too much.” Shaking the life back into his body, Jason spots Sam with Danny in the moonlight, renewing his fight. Bouncing back to his feet, Jason shifts his body into a fighting position. He’s ready to end this, to end Drew. Balling his fist, Jason doesn’t fear the gun. “She’ll never love you if you pull the trigger.” He charges Drew.
“Dann-” Sam stops breathing when she hears the gunshot. She waits for something, a noise, a scream, anything. Fighting back the rage, Sam gently places a passed out Scout in the driver seat. The comfort of her mother was all she needed to fall into a soundless sleep. Gripping Jason’s gun so hard it presses deep into her skin, Sam exits the truck as quietly as possible. “Jason?” Sam whispers into the trees.
Slowly creeping towards the sound of the gunshot, Sam points the gun into the woods, releasing the safety. “Danny? Jason?” Only seeing darkness Sam panics.
“Mommy!” Sam hears Danny’s cries sail through the wind.
“Danny!” Dropping the gun to her side, Sam runs. “Danny, I’m here! Danny.”
Slowing his step, Danny is tired. His chest is on fire, his legs burn, and his little feet ache. Falling to his knees, Danny can’t move anymore, he doesn’t want to. As he lay in the dirt, Danny closes his eyes and cries as the cool soil soothes his hot body. “Mommy where are you?” Danny begins to cry when he hears her. Raising his head a little off the ground, “Mommy.” Danny calls back to her.
“Mommy!” Hearing her voice in the trees renews Danny’s fight. Scrambling to his feet, Danny takes off with the wind. “Mommy, where are you?” Digging down deep, Danny moves his little legs as fast as they will carry him. “I can’t see you.”
“Danny. I’m here baby.” Sam searches through the darkness. “Follow my voice.” Out of breath but more determined than ever, Sam runs frantically through the trees. “DANNY!” Stopping at the sight of her son, sliding her gun into her waistband and dropping to the ground. “Come here, baby. Come here.” Reaching for her son, Sam lets out a long-trapped cry from her chest.
Struggling to catch his breath, “Daddy had a gun.” Danny huffs, running into Sam’s waiting arms.
Collapsing upon contact, Danny breaks down. “I let go, I’m sorry mommy. I let go of your hand.” Burying his face into Sam, and inhaling deeply, Danny smells her. “Hmmm, mommy!” The fear he was feeling goes away as Sam scent fills his lungs.
Wrapping him tightly, “Hey, hey, hey..no no no no, don’t worry baby, mommy is here. I got you.” Sam kisses him all over, “You’re safe now.” Falling back on to the ground, Sam cradles Danny in her arms, and rocks back and forth with him. “I got you. Mommy’s got you.” Sam silently cries as relief eases her racing heart. She had never been more happy to see Danny, than right now.
Snuggling deep into Sam, Danny settles into her warmth. This was it. This is what he wanted. This is what he cried for, his mother’s warmth. “Your friend kicked Daddy and told me to run until I reached you.” Cranking his head back, Danny tries to free himself from Sam’s embrace.
Holding Danny tighter, Sam rises to her feet, turns on her heels and runs back towards the truck. “Don’t worry baby, everything will be okay.” Sam cries into his ear.
Placing him down in front of the truck, Sam opens the door to find Scout still sleep, turning her attention back to Danny, Sam runs her hands all over him. “Did he hurt you?” Spinning him around, Sam raises his shirt checking his body. She lifts his hair off his neck, rubs his arms up and down before finally pulling him back into her body. “I was so scared.”
Mommy, Daddy, was yelling and being really mean. I wanna go home, Mommy. Can we go home now.” Danny cries, bouncing his body.
“We can’t leave without Daddy,” Sam states, wiping his tears. She could see the exhaustion in his eyes. She could see the meltdown threatening to take over him.
“I don’t want Daddy. I don’t want him.” Danny cries and fights Sam. Fear feels his body, and he can feel Drew’s hands clawing at him. Shaking his body and rubbing his arm, Danny panics, jumping into Sam’s lap.
Cradling Danny in her arms “Not that daddy.” Sam whispers to herself as she searches the darkness. Patting Danny’s back, Sam is nervous. She hasn’t heard anything come from the darkness since finding Danny. “All we need is you, Jason. Please be okay. Please come back to us again.”
Feeling Danny’s body go limp, Sam looks down to find him fast asleep. Lifting them both off the ground, Sam places Danny in the passenger seat and proceeds to lower the back seat into a makeshift bed for the kids. One by one she sets the kids next to each other, kissing them both before locking them in and heading into the darkness. Whispering a prayer of protection to the star, Sam takes one last look at the truck and turns her focus to the tasks at hand.
With the gun safety off and her finger on the trigger, Sam moves as quietly and swiftly as her injured leg will allow her. Whispering Jason name every few steps. Trying not to stray too far from the truck, Sam starts to slow her stride when she hears them, “Now, you sound like Franco. Did he help you steal my life?” Turning on her heels, blocking out all physical pain, Sam takes off towards the commotion.
Slamming Drew into a tree, Jason doesn’t let up. “What do you want with my family?” Knocking the gun out of Drew’s hand, Jason raises his boot high, aiming it at Drew’s head. Slamming his foot into the tree, Drew rolls out of the way, landing on all four, he stares at Jason. Shifting to be parallel with Drew, Jason is ready.
“Your family?” Charging back at Jason, Drew clips him at the knees, throwing him back onto the ground.
Pressing his face into the ground, “You didn’t want this. You never wanted a family with Sam.” Drew and Jason struggle. Gaining the upper hand, Jason plows his fist into Drews’ face.
“You don’t know me!” Jason hits Drew in the face. “You don’t know what I want.” Jason hits Drew in the ribs. “You took everything from me.” Jason punches Drews’ throat. “Everything!” Jason hits Drew’s face again. “My wife.” Jason’s elbows Drew in the nose. “My son.’ Jason knee’s Drew. “The little girl we always wanted.” Jason’s swing is met with a block. Kicking Jason off of him, Drew doesn’t hesitate on his advance. Kicking Jason in his face, Drew attempts to mount him while he’s still down but Jason is too quick. Backflipping away, Jason springs to his feet.
“You don’t deserve this life. You don’t appreciate what you have.” Spinning away from Jason, Drew eyes the discarded gun.
“Now, you sound like Franco. Did he help you steal my life?” Jason follows Drew’s eye to the gun.
Hesitating at first, both men dogpile the gun, determined to reach it before the other. Death in both their eyes, Drew reaches the weapon first. He can’t take any more hits from Jason, he’s barely holding on. He knows one more hit, and it’s over for him. He wants Jason dead now. Struggling to gain control of the gun, Drew tries to get away from Jason but he’s tearing at Drew clothes to gain control of him. Yanking the gun forward, Jason muffs Drew in the face as Drew turns the gun back towards him. Pressing his weight into Jason, Drew rolls on top of him pushing the gun into his rib cage. Drew is confident he has the upper hand, headbutting Jason, Drew tries to slide his finger on the trigger but Jason knocks it out of his hand before he can.
Scrambling for the gun, the men roll around throwing punches as the gun shifts between them.
A shot rings through the woods as both men go limp, a huddle of nothing on the ground.
Startled, Sam comes to an abrupt stop. “No, No, No!” Clutching the gun to her chest, Sam is unable to move. Unsure of what to do, Sam waits. She waits for a sound, for movement, and for Jason to come out of the shadows.
Searching through the dark, Sam spots them. Someone struggles to get to his feet, using the body below him as an anchor, he rises from the ground and pointing the gun at the other. With his finger on the trigger, he stares at the ground.
Taking a deep breath, focusing rise and fall of her chest, unsure of which man it is, Sam slowly points the gun at the shadow.
“Come on, just a little further,” Sam mumbles under the weight of a half-conscious Jason. Trekking through the woods, Sam tries to find her way back to the truck before a wounded Jason passes out.
The woods are pitch black, the light from the stars offer no assistance. Darkness surrounds everything.
Struggling to keep his weight off Sam, Jason stumbles forward, crashing into the ground. “Sam, you have to go.”
Dropping to be on the same level as Jason, Sam struggles to get Jason to his feet. She pulls him up and yanks on his arm. She pleads and begs with him. “I’m not leaving you.” Finally, she kneels in front of him, eyeing him down. “Jason, Jason look at me.” Sam grabs his face. “I need you. Our kids need you!”
Perking up, staring into her eyes, “Our kids.” Jason’s eyes fill with tears.
“Yes, Jason, our kids. You are their father.” Sam caresses his face. “Jason Morgan has always been their father.”
Resting in this moment, Jason takes Sam’s words in, letting the drown him in happiness.
Fighting through the pain, Jason smiles and takes Sam in. Even in complete darkness, her beauty shines through.
Coughing up blood, Jason looks deep into Sam. “ Get our kids and get out of here.” Pushing at Sam, “I’m not going to make it.” Jason is adamant in his advance against her.
Pushing his hand away and grabbing him by the face, “I’m not leaving you.” Sam kisses Jason tightly. She kisses him hard as if she was trying to force her strength into him. “I just got you back. Do you really think I’m going to lose you now?”
Shaking his head no, Jason beams at Sam. His love for her overpowers him. Thrusting him off his knees and back onto his feet.
“I know you don’t like asking for help, but Jason you have to let me help you.” Assisting Jason back on his feet, Sam slings his arm over her shoulder and forces him forward. The weight of him is too much but she doesn’t let Jason know. She bears it and keeps pushing them before forward.
“I’ve never had a problem with help especially coming from you.” Jason tries to laugh through the pain but he grabs his side instead.
“Sweet talk me later, we have kids we have to get!” Sam laughs for both of them.
Touching a mark on the tree, Sam veers left, “See, the truck is right there. See we did it.”
“All I see is how amazing you are,” Jason states as he falls forward on his knees. He only kept going because of her. He only made it this far because of her. He drew off her strength. He let her willpower fuel him. Gripping his side, trying to stop the bleeding, Jason is thankful for Sam.
“Sam!” Jason strains trying to lift himself.
Placing her lips to his forward head, “Stop you did amazing. I’ll bring the truck to you. Just rest.” Sam turns and bolts for the truck.
Trekking through the woods towards the truck, Sam prays her kids are fine. She prays that Jason is fine. She prays for her family to be whole and safe. Slowing her stride as she approaches the truck, Sam grabs her leg. The pain of her injury is slowly creeping in. Steps before reaching the truck, Sam panics as a car comes speeding towards her; lighting up the woods, destroying the peace it holds.
“Sam!” Jason bounds forward trying to lift himself off the ground, trying to get to his family.
Stopping in her tracks as the light hits her, Sam looks from the truck to Jason and back again making eye contact with Jason, before bolting to the truck. Stepping on a rock, Sam loses her footing and goes down hard as the door to the car flies open.
“Gracious Greetings Fair Samantha. Did someone call for backup?” Spinelli steps from the humming car and heads towards Sam.
Shielding her face from the light. Sam’s eyes try to adjust to the light “Spinelli, is that you?” Slowly rising from the ground, she runs to embrace Spinelli and immediately begins to cry in his arms.
Pulling herself away, Sam stares at Spinelli. “How did you find us? How are you here?”
“Jason called but didn’t say anything. I knew you both needed me to come expeditiously.”
“But how? How did you find us?” Sam asks.
“I tracked Jason’s phone.”
Pulling Spinelli back into an embrace, Sam presses all her weight into him and breathes a sigh of relief. “Of course you tracked his phone.” Sam laughs.
As the adrenaline fades from Sam’s body, she falls deeper into Spinelli, finally feeling the weight of her injuries. Resting for a moment on the warmth of Spinelli, Sam takes a moment to gather herself. She feels saved now that Spinelli is here.
Standing there with Sam in his arms, Spinelli has many questions. He sees the bullet-riddled truck and the blood dripping from Sam’s side. He sees the blood all over Sam’s shirt and hands. “Samantha, I don’t mean to be intrusive, but what happened out here? Where is Jason? Where are the kids?”
Ripping herself from Spinelli, Sam leaps for the truck. “The kids.” The adrenaline rushed back into her body and she’s a fierce momma bear again.
Ripping the door to the truck wide open, Sam grabs a sleeping Scout. “No time to talk about it. Jason is really hurt. We need to get him and the kids out of here.” Making herself one with Scout, Sam kisses her all over as she fusses and rubs the sleep from her eyes.
“Where is he? How hurt is really hurt?” Looking out into the woods, Spinelli spins around in circles panicking about Jason. His head rushes with blood and he can’t think straight. The thought of losing Jason again pounds in Spinelli’s head like the beat to a song.
“Where is he? Is he alive?” Spinelli screams, bolting for the open woods.
“Spinelli, snap out of it. I need you, the kids need you. Jason isn’t far. Kids first, then Jason.” Cradling Scout in her arms, Sam commands Spinelli, stopping him in his tracks.
Looking from the woods to the truck, Spinelli grapples with his decision. He wants to help Sam, but he fears he is losing Jason just as he has gotten him back. Rocking back and forth, Spinelli doesn’t know what to do with himself.
“Spinelli, get Danny! Now!” Sam snaps.
“Okay!” Spinelli sulks. “What happened? How did Jason get hurt? How did you get hurt?” Spinelli walks back towards the truck. He wants answers. He wants to understand how the night turned into them all being trapped in the woods with a hurt Jason, a bleeding Sam, and two scared kids.
“Spinelli, I will tell you everything, after we get the kids and Jason and are on our way home.” Placing Scout in the back of Spinelli’s car, “Now, will you get Danny?” Sam shoots Spinelli a look as she wraps a seat belt around Scout.
Sinking into himself, Spinelli feels the scold in Sam’s look. Opening the car door, Spinelli jumps.
A bullet hit the ground near Sam’s feet.
Looking through the car door at Sam, “Was that a gunshot?” Spinelli questions her.
A bullet hits the headlight of the car, darken the woods just a little. Spinning around, knocking the door closed with her hip, Sam takes cover at the tail of the car.
Another shot rings out, shattering the back window of the truck.
Ripping a barely awake Danny from the truck, Spinelli runs to the front of the truck. “Him who?” Spinelli huffs.
“The imposter, the guy pretending to be Jason. THE TWIN.” Sam reaches for Danny.
“Come here baby,” Sam calls for Danny.
Clinging to Spinelli, Danny shakes his head no. He’s scared. He doesn’t want to move. He wants to be home in his bed. He wants to have never come out here. He hates camping.
“Danny, it’s okay. Come to Mommy. I wanna get you out of here. I want to take you home.” Sam waves for Danny to come to her.
Slowly letting go of Spinelli, Danny looks at Sam with tears in his eye. “Mommy!”
“Yes baby, come here.”
Taking small steps towards Sam, Danny moves cautiously towards her.
Another shot rings out, hitting the tree between the truck and the car.
Leaping into Sam’s arms, Danny shakes with fear.
“It’s okay Bud, I got you.” Pressing Danny tight to her chest, Sam brushes the matted down hair from his forehead before littering him with kisses.
“Sam,” Jason screams from the woods.
Struggling to get on his feet, Jason clings to a tree. He fights through the pain trying to reach the gun in his waistband. Gripping his finger around the trigger, Jason whip the gun out and waits for the next shot.
“We’re okay, Jason. Stay where you are,” Sam yells out into woods.
“Jason,” Spinelli whispers to himself. Lifting himself off the ground, Spinelli bolts towards the sound of Jason’s voice.
Falling to the ground, Spinelli shakes with fear.
“Spinelli, where are you going? I need you to take the kids out of here.” Sliding over to the passenger door, Sam opens it to act as a shield. “Get over here.” Sam snaps.
“What about Jason?” Spinelli yells.
Jason hits the tree Drew is leaning against causing him to scramble into the darkness. Wrapping himself around the tree, Jason feels the kickback from the gun resonates through his body.
“There, that was Jason.” Lifting Danny off the ground, Sam spins around the door and shoves him in the front seat and closes the door. “Put your seatbelt on, please.” Shaking his head, pounding on the window, Danny cries for his mom.
“That was Jason’s gun. Now, get over here and get my kids out of here.” Placing her hand against the window, Sam tries not to break down as Danny pounds on the window and cries.
Whispering Mommy loves you, Sam slowly moves her hand off the window and heads for the other side of the car as Danny follows; climbing over to the driver’s side.
Jumping up at the sound of his name, Spinelli takes off towards the driver’s side of the car.
Opening the car door, pushing Danny back, Sam shoves Spinelli in the driver seat, shuts the door and runs for the truck. “Go!” She screams.
Rolling down the window, What about you? What about Jason? I can’t leave you out here.” Spinelli restarts the engine to the car. Frightened to his core, Danny climbs in the back of the car, wrapping himself around Scout.
Cradling herself with the truck, “Spinelli, go! I need you to get my kids out of here.” Sam peeks around the truck to look deep into the wood. “I’ll get Jason. We will be okay if we know our kids are safe.”
Hesitating, Spinelli stares at Sam through the window; communicating words with his eyes that his mouth can’t.
Tilting her head sideways, Sam understands. “Just go, Spinelli.”
Putting the car in drive, Spinelli steps on the gas, launching them forward into the night.
A bullet hit the back tail light, shattering it.
“Ahhhh” The darkness lets out a howl to the wind.
Risking everything, Sam runs into the darkness. “Jason!”
Feeling the sting of a bullet, Sam goes down.
“Jason!” Sam screams as Jason’s whole body jerks at the sight of her falling. He reaches out to her, cursing at his inability and failure to save her.
Hugging the tree, trying to gain his strength, Jason digs his feet into the ground, inhales all the air he can and takes off after Sam. His heartbeat in his ears. Adrenaline fuels his legs. He gets two steps from the tree when he sees him. Drew. Raising his arm, closing one eye, Jason lines up his shot. He watches Drew dart towards a lifeless Sam. Moving his arm slightly to the right, exhaling all the air from his lungs, Jason squeezes the trigger.
Drew spins, his body releasing a thud that brings the trees to life as he hits the ground.
Struggling to stay on his feet as blood pours from his side, Jason takes off. His determination won’t let him slow down or feel the pain of his fresh wound. Passing Drew drives Jason to dig deeper. Straightening his back, Jason doubles his stride. He needs Sam like he needs air to breathe. Stopping in his tracks at the sight of her, Jason drops to his knees. “Sam, Sam! I’m here. Wake up, Sam. Wake up.” Lifting her off the rock she was resting on, Jason wipes the blood from her head and pulls her close.
“Sam,” Jason whispers as he examines her body for a fresh bullet wound. Touching every inch of her body, Jason finds nothing but a scrape on her shoulder. Feeling her take a deep breath, “Thank you, thank you!” Jason whispers into Sam. He looks to the sky, “Thank you, God.” He praises the heavens for Sam’s life.
Sinking into the ground, letting his injuries take hold of him, Jason hears a noise coming from the woods. Darting his eyes back and forth, Jason feels the danger tickle the back of his neck. He taps the side of Sam’s face trying to arouse her. “Sam, come on Sam, I need you to wake up for me.” He doesn’t know how bad off Drew is, but he knows he won’t die that easily. He knows Drew wants Sam. And he now can see he will stop at nothing to have her. Watching her head slump to the side, Jason knows what needs to be done.
Wrapping Sam into him, Jason uses every muscle in his body, to lift her. He feels the blood sliding down his side. He feels his life force draining, but his love for Sam and the warmth of her body won’t let him falter. Hoisting her up slightly, Jason falls to one knee. Sam’s dead weight and his fresh, seeping bullet wound, make him weak. His muscles shake uncontrollably. His entire left side is numb.
The woods move around Jason again.
Turning his body to face the noise, Jason sees an opening. He isn’t sure if the darkness is hiding Drew’s body or if he is gone. He doesn’t wait to find out.
He bites his bottom lip, strains every muscle, Jason whips Sam over his shoulder while releasing a low, muffled groan. Jason wants to scream out, but Drew’s presence won’t let him. An unconscious, and hurt Sam won’t let him show weakness. Finally making it onto both feet, Jason fights the darkness obstructing his vision. He knows he doesn’t have much time, he has to get as far as he can before it’s too late for him and for Sam.
Filling his lungs with all the cold air they will allow, Jason stumbles a few feet. He slightly turns in the direction he thinks the cabin is and takes a few more steps into the darkness. He struggles a few more steps before the weight of everything comes crashing down on him. Jason falls to the ground losing Sam’s lifeless body in the process. She rolls away from him as his body crumbles to the floor of the woods.
Reaching for Sam, Jason fights to get to her as the darkness takes hold of him.
Sam awakens to dew on her skin and a chill in her bones.
Groggy, she feels the cold, damp ground beneath her. Gathering the dirt within her fingers, Sam flashes back to her kids, and to the sound of gunfire. She remembers the sting of the bullet and the feel of the rock striking her head. Touching fresh blood, Sam tries to lift herself. “Jason?” Feeling the weight of the world pound the top of her head, Sam lays back down, wiping the new blood from her hands and rolling onto her side.
Feeling something warm, Sam opens her eyes. The moonlight hits a pale, motionless Jason and panic grips her body jerking her forward. Crawling towards him, she feels the sting of her leg. “Jason, Jason. Please be awake.” Pushing through the pain, Sam grabs Jason’s lifeless face.
Placing his head on her lap, Sam notices the white fog coming from her mouth. She also sees Jason doesn’t have the same white cloud coming from his. “Jason!” Sam cries while shaking his head from side to side. She feels a familiar tug gripping at her heart. Closing her eyes as tears stream down her face, Sam remembers the night she lost Jason. She feels the cold enveloping her body, reminding her of the frigid water she jumped in on her mission to save him. She chokes on despair as the words Jason is gone rings through her ears. She feels the cold, wet figurine stabbing her hand as she grips it for dear life.
“You can’t do this to me. Not again. I just got you back.” Slowly taking her shaking hand from Jason’s face, Sam places her two fingers against Jason’s neck and waits. She waits for the jump in his neck. She waits to feel his heart beating through his neck. Nothing. Her fingers don’t move. Jason doesn’t jump.
Pressing her fingers deeper, touching her forehead to his, “Jason, please Jason. Don’t do this.” Sam cries. Tears roll down her face, splashing Jason. “I need you. I won’t survive this time. I won’t survive losing you again.” Sam shivers from the inside out. She’s colder inside than out.
Placing Jason’s head on the ground, Sam curls up next to him, putting her head right on his heart.
Sam waits and listens.
Sam waits for his head to rise as Jason’s lungs fill with air. She waits to hear the pounding of his heart, but all she hears is the wind whistling in the trees.
Sam lay with Jason crying silently. They are accessories to the backdrop of the woods. Two stiff trees joined by their roots.
Shaking off the cold, Sam pulls at Jason. “No, this isn’t it. This isn’t how it ends.”
Slowly moving her hand from his heart and lifting herself off the ground, Sam talks to herself. “I have to stop this bleeding.” Turning, Sam searches the woods. She doesn’t know what she’s looking for or what will help him, but she knows something, anything, must be done.
Taking a few steps away from Jason, Sam looks back to make sure he’s still there. She takes a few more steps and checks again. She’s so worried about Jason she’s not even looking for anything.” We are getting out of here, Jason. Both of us. Together.” Stumbling over a rock, Sam crashes into a cluster of yarrow plants. “You have to be kidding me.” Sam laughs to herself. Wrapping her hands around a handful of the plants, Sam pops to her feet and wobbles to Jason.
“Jason, you won’t believe what I found.” Sam crashes to the ground next to Jason ungracefully.
“I didn’t even know these grew here.” Grabbing Jason’s head, Sam pulls him into her lap.
“These plants will stop your bleeding. I would use these all the time when I would salvage.” Sam crushes the plant in one hand, and she lifts Jason’s shirt with the other. Blood comes spewing from his side.
Sam cringes at the sight of Jason’s wound.
Taking a deep breath, she plunges the leaves of the flower into Jason’s side.
“Fuck!!!!!” Jason lets out a low moan.
“Yesss.” Sam caresses Jason’s face. “I knew now just as I knew, then you wouldn’t leave me without a fight.”
Lowering her mouth to be parallel to with Jason’s ear, “Just hold on baby. I got you. I got us.” Sam whispers as she presses her hand deeper into Jason’s side.
Sam sits with her hand deeply pressed into Jason’s side until the blood stops pouring through her fingers. She watches him. His lip twitches as insects buzz around his face. She thinks she sees his eyes moving under his eyelids. She knows his chest is moving and that’s enough for now.
“Now that I know you’re going to be okay, I have to leave you. I have to find us help.” Sam whispers to Jason, slowly looking up to the sky. “The north star is south of us, which means I have to go north.” Sam places Jason’s head back on the ground and stands ups. “I have to go, I don’t want to leave you.” Sam grabs two handfuls of yarrow plants, crush some in one hand and gently place the leaves on her leg. Sam bites her bottom lip as the plants make contact with her skin.
“I think we’re close to the cabin. And, I’m hoping my cell phone is still there. Or something that can help us.” Sam places more leaves and flowers on Jason’s side. “I know you don’t want me going out there by myself without knowing where he is, but I don’t have a choice. You’ll die if I don’t at least try.” Sam kisses Jason long and hard on his lips as a tear escapes her eye. “I love you, Jason Morgan.”
Standing up, looking to the sky, Sam finds the North Star. She positions herself in the direction of the cabin, digs her feet into the ground, but she can’t move. She looks back down at Jason. She watches the color slowly re-enter his body. She watches his chest rise and fall. She loved seeing Jason like this. Relaxed and peaceful, but he’s not, he’s dying. Remembering what needs to be done, Sam takes one step forward, and another then another until she’s running at full speed.
The wind picks up as it chases Sam through the trees. The cold wraps around her, threatening to derail her, but Sam shakes it off and keeps running. She lets the fire in her chest warm her, and the light from the stars lead her. She doesn’t let up until she sees lights in the distance. Slowing her stride, the cabin is the only thing visible as the darkness of night blankets the entire woods.
The front door is still open, pouring light into the darkness. Sam stands next to a tree and watches for movement or any signs of life. She’s watching for Drew.
“Sam?” Jason jolts up, grunting and breathing heavily through the pain. “Ahh! Sam.” He pushed himself into a sitting position as pain engulfs his entire left side. Blinking hard, Jason cuts his eyes through the darkness trying to locate Sam. “SAM!”
Jason rolls onto his knees and tries to lift himself, “Ahhhh!” Jason yells out as his feet firmly planet on the ground. Feeling the toll the blood loss has taken on his body, Jason grips the nearest tree as all the blood from his head rushes into the rest of his body, leaving him shaken. He fights through the pain, and the blackness creeping into his vision. Steadily, Jason touches his wound. He expects to find a dirty, bloody mess when his fingers brush flowers. Snapping his fingers back, Jason raises his shirt and looks at his wound since receiving it. He sees dirt, leaves, yellow flowers painted in blood, stems that seem to protrude from his body, but most of all he sees dried blood not fresh.
Jason begins to pick the flower away from his skin when he realizes it is what’s stopping the bleeding. Slowly bending over to collect the fallen leaves and stems, Jason presses it back into his skin, lowers his shirt, and leaves his hand there applying pressure to the bloodstained yellow flowers. Moving his attention to his feet, Jason barely lifts his left foot off the ground. Scraping his foot against Earth’s floor, Jason loses his balance, catching himself on a nearby tree. “Sam?”
“Sam? Sam, if you’re out here let me know. Say something. SAM!” Jason screams into the darkness. Leaving his bloody handprint as he goes, Jason moves from tree to tree, screaming Sam’s name.
Seeing the light in the distance, Jason tries to move faster, but blood begins to drain from his side again. He stumbles, catching himself on a tree, hugging it tightly. Fighting impending doom, Jason can feel the cold freezing him from within. He can feel the blood seeping from his side. He can feel death scratching at his back. Shaking those thoughts, he tries to keep moving. He tries to take another step, a step that leaves him hugging the ground instead of a tree. He works with everything in him to keep moving, to find Sam, but he can’t.
He has nothing left.
“Sam?” Jason asks to the night as he sees someone approaching him as darkness swallows him whole yet again
“Sam, SAM!” Jolting up, blinking his eyes hard trying to focus on the brightness of his surroundings, Jason searches for her. Pressing his hand under him, Jason balls the sheets of the bed in his hand. He picks at his chest and plays with the hospital gown that draping his body. He’s confused. The last thing he remembers was the darkness, and the sound of the gun going off. Closing his eyes, seeing the bullet hit Sam’s body, hearing the thud that rang through the woods when Sam hit the ground, Jason fights the memories flooding his body.
“Sam” Gripping the side of the bed with his left hand, and cradling his pounding head in his right hand, Jason’s eyes burn under the harsh, dull florescent lights. He ignores the weakness in his body, and rips the cords attached to his chest off; he peels the blanket off his legs, swinging them over the bed and placing his feet on the cold checkered tiled floor. A memory hits his body. Jason remembers the trees, the feel of his feet scraping the ground, the cold wind against his skin. A wave of goosebumps shower Jason’s body as the cold settles in him. Still ignoring the signs from his body, Jason struggles to move. He feels the bandages wrapped around him. He feels the dampness from his leaking wound. He can even hear Sam’s voice telling him to stay in bed. He knows that what he should do but he can’t stop moving. Something inside of him can not rest not knowing where Sam is. Something inside of him is pushing him forward. Something inside of him is telling him to find Sam. Focusing all his energy on his bag of clothes on the other side of the room, Jason places his right foot in front of him. Being deliberate in how he places his foot, grinding his teeth, and shifting some of his weight to be braced on the nightstand, Jason grunts through the pain.
Using every object in his pathway to help him cross the short distance from the bed to the chair, Jason fights his body instincts to shut down. He blinks his eyes hard, bites his lips and focuses on the last time he saw Sam. Anything to keep him moving forward.
“Hey, what are you doing out of bed?” A women’s voice comes echoing into Jason’s ears.
“Sam? Where’s Sam?” Jason grunts through his teeth. Now holding onto his IV bag pole, Jason doesn’t want to turn his attention to Carly. He doesn’t want to put his weight on her. He doesn’t want Carly. “Is Sam here too?” Jason tries to blink the fuzziness from his eyes. “Let’s get you to the bed,” Carly whispers through tight lips. Shrugging away from Carly, gripping the pole hard, and blinking the sweat from his eyelashes, Jason does the one thing he had been avoiding since Carly’s voice came barreling into his sense; He turns his focus from his bag of clothes to Carly.
Bulging his eyes out of his sockets, “Tell me.” Pulling Carly down with him, Jason’s knees hit the ground as Carly’s silhouette burns the edges of his vision.
Wrapping Sam into him, Jason uses every muscle in his body, to lift her. He feels the blood sliding down his side. He feels his life force draining, but his love for Sam and the warmth of her body won’t let him falter. Hoisting her up slightly, Jason falls to one knee. Sam’s dead weight and his fresh, seeping bullet wound, make him weak. His muscles shake uncontrollably. His entire left side is numb.
The woods move around Jason again.
Turning his body to face the noise, Jason sees an opening. He isn’t sure if the darkness is hiding Drew’s body or if he is gone. He doesn’t wait to find out.
He bites his bottom lip, strains every muscle, Jason whips Sam over his shoulder while releasing a low, muffled groan. Jason wants to scream out, but Drew’s presence won’t let him. An unconscious, and hurt Sam won’t let him show weakness. Finally making it onto both feet, Jason fights the darkness obstructing his vision. He knows he doesn’t have much time, he knows he has to get as far as he can before it’s too late for him and for Sam.
Filling his lungs with all the cold air they will allow, Jason stumbles a few feet. He slightly turns in the direction he thinks the cabin is and takes a few more steps into the darkness. He struggles a few more steps before the weight of everything comes crashing down on him. Jason falls to the ground losing Sam’s lifeless body in the process. She rolls away from him as his body crumbles the floor of the woods.
Reaching for Sam, Jason fights to get to her as the darkness takes hold of him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fighting the blankets wrapped around his body, “Sam, wake up!” Jason screams.
Wrapping her hand into his, and pushing his body back onto the bed, “Jason, it okay. You’re okay.” Carly soothes him.
Taking deep, long labor breathes, “They have her.” Jason lets the scenery of the small hospital room seep into him. He rests his head back onto the pillow and closes his eyes.
Strapped to a stand-up metal bed, Jason can smell the seawater. He can hear the waves crashing against the rocks. He can feel the tubes coming from his arms. He’s awake and he is not alone. A tall, slender, dark man stands in the corner hoovered over a computer. He’s new. The last doctor was an old Greek man, and the man before that was a black American. Jason notes every time he awakens there is a new player in the game for his life. Pushing against the straps around his body, Jason plans his escape. He has waited. He has waited, he doesn’t know how long but he knows this is his time. He can feel her. He knows this is the moment. This is his moment to be free again.
Lowering his eyes, Jason concentrates.
Two ways out, he thinks. The main door ahead of him, or the side door the doctor keeps coming from. The doctor has entered and exited twice through that door without realizing Jason was awake. Jason notes the doctors focus on his task and only his task. Fixating his focus on the front door, Jason feels like it’s his only way out. He watches it, stalks it with his eyes as he slowly applies force to his restraints. He learned the last time he was awake, that the bolts connecting the bed to the straps were weak, and loosen at the source. He knew it was only a matter of time before they would pop.
So, he slowly rocks, being patience for the moment he is free. He thinks about it, plans it out. He knows where he needs the doctor to be before he attacks. He knows what he will use to take the doctor out. The room was filled with weapons but he knows there’s a 9mm in the desk by the window. He saw it the last two times he was awake. Finally taking his eyes off the front door, Jason looks to the desk as the door swing opens and she swings through his peripheral view.
Feeling the beat of his heart, and the tremble in his hand, Jason fights the full-body restraints, “Sam?” Jason screams her name. “That was Sam. Why is she here? What are you doing to her? Sam!”
“Why is he up here? And most importantly why is he awake?” Slamming the down behind him, Henrick screams at a doctor.
Jason’s heart drops into his stomach, as his focus shifts from escape to rescue.
“I didn’t know he was awake” The doctor looks from Henrick to Jason. “And the power outage ruined his sample. We have to get another one if you want your sick plan against your father to work.” The doctor moves over to a clear cabinet and opens it with the key from his pocket.
“Now is not the time.” Henrick moves over to the desk, grabs the gun and tucks it into his backside.
No one ever takes the gun from the drawer. They check it, maybe take it out the drawer and put it on top of the desk but they never take it away from the desk. A change in plans, Jason thinks. Take out Henrick, then the doctor. Or hit him with the chair, or cut him with the scalpel. Jason’s mind races with different scenarios.
“This is the only time. It is now or never.” The doctor plunges a needle into Jason’s arm. “Bring the girl now. We do it and we’re done. I owe you nothing after this.”
Pacing the room, “What now? Too many people. Control. Can’t be seen. You’re in control. Valentine is here. Nikolas is, his mother. Too many.” Henrick talks to himself.
“Does Drew know we have her?” Henrick stops pacing, spins around and questions the doctor.
“He was the one that knocked her out. He stayed with the others. Your plan is working. Now decide! He will be ready for extraction and the twin ensured me the girl is primed and ready.” The doctor plunges another needle into Jason’s arms.
Fighting the needle this time, Jason knows what that needle is for. He knows he only has seconds before the darkness takes hold. Blinking long and slow, trying to keep his head up and alert, Jason fights to remember everything. He fights to hear everything they are saying.
“We can’t bring her in until he is out. Everything is about control.” Henrick’s words enter Jason’s mind as darkness falls upon him.
Fighting the restraints, Jason feels his freedom. He swings his arm up and around, ripping the needle out of his arm and he opens his eyes. “Where is Sam?” He grabs the male nurse by neck and squeezes. “Where is she? She was just here. A man was carrying her.” Jason shakes the scared nurse.
The nurse claws at Jason’s arms as his feet barely scrap the hospital floor. The nurse fights for life while Jason’s grip tightens. His eyes bulge, drool slips from his mouth and sweat from his body threatens to loosen Jason’s grip.
I’ve been moved, Jason thinks. Noting the hospital gown and all the monitors in the room Jason knows he’s never been here. They are somewhere new, and this is a new development. He thinks is Sam here? And how much time has passed since he last saw that glimpse of her? Trying to move, Jason uses the hand not wrapped around the man’s neck to lift them both up but his newly stitched side has different plans. Feeling a pain that wasn’t there when he initially woke up, Jason glides his hand over his wound.
Winching, “What did you do to me?” Jason visualizes all the complications this development presents. Jason throws the lifeless man to the ground, swing his feet off the bed and stand up. He grabs his side and concentrates on the hospital door. He doesn’t know how long he has been out this time, he never knows when he wakes up. All he cares to know about is the freedom that lies on the other side of that door. Sam is on the other side of that door. He thinks.
Bracing himself against the bed, every step Jason takes drains him but he fights.
Jason reaches the end of the bed when the door flies open.
Jason can’t see who it is, his vision blurs with every step he takes but he can see them looking at the man on the ground and he can hear the screams for help that are coming from his mouth.
Now or never Jason thinks as he charges the man. He stumbles a few steps and crashes into someone’s arms.
“Tell me where she is?” Jason whisper before passing out.
Shooting his body straight up, “Sam?” Jason is alert.
Darkness surrounds him.
Feeling the cold tickle his toes, Jason wiggles them back to life. He feels the warmth creep up his feet and into his legs. He feels his heartbeat strong and steady, he remembers the dark figure.
Darting his eyes through the darkness, Jason only sees trees and a little light from the cabin.
A figure interrupts the peace of the woods with a loud howl.
Feeling the sting of the bullet, Drew spins around to witness Sam bolting deeper into the cabin. Popping up on his toes, kicking up dirt, Drew takes off after Sam. He ignores the pain from the gunshot. His anger and passion fuel him.
Frantic, Sam runs to the back doors, snatches it open and runs into the darkness. Her only thought is Jason. He’s unarmed and hurt. She refuses to let anyone take him from her again.
Running past the bathroom window, scooping Danny’s backpack without letting up, Sam doesn’t look back. She knows Drew is coming. It’s exactly what she wants. He was her problem, she started this, and it was her obligation to end it. She reaches the side of the house, slowing her movement slightly. She peeks around the house but the darkness blankets everything. She sees nothing but stars in the trees.
Slowly inching around the corner of the house, Sam takes off again. She doesn’t slow down when she reaches the front of the house. She picks up the speed and runs straight into the trees. She circles around, slowing her speed while looking for Jason and Drew.
“Jason!” Sam whispers.
Spotting Jason’s feet in front of her, “I’m here! Jason!” Sam pounces him. Jumping on top of him, Sam tries really hard to make their bodies one with each other and one with the woods.
“Sam?” Jason groans.
“Shh, he’s out there.” Sam sees him.
Drew stands in the light of the cabin, inflamed. His neck budges, and blood drips from his arm. The veins pulsate from his neck and all the blood is in his face. His fist rest at his side and his chest is pointed to the sky.
“You agreed to be mine” Drew grunts. “You said you’d be mine forever, you promised me!”
Burying her head low, Sam presses herself deeper into Jason, and never takes her eyes off of Drew.
“SAM! Sam, I know you’re out there.” Drew screams.
Sam lowers herself to Jason’s chest and feels his arms wrap around her. She lets his warmth calm her body.
“You both won’t make it out of these woods alive.” Drew laughs. “Come out Sam if you want your precious Jason to live.” Drew passes the front of the cabin, heading towards the opening in the woods.
Listening to Jason’s heart, Sam feels it speed up. She pries her head from Jason’s heart and looks for Drew. She lost him when he left the front porch.
“I know he’s hurt. I shot him. And I saw the blood that leads here.” Screaming, Drew inches closer and closer to Jason and Sam.
“Jason!” Drew laughs and grabs Sam with both arms.
Throwing his arms up to find they are paralyzed at his side, Jason panics.
“He’s awake.” A voice Jason recognizes but he can’t place. His vision is blurred and fuzzy. He can see images. At least 3 hovering over him but he can’t make them out. Blinking his eyes hard, Jason fights his arm restraints. He’s not in the full-body restraints anymore. These new restraints are too low and only on his arms.
“Jason?” Someone touches his arm. Jerking his head in the direction of the voice, Carly’s face comes in clear.
“Give him a second, Carly. Let the man breathe.” Sonny’s voice hits the other side of Jason’s face.
“Don’t tell me how to take care of my best friend. And I was just seeing if he was truly awake this time.” Carly snarls her teeth.
“His eyes are open, aren’t they? He’s trying to get out, isn’t he? Give him a second to gather himself.” Sonny flashes his smile.
Jason looks past Carly, drowning their bickering out. He only sees her.
Opening his hand, “Sam?” Jason reaches for her.
Across the room, Sam lays peaceful in an adjacent bed. She hooked up to monitors that let Jason know her heart is beating strong. She has a bandage wrapped around her head, it’s the only notable wound because she is draped in fresh white blankets. Her skin is full of color, and her chest rises at a consistent rate. She’s here. She’s okay, Jason thinks as he closes his eyes and welcomes the darkness.
The sea air tickles Jason’s nose. Blinking the drugs out of his eyes, Jason looks over at her but she’s not the same. The bandage around her head is gone, there is no monitor tracking her strong heartbeat, and she isn’t draped in clean white sheets. She has on a hospital gown, with her legs in the air and she strapped to the metal bed.
Looking around the room, “Sam?” Jason whispers and fights his resistance loose but they don’t move like before. He’s on a different bed. He’s on an actual bed. He balls the sheets in his hand, and settle his body into the thick mat under him. He looks around noticing they are alone.
Allowing himself more freedom to look around, Jason pokes his head off the bed to look at the new resistance locking his feet and arms in place but he doesn’t notice his resistance because he’s naked. At least from the waist down. He’s wearing a hospital gown also.
“Sam?” Jason screams this time as the side door the doctor always enter blast open.
“It’s done? Sam is pregnant?” Drew walks in the side door behind Henrick with the Doctor trailing them both.
Jason lowers his head back on the bed and closes his eyes.
“Yes. In a few weeks, you will have to act surprised when she tells you.” The doctor smiles.
“What if it doesn’t work? Faison said I had to get her pregnant.” Drew walks over to Sam and brushes her hair with his hand.
“Trust me. She is pregnant.”The doctor rolls his eyes at Drew, turns his back and starts cleaning up his work station.
Jason slowly opens his eyes and looks at Sam.
“He dies now? You got to screw over your dad and I get to keep this life without Faison knowing the truth. You’re in complete control. You don’t need Jason anymore. Sam pregnant with my kids is the last piece in the Jason puzzle?” Drew gathers an unconscious Sam in his arms and head for the front door.
“Yes! He can die now.” Henrick states through gritted teeth.
Biting down on his lip, Jason fights his resistance and stares at a lifeless Sam in Drew’s arms.
“What is he doing awake? I thought you drugged him up good.” Henrick jumps back and screams at the doctor.
“I did! He’s too strong.” The doctor sticks a new syringe into a clear jar. “He can fight it. He’s body fights everything we give him. He’s one of the strongest patients I’ve ever dealt with.” The doctor slowly pulls the syringe out and squirts some of the contents into the air.
“What did you do?” Jason fights. “Let her go.” Jason grunt through a closed mouth. Every muscle in his body is bulging as he presses his body against the weakly placed straps; his eyes never leaving Sam.
“Get her out of here.” Henrick barks at Drew. “Give him something before he gets free and kills us all. Henrick runs further away from an enraged Jason.
Busting one of his legs free, Jason watches as the door closes, shielding Sam from his view. “Bring her back.” Jason busts his other leg free.
“Do you want his death to be quick or painful?” The doctor shakes as he slowly approaches a raging Jason.
“He doesn’t die. I’m not done with him.” Henrick cries, cowering in the corner near the desk where the gun usually is.
“But you just said.” The doctor stops in his tracks.
“I said what Drew needed to hear. Jason’s job is far from over. Give him something strong and …”
Interrupting Henrick, “The only thing I can give him his an animal tranquilizer.” The doctor backs away from Jason, who has now freed one of his arms is untying his other.
“What are you doing? Give it to him before he kills us.” Henrick moves towards the side door.
The doctor grabs small tools that resembles a gun and pops a clear jar filled with a clear liquid in it and takes aim. “It could kill him.”
“You said he’s strong. Stronger than anyone you’ve ever seen?” Henrick asks.
Jason is free as the doctor nods his head yes and shake from the inside out.
Feeling his feet underneath him, Jason cracks his neck and lunges at the doctor.
The doctor pulls the trigger, stopping Jason in his tracks.
Pulling the needle from his arm, Jason takes a few more steps before crashing to his knees.
“Give him enough to make sure he sleeps the whole ride to Russia. I can’t have something like this happen while he’s in transport.” Henricks stands up, moves behind Jason’s rocking body and pushes him down.