Chapter 63

Monica couldn't keep her eyes off of Jason. He was right there, sitting beside her. When he looked at her, his eyes weren't filled with hostility or resentment. His beautiful blue eyes were filled with compassion and love. God, how she had missed him. Thank You for bringing him back to us, she silently prayed.

"Mom?" Jason asked softly.

Monica blinked at the soft sound of his voice. Another marvel, she thought. No more coldness and distance in his tone of voice. Something else, she had desperately missed. She smiled at him and said, "I'm sorry. What were you saying?"

"I was asking if you thought my chances of getting Keesha back were good," Jason repeated, his eyes were filled with hope as he waited for his mother to say what he wanted to hear.

"I'm not sure," she replied, small frown crinkling her brow.

"Why not? Things aren't good between her and A.J." he said, hoping his words would prompt a reaction from her. They did.

"I'm not your spy, Jason," Monica said with a shake of her head. She stood and looked down at him. Her eyes scolded him as well as loved him.

Jason laughed at her response and took her hand. "I'm sorry about that, but... Even though I know she loves me, I don't know how she feels about A.J. What if she loves him more? I hadn't considered it before, but what if it's true? After our disagreement today, I don't want to take any chances."

"You're asking questions that I can't answer," she said, unable to resist the urge, her hand patted his cheek.

"Would you? If you could?" he asked quietly, his eyes holding hers.

Monica's gaze never wavered as she replied, "No, I wouldn't. I love both my sons, and I refuse to choose between the two of you. I've made that mistake too many times in the past and I won't make it again. A.J. has always felt alienated in our family and I've made a decision to not add to that."

Jason's eyes clouded over as Monica spoke of A.J's place in the family. While they were growing up, Jason had always felt guilty of his status as the Golden Child in their family. He had enjoyed the attention, but he had also felt A.J.'s pain at being left out. With the return of his memory, he had replaced those feelings of guilt with anger. At A.J. He'd lost precious time with his loved ones and he couldn't help but blame A.J. for it.

"Jason?" Monica asked, applying pressure to his hand.

Jason mentally shook himself as he forced his feelings about A.J. to the back of his mind. "Sorry about that. You're right. I shouldn't have asked."

"No, it's okay, but may I offer a bit of advice to you?"

Jason nodded and said, "Sure."

"Talk to her. Whatever you argued about, work it out. If you want to win Keesha's heart, you can't let your pride and ego get in the way. If you love Keesha, let her know. Don't let the last thing she thinks about as she falls asleep be your argument, okay?"

Jason smiled and stood. He pulled Monica into another warm hug and said, "Thanks, Mom. That's the best 'bit of advice' I've ever had."

Monica laughed softly and returned his hug. "You're welcome, my darling son."

Their embrace ended and they headed toward the glass doors. As they waited for the elevator, Monica turned to Jason and said, "So, when will the rest of the family hear the good news?"


The walk from the cafeteria to Keesha's office had been silent. The remainder of their lunch had drifted from her argument with Jason and they had spent the hour catching up on each other's lives. A few days made a big difference they discovered as AJ filled her in on family happenings and Keesha spoke of Gina and her suspicions about Gina's feelings for Tommy. They discovered that despite the present state of their relationship one important hadn't changed...their ability to talk and to listen to each other.

AJ stole a glance at Keesha's face. Her eyes weren't sad like they had been an hour ago. They were serene and he wondered what she was thinking about. He shook the question from his mind as smile came across his face. He was pleased with his sudden whim to surprise her with an invitation to lunch. He was glad that he was able to be there for him when she needed someone to lean on. He didn't rejoice over her argument with Jason, but he couldn't lie to himself and pretend that he wasn't pleased with the outcome. If Jason was stupid enough to get on Keesha's bad side, well, AJ was more than willing to do whatever he could to be the apple of her eye, he chuckled to himself.

The soft sound of A.J.'s laughter caused Keesha to glance at him. She smiled as he looked at her with his sparkling hazel eyes. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing. Everything," he said with a shrug.

"Mm," she said, playfully narrowing her eyes at him. He was pleased as punch with himself, she decided. She had a strong feeling that his little chuckle had something to do with her argument with Jason. She should have been upset with him for his pleasure at Jason's misfortune, but she couldn't summon up that emotion. Looking into his happy eyes warmed her heart and gave her a sense of comfort. Grudgingly, she admitted to herself that it also gave her ego a boost.

When they reached her door, AJ reached for her hand. "Are you sure you're okay now?"

"Yeah, I'm much better now," she said, nodding her head. "Thanks for-"

"Keesha, don't," he said, softly. "You don't have to thank me. I was happy to be here when you needed me. Thank you for leaning on me."

"AJ, I-"

The rest of her words were silenced as AJ lowered his head to capture her lips with a whispery soft kiss. Gently, he brushed his lips across hers until she opened herself to him to deepen the kiss. When her arms wrapped around his waist, he was too far gone to notice.

"Keesha, I... Oh, I'm sorry!"

Keesha gently pushed her hands against AJ's chest. With a flushed face, she turned to see Gina scurrying back down the hallway. She looked back at AJ and with a small smile, she said, "I'll talk to you later, okay?"

AJ took her hand and briefly caressed it as he said, "Okay."

He watched as she went in search of Gina and then, he went in the other direction towards the elevator.

AJ never noticed the solemn figure of his brother who had taken the place he had before. Jason stood still as he watched AJ walk happily to the elevator. His decision to follow Monica's advice had become a pale memory as he remembered the way Keesha responded to AJ's embrace. Doubt crept in and took a hold of his heart. Maybe he'd lost her already. The thought scared him and with downcast eyes, he left his hiding position around the corner and instead of going toward his original destination, Keesha's office, he went home.

Chapter 64

Home Page