Back To Good


June 2003

Nurseís Ball

He didnít know what he was doing there. The Ball benefited a worthy cause and of course, he always made sure to contribute. Jason couldnít imagine doing otherwise, but stillÖ This place, this party brought so many memories to mind.

His vision clouded for just a moment as the remembrance took him back to one of the earliest Nurseís Balls. His heart nearly stopped when he accidentally bumped into a brunette in a black and white dress. She was without a doubt one of the most beautiful women heíd ever seen with a smile that captivated him from the first moment he saw her. When she accepted his invitation to dance, he knew heíd be bound to her forever. If only that had been the case.

Bitterness lodged in his throat. It wasnít fair, but nothing in life was. Jason took in a deep breath and blinked. His vision cleared, returning him to the present Nurseís Ball. Again, the same vision in black and white almost stopped his heart. Just standing near the elevator, Keesha waited for her escort to join her. Engaged in conversation, she didnít notice Jason as she and the newcomer to Port Charles swept into the ballroom. But Jason noticed her and couldnít stop himself from staring.

Itís nothing, itís so normal
You just stand there I could say so much
But I donít go there cuz I donít want to
I was thinking if you were lonely
Maybe we could leave here and no one would know
At least not to the point that we would think so

***

The tall, dark-haired man stayed beside Keesha most of the night and strutted around like room with such confidence that Jason couldnít help but wonder how close he and Keesha were. He kept a hand at her waist or on the small of her back, always touching her. Irritation burned inside Jason. He wanted to explode, but he didnít have the right. He gave that right up when he agreed to become the FBIís patsy. Dammit!

Finally, Keeshaís six feet tall appendage extricated himself from her side and moved towards the podium. Ned introduced him as Dr. John Carter formerly of Chicago and then the doctor took control of the microphone. Jason bristled as the doctor expounded on his medical career and how he came to know the compassionate, dedicated Keesha Ward. The doctorís eyes sought out Keeshaís and they shared a smile. Unable to take another moment of this torture, Jason pushed out of his chair and strode out of the room.

The terrace beckoned to him and he obliged. Maybe the fresh air would cool him off and return the sense of equilibrium to him. His hands closed over the railing and squeezed. Closing his eyes, he took a series of deep breaths, and eventually, he began to relax. By the time he returned to the Ball, Emily stood center stage and was singing a duet with Alan. He smiled without realizing it. His little sister always had the effect on him. He was glad that when it came to cutting his ties with everyone, heíd drawn the line with Emily. Back then, she was too young for him to sever their connection. Now, it was his connection to her that grounded him.

***

Everyone here, knows everyone here is thinking about somebody else
Itís best if we all keep it under our heads
I couldnít tell, if anyone here was feeling the way I do
But Iím lonely now, and I donít know how
To get it back to good

From a distance, Jason watched as Keesha introduced Carter around the room. She smiled that wide beautiful smile of hers and Carter made sure to keep his hand on her. Swallowing down the envy that lodged in his throat, he looked away and into the warm, caring eyes of his mother. He forced a bland expression on his face and greeted her. "Monica."

"Hi, Jason," she said, smiling at him. "How are you? I was surprised to see you here this year."

He shrugged. "I always come. Nothing will change that."

Nodding, she said, "I heard that things didn't work out with Elizabeth. I'm sorry about that."

He didn't know what to say to that. Actually, he knew that he should tell her that he was okay and to thank her for his concern, but those words couldn't pass from his lips. Jason Morgan couldn't express gratitude. It wasn't in his make-up to acknowledge human kindness from anyone except from Lily or Emily, and it was one of the things Jason hated the most about his alter ego.

"I guess I should get back to the table," she said, reaching out her hand without actually touching him. "I'm happy to see you're doing well. Take care of yourself, Jason."

"You, too," he said, breaking his granite-like expression to smile for a brief moment.

Monica's eyes glittered like diamonds as she smiled back at him before returning to the Quartermaine table. She didnít say a word, but she didnít have to. Her eyes told him just how much his two words meant to her. If only he could tell her that he still loved her. If only he could call her ĎMomí again. He sighed, turned away and walked straight into Keesha.

***

This donít mean that, you own me
This ainít no good, in fact itís phony as hell
But things worked out just like you wanted too
If you see me out you donít know me
Try to turn your head, try to give me some room
To figure out just what Iím going to do

Automatically, his hands grasped her upper arms lest she stumble. Dark blue eyes met liquid brown orbs that penetrated him straight to his soul. He couldnít move and he couldnít breathe. Time stood still as they simply stared at each other. Silence wrapped around them like a protective bubble.

Then, finally she spoke. "JasonÖ"

His name coming from her lips sounded like the sweetest melody. The husky quality of her voice caressed him gently and left him longing for more. His throat became parched. He swallowed hard, but still no words came. And his fingers so very slowly flexed against her bare flesh. God, she felt good.

In a low murmur, he whispered her name. "Keesha."

She continued to stare at him, searching his eyes for something that Jason couldn't dare to guess. He couldn't let her see the truth, but how he wanted her to. Swallowing hard, he blinked and forced the usual bland expression onto his face. He released her and stepped back. Sadness came over her face before she brushed past him and went back to her doctor friend.

***

And everyone here, hates everyone here for doing just like they do
Itís best if we all keep this quiet instead
And I couldnít tell, why everyone here was doing me like they do
But Iím sorry now, and I donít know how
To get it back to good

So close. He hadn't been that close to her in years. Her relationship with AJ ended abruptly when she moved back to Philadelphia. Upon her return about six months ago, Jason watched her from a distance. The longing for her never eased up and he realized that couldn't keep lying to himself.

A relationship with Elizabeth would never work. Just like the one he had with Robin was doomed to failure. He could only thank God that he hadn't ventured down that road with Carly. He'd come close a few times, but something always held him back. That something was she wasn't right for him anymore than he was right for her. Just like he wouldn't be right for any woman whose name wasn't Keesha Ward.

Taking his time, he returned to his table. Emily and Lucky stopped by for a few minutes. Both were excited about their recent engagement and Jason hoped for nothing but the best for them. They informed him that Elizabeth was doing well in New York and he was genuinely happy for her. She was a talented artist. New York was lucky to have her. When they asked how he was, he gave them a tight smile and a nod. They must have assumed that meant he was fine as they left soon after that.

***

Everyone here, is wondering what itís like to be with somebody else
Everyone hereís to blame,
Everyone here gets caught up in the pleasure of the pain,
Everyone hides shades of shame,
But looking inside weíre the same, weíre the same
And weíre all grown now,
But we donít know how to get it back to good

Lucy Coe stood on stage in nothing but her underwear and Jason sighed with relief. Finally, the end had come and he could safely return to his cocoon. He rose before the other attendees and swiftly made his way to the elevators. The doors swooshed open and he stepped inside. He thought he would make the descent alone, but someone joined him just as the doors closed. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw that it was Keesha and she was alone. She stood with her back to him at first and then, she slowly turned around.

"We meet again," she said, staring into his eyes.

"Yes," he murmured, noncommittal.

"This is awkward," she said after a few moments of silence. "I jumped in here to talk to you alone, but now that we are, I don't know what to say."

"What is there to say?" he questioned, trying desperately to keep hope and interest out of his voice. "Why would you want to talk to me?"

"Because you've changed," she said. "When we bumped into each other, I feltÖ Well, something is different. I can't explain it."

"If you can't explain it, I can't give you an answer." He averted his eyes as he spoke, looking down at his shiny black shoes. Against his permission, his gaze drifted to her shapely legs and slender ankles. He remembered sliding his hands across her body, kissing the arches of her feet, and making her moan with passion. Blood pounded in his ears and his body ached with wanting her. Dammit. After all these years, it shouldn't still hurt this much.

"I think you're lying," she responded in a husky murmur. "You have all the answers."

When Jason's eyes cut to her, he found that her mouth had become slack and looked kissably soft. He wanted to groan, but he held it in. Instead, he grunted a retort. "I have nothing. Not a damn thing."

She shook her head. "That's not true. You have choices. You still do."

"And what's that supposed to mean?"

"You're not happy. I can see it on your face. Do something to change that."

He couldn't believe what she was saying to him. "Why do you care?"

After the way he treated her, how could she possibly still give a damn about him? Was he foolish to hope it meant she still cared? Hell, at this point, would it even matter? Sonny wasn't behind bars, yet and until that happened, Jason wouldn't have a life. Not a real one anyway.

"That's a good question," she choked with emotion. The elevator opened on the first floor of the garage and she stepped out. Without sparing him a backward glance, she said, "Maybe one day, I'll learn how to stop."

Jason's mouth dropped open and he was rendered speechless. The doors closed on her and he made the final descent to the lower level-parking garage alone.

Everyone here, knows everyone here is thinking Ďbout somebody else
Itís best if we all keep this under our heads
I couldnít tell, if anyone here was feeling the way I do
But itís over now, and I donít know how, itís over now
Thereís no getting back to good

["Back to Good" by Matchbox Twenty from their "yourself or somebody like you" CD.]

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