What's So Good About Goodbye by musingonsoaps

Chapter 9

 

"How Can Farewell Be Fair?"

 

Four weeks later and Evangeline and Jax are considered THE established power and fun couple all along the eastern seaboard and beyond. Their comings and goings are photographed; the parties they throw are reported. Jaxís high profile split from his wife and the public revelations of her affair with Nikolas Cassadine put an end to his marriage to Justusís cousin, Emily Quartermaine Cassadine, and puts Evangeline under increasingly intense public scrutiny. Their happy faces are everywhere: television, newspapers, magazines making John withdraw more and more into himself; not sharing his pain with Michael or Eve and no friends to call on for back-up.

Layla and Antonioís ruse had caused RJ to pause long enough to instruct his lawyer to ask for a delay in the hearing giving Van more breathing room to try again to talk sense into both men. Still, she was more than peeved that Antonio had backed her into a corner with client privileges and Van delivered a firmer and more scathing dressing down to him and Layla on her refusal to continue to participate in the scam of their happy family unit.

Arriving back at Vanís condo after lunch she wrapped up relaying the details of her latest discussion bordering on argument with her sister and Antonio, "Jax, Iím not your attorney but I advise you to do what Iím imploring Antonio to do with RJ, share custody for the sake of the child, the only person whoíll end up devastated and recovering for years from the bad decisions of the so-called adults. Now, Iím butting out of your life."

"I donít want you to butt out, participate to the fullest in my life itíll make my mum so very happy. Me too, hey, how about a little Alaska getaway or to the family home in Australia? Lady Jane wants to spend quality time with us while still giving us space for alone, down time and we can keep the media away better in those places, too much rugged, scary terrain for them to try and trespass much. And then after we meet the family obligations we can go to my beach house in Hawaii."

Shaking her head Van starts to laugh; "Now I remember what a whirlwind of activity you are! Well, I could use a short vacation the hounds have been at my heels over you and now that wordís out that youíre raiding BE the reporters are really nipping at my ankles. I know your mom likes me, but that much?"

"Oh yeah, my marriage to Alexis taught us that having a family lawyer in the real sense of the wordís invaluable. Plus you, Alexis and Skye are the only women Iíve brought home that sheís taken to right off, no warm-up needed. No Iím-putting-up-with-you- because-my-sonís-gone-stupid-over-you working her tolerance."

"How is Lady Jane doing without your dad?"

 

"Stoic, sad, lonely, trying to be tough; I assume she and Jerry meet up somewhere in the world that doesnít have extradition treaties. My stupid brother, weíre such a small family to begin with and now with dad dead and Jerry on the run from the law, it really is just me and mumÖand a baby on the way. I guess thatís why more than ever I want the solid, stable relationship with the picket fenceórunning the length of my ranch, but still, it is white. I want the relationship but since my marriages have a shorter life span then insects, Iím beginning to accept that Iím meant to be a single dad."

"Well, youíre not alone lots of men are stepping up and admitting they want the kids, more than they want the spouse. Youíll be a fun dad and Iím sure youíve absorbed a lot of your father so youíll do just fine in the love and understanding department."

"Thanks, that means a lot to me that you think Iíll make a good father. How about spending a quiet evening in tonight; your place or mine?"

Meanwhile John has been wrestling with his conscience and the knowledge that Van wants him to stay away while his heart begs for another chance just to see her alone. He knew she was no longer staying with the Mannings and to his extreme relief heíd found out she wasnít staying with Jax at the Bayberry Inn or in the suite Justus was now keeping at the Palace. Tired of over thinking things he grabs his jacket and heads to her place. Arriving at 35H he knocks timidly, ready to turn and run away, his back is to the door when he hears it open and turns with glad smile to see Hugh Hughes.

Picking his jaw up from the floor John manages to croak "What are you doing at Evangelineís?"

Puzzled Hugh peers at him from behind glasses that Johnís certain are just plain glass to make the ADA look more serious, older and professional, "Youíre on the wrong floor if you want to see Ms. Williamson, sheís moved on up."

"She changed apartments?"

"Yeah, after all that happened she didnít want to come back here so apparently she bought a new unit and sublet this one to me. Sheís in the penthouse."

John just stood staring in shock that he was so out of the loop of Vanís life; he had thought he was keeping discreet but close tabs on her movements. "Uh, thanks, Iíll try the penthouse suites."

"No suites just one and itís hers. But you have to be buzzed up or have the key to the elevator it wonít go to that floor without clearance."

Damn, another barrier for him to get around. Well, he wasnít in law enforcement and a position of authority for nothing. Heading back down to the lobby John crossed over to the doorman, Keith, who knew he frequently came to visit Van and asked to be keyed up to the penthouse.

Ringing the door bell he didnít feel so much like fleeing, he wanted to say things to her and this time he wouldnít let her talk over him. Being a lawyer made her so verbally fast he couldnít compete, heíd shut her up with kisses if sheíd allow him to or at least by firmly telling her to be silent and hear him out. But he wasnít leaving again until they came to a new understanding of one another, no more fumbled attempts.

"Honey, we have company come in Lt. is this business or social?"

Disgusted John was now facing the overly tall Jasper Jax, and wondering who was taller Dennis, Vanís DC ex, or the boisterous Aussie. AND Jax was flashing that famous shit-eating grin at John. The smile of a man that had a place in the universe that used to be Johnís, the same look of smug delight and satisfaction John had noted in every photo of the billionaire playboy with Johnís woman.

"We werenít expecting you, were we love? How did you get up here without being announced? I guess that means this IS police business." Jax stepped back from the door and allowed John entry.

Solemnly Van took in Johnís appearance, "Hello John, what are you doing here?"

Not responding immediately John took in the look of the living room, her purple wall was gone and he wasnít sure which of the many doorways led to the kitchen or the bedroom. The carpet wasnít the one they had sat on and listened to music and laughed low loversí laughter after a steamy romp in her bedroom, a room he had no welcome in now, and couldnít begin to guess at the color or layout. He couldnít move quietly into the room coming in from a late night at work without waking her since he no longer knew where every piece of furniture was placed. Where was the ottoman near the fireplace they had made use of as Van snaked her long legs around his waist as he rocked and bounced her on his lap, his engorged organ filling her, in his head he could clearly hear her pleas for more of him; her sigh of satisfaction as she laid her head on his shoulder after their release. He wasnít at home in this place; this was Evangelineís worldÖ.with Jax or Justus.

"John?"

"Yeah, nice place I didnít know youíd moved until today, actually a few minutes ago. I can understand not wanting to go back after all that happenedÖwith the Killing Club, I mean."

"Yeah, when I heard about Evangelineís place being trashed I didnít want her to go back there so I bought the building. As the landlord I want my tenants to feel safe so we exchanged her old place for the penthouse."

Desperation was overtaking John how the hell would he get her alone? Was Jax living here too? "I just need to talk to you about someÖcases that weíre trying to put to bed at the station and youíre the lawyer of record." He turned to Jax, "police business, we need to speak privately."

"Really? Evangeline?"

"Itís alright Jax, Iíll call you later and weíll firm up dinner plans. When will Justus be back in town, do you know? Iíd like to catch up with him and his life; talk attorney stuff."

"Iíll ask Justus to phone you." Planting a kiss on the top of her head Jax exited, closing the door behind him. Outside the door he flipped open his phone, "Itís Jax, when do I get that more in depth report on John McBain? Good, have it messengered to my suite and itís to be put in my hands directly, no one elseís."

Van looked at John wondering why he was really on her landing and beckoned for him to come down the stairs and into her living room.

"This is beautiful; itís you, different then before but warm, elegant, inviting. Do you like living here? How long have you been here?"

"Oh, I only formally moved in over the weekend, Iím still learning my way around. Jax has always been extravagant. We donít have any cases to discuss John, so why are you really here?"

"Old friends, huh? Him and Justus Ward? I recall you mentioning Justus and your win ratio bets."

"Why are you here, John?"

"I donít know;" he hesitated then spoke in a rush "to see you without the crush of people always around you wanting your attention. Now you have the media tailing you everywhere and I didnít want to talk in public and add to the speculations on your life. How are you? You look really good; youíve put everything behind you, and youíre feeling okay?"

 

He was babbling and he couldnít help it, he didnít want her to throw him out and he couldnít determine what was a safe conversational topic, he just needed to keep talkingóhe had filed away that she had not offered to show him around the placeówhile she studied him in disbelief as if he had grown an extra head or a third eye right in front of her.

"Hey, do you have some coffee brewing I could use a cup."

"Coffee?"

"Yes, if you have some."

"You passed by Carlottaís diner, the Palace, Country Club, gas stations and who knows how many other places to come and ask for a cup of coffee from me? Whatís next John you stop by to borrow some sugar?" Her hands automatically went to lace fingers through her hair and draw up to the top of her head as she gazed at him in frustration and he hoped he still saw longing.

"Iím still looking for that moment when we can really talk; do you want to hear what I have to say for myself?"

"Arenít you sleeping with Natalie?"

Caught off guard John flushed a deep crimson but looked her in the eyes, "I know women hate it when men say this but it is the truth, it means nothing. Sheís justÖ.there. I canít be with the one I want because you donít want me, so Iím with someone who does want me and wonít disturb my lifeís patterns."

Inwardly Van was pleased that this admission didnít send her spirits soaring or make her rock back on her heels; still she knew she was eternally and deeply attracted to John in a way that was far beyond sex. Instinctive mating Justus had once termed these types of blinding attractions that defied all good sense, but it couldnít, didnít matter anymore.

"John this must end,í she said softly and he tried to steel himself for the blow, "just like the song says Ďyouíre someone that I would always choose to love but from now on, youíre only someone that I used to loveí. I wonít take that ride with you anymore, you say youíre not worthy and Iím finally taking you at your word. I warned you that there was not much leeway to come back if you fell into bed with Natalie; anyone but her. Do you still want that coffee?"

"Yes and please put some rat poison in it will you? Just put me out of my misery which is self-inflicted, I know."

They surprised each other with genuine laughter and Van gestured to John to join her as she went to the kitchen for that coffee.