Prologue- Port Charles, December 1995
Jason's low growl tingled her nerve endings. She loved the tone in his voice. The way it vibrated through her. The need mingled with ecstasy. He was close and so was she. She drove the heels of her feet into his muscled backside. That move sent them both over the edge.
She cried out as their passion overwhelmed them. He crushed her to him, promising to love her forever.
Months later, Keesha remembered that night. The feel of Jason inside of her was a constant memory. Especially with the child growing inside her womb. She looked at the stoic man who stood beside her. He smiled and guilt shook her senses.
"You don't have to do this."
AJ took her hand. "I want to."
"Marrying me because I'm pregnant is so archaic," she said in a hoarse whisper. She looked around the dark décor of the judge's chambers. She always envisioned a church wedding with flowers and family present. In her dreams, the groom was Jason Quartermaine. A lump lodged in her throat. Her Jason was dead and a stranger possessed his body--Jason Morgan. Regardless of the surname, Jason was the biological father of her child. She cringed.
"I know I'm not your first choice," he said, "but it doesn't matter to me. Let me take care of you."
"It's not just me you're marrying…"
His sapphire blue eyes darkened. A faint smile twitched at the corners of his mouth. "I know. Your baby will be my baby, too. We'll be a family, Keesha. In every since of the word." He glanced quickly at his watch. "Judge Landers will be here soon. Don't let her trip be in vain."
"This isn't fair to you," she argued. Ever since Jason's unfortunate accident and her grandmother's untimely death, AJ had been her rock. Justus was too distraught with his loss for her to turn to. As it turns out, she didn't need to rely on her cousin. AJ anticipated her moods and her needs. He gave her what she needed and more. But this--marriage--was too much. It wouldn't be right for her to take that, too.
"If you marry me, no one will know that Jason is the father. He won't know."
She closed her arms protectively around her waist. Jason Morgan's eyes were so cold whenever he looked her. She was a stranger to him, and judging by her attempts to reach him, he wanted her to remain that way. Keesha didn't want to imagine what he'd do if he discovered she carried his child. The accusation in his eyes would break her. And if he told her he didn't care…
"We're friends, Keesha. A marriage based on friendship has a solid chance. I'll love the baby as if it's mine. You'll never have to worry about that."
"I promise I won't drink either," he said, his voice solemn and his eyes sincere. "I'll be good to you."
She was breaking. He'd proven himself to her a million times over. AJ wouldn't hurt her. Not the way Jason Morgan already had.
"Okay, I won't back out." She took his hand. "But you have to promise me that if you ever want out, you'll say so."
"I promise," he said, "but I won't change my mind."
Judge Landers arrived. Ten minutes later, she pronounced them husband and wife.