Chapter 5

Keesha's behavior confused Jason, but that didn't come as a surprise. There were many things about her that set Jason on edge.

He lashed out without thinking. Whenever he found himself around her, coherent thought became impossible. He reacted. Sometimes badly. Then, he learned control and the best way to maintain that control was to be still and silent. Unlike everyone else, Keesha wore the truth on her face and in her eyes. Until her gaze connected with his. His presence changed her. It did years ago and that hadn't changed.

With his bike parked at the Harborview Towers garage, Jason walked from Kelly's to the elementary school. His boot heels pounded the concrete sidewalk in a determined stride. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed how people edge away from him. They remembered his past as Sonny's replacement. Jason stiffened and his jaw clenched. During his time away from Port Charles, he'd gotten use to being treated like a regular person. He should have known that the changes in himself would go unrecognized here.

He paused at the gated entrance to the school. Children, with their high-pitched voices and peals of laughter, raced onto the playground. Jason liked to watch the youngsters at play. They were happy and carefree…emotions he never truly felt. Caution covered him like a cloak. Jason shuddered. That was then. This is now.

His gaze followed a tiny figure with red hair. Michael's small legs rushed to the swing. A little girl, a few inches taller, stood nearby beckoning him to her. Jason immediately recognized the child to be Maya. His chest tightened as it often did whenever he saw her, watched her play with the boy whom he loved as his own.

Jason's hand closed around the wrought iron bar. He rested his forehead against the back of his hand. He watched.

Maya waited for Michael to sit. Then, she moved behind the swing and began to carefully push. Her smile tugged Jason deep inside. It found a spot he never knew he had. She was so good to Michael. Always kind. Always a smile on her round, caramel face. A lovely little girl. A miniature version of Keesha--


Beautiful. Headstrong. Generous. Stubborn. Beautiful.

And off limits.

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