Chapter 14

Instinct guided Jason's life. He'd learned that other Sonny, his own gut was the absolute only thing he could rely on. Once, he didn't listen to his gut and he made a mistake. Mistakes were often inevitable, but usually, they could be avoided.

Beating the living shit out of AJ would have been a mistake. Jason took AJ's threats and crap without doing what he really wanted--breaking the cue stick across AJ's back. He drew in a deep breath as he removed his helmet and parked his bike. He strode through the iron gates and followed the path he knew so well.

AJ's visit wasn't random. The why of it burned a hole in Jason's mind. No one did anything without reason. Right now, Jason trekked the half mile to Robin's grave for a purpose. He needed to see the tombstone. It reminded him of the past and the many mistakes that he made. Maybe the granite tombstone with its final words that summed up Robin's life would help him put the pieces together.

~*~

"My life is spiraling out of control." Keesha knelt at Mary Mae's grave. She pulled weeds that threatened to grow and fussed over the flowers that were about to bloom. "It's selfish, but I'm glad you're not here to see the mess I've made.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions," she continued, "and I can see it now. Every day, Maya looks more like her father. And her temper isn't quite as pronounced, but it's there. We both know how hotheaded he could be when his ideals were challenged. Oh, Granny Mae, we thought we were doing the right thing. It wasn't my intention to use AJ. I care about and I do love him, butů"

Her words faltered. Sobs overtook her. She tore off her gardening gloves and pressed her balled fists against her eyes. The lie about Maya's paternity seemed effortless at first. But now that Jason's returned and he seemed changed, Keesha doubted its righteousness.

But what could she do? AJ loved Maya as if she were his. Jason wasn't stable enough to be a father--

Don't, her mind screamed. That wasn't true. The care and attention he gave Michael Corinthos belied her reasoning. Jason was a good father and his tie to Maya was strong. The two gravitated toward the other as if Fate demanded they know the truth.

"I can't," she said amid her choked sobs. "So many lives would change. My baby wouldn't understand."

"Keesha?"

The steely edged voice jolted her system. Keesha blinked to clear her vision. Oh, God.

"Jason," she whispered. She slowly rose to her feet. Nervously, she smoothed her hair and wiped her eyes.

"I heard you," he said, moving toward her. "You're crying." He gently brushed the tears from her cheeks.

"I'm fine," she said, her voice hoarse with sadness and longing. Why did he have to choose her most vulnerable moments to impersonate the man she loved? "I miss her," she explained. "The passage of time won't ever change that."

"No, it doesn't." His knuckles brushed her jaw line. He stared intently at her. "It's amazing."

"What is?"

"Your beauty."

His last words were smothered on her lips. The strong hardness of his lips pressed gently on hers. Slowly and thoughtfully, he moved his mouth against her. The touch of his lips sent a shock wave through her entire body. She tried to take in air, but that proved to be a mistake. His tongue traced the outline of her lips before slipping inside. And without her conscious consent, Keesha succumbed.

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