Chapter 24

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."

AJ frowned. "Keesha, don't talk like that."

"It's true," she said, pulling her robe tight around her as she sat on the edge of the bed. "We tried to make it work. Our family was finally beginning to be whole and now, it's all over. Jason knows. He won't walk away. He won't pretend Maya isn't his--"

"She isn't."

Keesha's gaze flew to his. Darkness colored his blue orbs to near black. She shuddered. She'd seen that look in his eyes before…right before he flew into a blind rage. "Promise me, you won't… AJ, we could run."

"No." He joined her. His arm closed around her, drawing her to his strength and protection. "We won't run from him. He's not worth it. He has no proof."

"He could demand a DNA test. Maya would know." She choked back a sob. "How could I make her understand?"

"None of this is your fault. Jason turned his back on you."

"He didn't know me."

"He chose not to," AJ said, a brutal reminder. "He willingly hurt and humiliated you. I won't let him get away with it again. He won't destroy our family."

~*~

Destruction wasn't what he was after.

Jason reviewed the news articles of AJ and Keesha's successes online. They made a good couple. CSF grew under their direction. Maya blossomed from their care.

Maya.

His daughter.

Jason sat back and stared blindly at the computer screen. He had a daughter. No more pretending with Michael or wishing for something more. He had it.

He blinked once and clicked once to close out the program. Yeah, he had it. Years ago.

Normally, he didn't dwell on memories, but the new discovery threw the norm out the window.

The memory of Keesha at his bedside haunted his mind. Her brown eyes brimmed with tears. Love for him oozed from her, jarring him. Who was she? A stranger. What did she want from him? The same thing everyone else did. People demanded and craved his attention, his love. Only Robin made no demands on him.

But she knew what Jason Q and Keesha had. Why didn't she tell him?

He was an asshole. He threw Keesha's love back in her face like it was dirt and beneath him. She offered herself to him and he shamed her in return. Even then, a child grew inside her. His child. Their child. Maya.

Years and ignorance had robbed him--them. They were all robbed. He, Keesha and their baby. He was newborn, fresh and clueless. Jason Morgan had no idea what he was throwing away. But Robin did. She taught him so much in those early days. Why didn't she teach him understanding and patience? Why did she let him walk away from the best thing Jason Quartermaine ever knew?

"Why?"

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