Chapter 26

Jason left CSF in a daze. Running on automatic, he roared the motorcycle out of town. He rode for miles, for hours. When he returned to Port Charles, darkness had fallen. A detour down the tree lined street was a given.

Lights glowed from the windows. The promise of warmth, love and family hinted all around the house that was definitely a home. A home that AJ made with Keesha and Jason's child. His hands tightened around the handlebars. Air lodged in his throat. Jason hated losing. Inside that two story house with its white picket fence, he'd lost what he wanted most of all.

Eventually, the sight became too much to bear. He relaxed his grip and roared back the way he'd come.

Returning to the penthouse intensified everything. He watched Sonny with Michael. The simple act of a bedtime story reminded Jason that he'd never seen Maya sleep. Did she subconsciously suck her thumb? Did her covers fall off? Did a special toy keep her company as she drifted off to sleep?

A part of him knew that AJ was right. Pushing Keesha away all those years ago was easy, so he did it. He could have taken the time to get to know her. But he didn't want to. The look in her eyes and the strange way his body responded to hers were too hard for him to comprehend back then. Relating to Robin didn't take any effort at all. But that had been a mistake.

"You wanna talk about it?" Sonny descended the staircase and crossed the room to the sofa. As he sat, he watched Jason start a fire. "You're leaving again."

Jason shook his head. "No." He turned from the fireplace and sat on the chair, facing Sonny. "I don't know what I'm doing."

"What's going on?" Sonny's dark gaze held him with an intent stare.

"I found out something about my past." Jason took his time. The words came to him slowly as he fought to keep his emotions in check. "I have a daughter. Jason Quartermaine has a daughter."

Sonny looked toward the fire before he spoke. "Keesha's little girl. Maya, Michael's friend."

Jason swallowed hard. "How did you know?"

Sonny looked at his friend. "It's not hard to do the math."

"Have you always known?" He frowned, sitting up straight. His hands balled into fists.

"I've never thought about it. Not really." Sonny shrugged. "I wondered, but then, I didn't care."

"It crossed your mind," Jason said as he processed his friend's words. "Back then. When I first started working for you."

"Yeah, but she was Jason Quartermaine's past. You didn't want to hear anything about that, so I stayed out of it. AJ married her. She wasn't alone. For all I knew, I could have been wrong about the math. It wasn’t my business."

"What if AJ hadn't married her? Would you have stayed out of it then?"

Sonny shook his head. "Probably not."

"Would you have told me?"

Sonny didn't hesitate. "Probably not."

Shock rippled through Jason. He hadn't expected that. "Why not?"

"You wouldn't have cared."

"That's not true--"

"You were different, Jason. Other than Robin and me, nobody mattered to you. Telling you wouldn't have accomplished a damn thing. If Keesha wanted you to know, she would have told you."

"So she gets to decide."

"You decided for her," Sonny said. "She tried to reach you. You didn't want her."

"What do you know about it?" Jason asked, his eyes narrowed to slits.

"I know enough. I know that's why you and AJ got into that fight. It was because of her, and I know why. He loved her, she loved you, and you didn't give a shit about either of them."

"It's not that simple now."

Sonny released a humorless laugh. "Nothing rarely is. Listen, Jase, you can't go back in time."

Time. The word had no real meaning to Jason. He understood looking at his watch. AM and PM. But that wasn't what Sonny meant. His friend referred to the abstract meaning. The elusive past. Which reminded Jason there was more that needed clarification.

"You considered the baby was mine." Jason watched his friend closely. "Did Robin?"

Sonny looked away. The word rasped from his lips. "Yes."

Jason's jaw clenched. That explained everything.

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