Chapter 18

Jason fiddled with the piece of paper in front of him. His hand laid next to the phone. Keesha looked over his shoulder, walked over to the sofa, and sat down.

“Don’t do it. She’s not worth it,” she stated.

He turned towards her with a question in his eyes.

“Carly, don’t call her.”

“From one look over my shoulder you knew it was Carly. You’re a good security expert, but not that good.”

“The area code told me what country you were considering dialing and AJ told me she was in the Dominican.”

Jason was about to speak, but he didn’t know what bothered him more. The fact that Keesha spoke to AJ still or that AJ knew where Carly was. “You talk to AJ?”

Keesha picked up a magazine and started flipping through it. “We’ve never lost touch. He was a rock through my father’s illness and death. I consider him to be one of my best friends.”

He was speechless. He hadn’t expected that answer from her. Didn’t she realize who she was talking about?

Seeing his look of disgust, she continued, “You don’t talk to the Quartermaines or any of Jason’s friends because they won’t accept the new you, but yet you do the same thing to AJ. You won’t give the new and improved AJ a chance. He could be just as good of a brother to you as Justus is.”

“AJ is self-destructive and I won’t allow him to take me or anyone I care about down with him.”

“He’s changed,” she said, laying down her magazine.

Jason stared at her in disbelief. This was unbelievable. “Do you remember what he did to me?”

“Yes, just like you, AJ and I live with the accident everyday of our lives.”

“I just don’t want him to suck you back in with his lies.”

Keesha sighed. “Jason, the accident was partly my fault- -

“No, it wasn’t- -“

“Yes, it was. I never should have trusted an addict who was using. I kept AJ’s secret when I shouldn’t have. You should have never gotten in the car with him while he was drinking. We all had equal parts in the accident. We’ve all changed because of it. AJ and I have been able to help each other to accept responsibility for our parts in it. And we accept the new people we’ve become because of it. You should try it.”

Jason studied her face and saw that Keesha was serious. He really didn’t want to think about AJ right now. “How does AJ know where Carly is?”

“Did she ask you to help her with the Sonny situation?”

“You first.”

“She asked AJ to marry her.”

“She did what?” Jason asked, stopping all actions.

“She says she’ll support him in his quest to have his parental rights reinstated. A quest she’s suggested he start. And she’d marry him to show the judge that Michael would have his biological family back together. I’m sure Carly has a good sob story to tell the judge about how she felt forced by Sonny to allow him to adopt Michael.”

“She wouldn’t do that to Sonny.”

“Of course she would. You weren’t there when she made a sober AJ believe he had fallen off the wagon all so he would be thrown off the fact that he could possibly be Michael’s biological father. She’s evil. She’s selfish. You left Robin, who’s no saint herself, to be with a woman who stabbed you in the back by marrying your best friend and making him the father of the child you sacrificed everything to raise. So don’t tell me, she wouldn’t do it. She would do anything to have her way. Look at you, you're contemplating helping her even though you know if you do, you’ll damage your relationship with Sonny. A man who is your mentor, father, brother, boss, and partner. Can I ask you a question?”


“Is the sex that good? Because I can’t figure out any other reason all you men would be bending over backwards for her even after all the betrayals. You can’t forgive your brother, but you can forgive Carly.” Shaking her head, Keesha resumed reading her magazine.

“Is AJ going to help her?”

“Unlike you and Sonny, he’s learned his lesson after his last run in with Carly. So no, he’s not helping her.”

“Then how does he know where she is?”

“Because he’s pretending to go along with her so he can feed information to Dara for Sonny.”

Jason’s eyes widened.

Glancing up, she caught Jason’s shocked expression. ”He believes Michael staying with Sonny is the best thing for the little boy.”

“What is he trying to pull? Is Sonny falling for this?”

Keesha glared at him. “To say you want to have nothing to do with the Quartermaines, you’re acting exactly like them now. He’s not trying to pull anything. He just believes that if he can’t be a part of his son’s life then he can at least offer Michael stability something he won’t get with Carly.”

A selfless AJ. Jason was speechless again. That had been happening a lot lately since Keesha had moved in. She made him think about things he had never thought about before and in ways that he had never envisioned. She frustrated the hell out of him, but in a completely different way then Brenda. It was interesting spending time with a female who was as soft and seemingly innocent as Keesha, yet had a hardened way about her at the same time. His mind screamed that she had done something more than just private security work to obtain this hardened edge. But all the reports he received came up empty.

He would never admit it, but he was having a good time getting to know this Keesha. She brought to life the woman he’d read about in Quartermaine’s journals, yet she was completely different from that woman. She was an anomaly from Robin, Carly, Brenda, Courtney, Emily, Monica, and Lila. Being with her, spending time with her, made him realize what a mistake it would have been had he married Courtney as planned. In some ways, Courtney was the pale imitation of Keesha. He now recognized where Courtney got some of her ways, ideas, even mannerisms from. He realized the Keesha ways that Courtney had were the things he loved most about her. The irony. The woman, in his ignorance that he rejected in the hospital, was the same woman he unknowingly recognized in another and fell in love with.

Ripping up the number Carly gave him, he stood up and headed for the door. “I’ll be back,” he said and walked out of the condo.

Ten minutes later, Jason walked back through the door and put on his jacket. He tossed Keesha her jacket. “Let’s go.”

“Where are we going?” she asked.

“Do you trust me?”

Keesha saw the question in the blue eyes of the man she had once loved with her whole heart and still possibly did. Do you trust me? Slipping on her jacket, she opened the front door and exited the living room.


As the plane took off, Keesha couldn’t resist asking one question. “Please don’t tell me that we’re going to the Dominican Republic.”

Jason gave her the classic Morgan look, revealing nothing yet somehow getting his point across.

She smiled. “I just thought I would check.” Inside, she was dying to know where they were going. But she refused to ask. If this was a lesson in trust then she was going to pass with flying colors. These past few weeks with Jason had been an eye opener. Sometimes glimpses of Jason Quartermaine would appear and this new Jason wouldn’t get angry or upset if she mentioned that to him or tell him how he could be just as infuriating as the Quartermaines. The Jason she met in the hospital would have hated to know those things. She enjoyed spending time with the man of few words. Making the words he did speak that much more important and meaningful. Or, at least, that’s what she was telling herself. She wished he talked a bit more. But she was slowly working on it. She didn’t want him to turn into Amy Vining, but a little more talking wouldn’t kill him.

Jason Morgan was just as well read as her Jason. Though for different reasons. Jason told her to give himself something to do in the hospital, he began reading the newspaper from cover to cover. Upon his release from the hospital, he added the LA Times and Wall Street Journal to his reading list along side the NY Times. And during his solitude nights living above Jake’s, he began reading the encyclopedias. The fiction books Robin brought him held no interest to him. Why would he read about someone else’s imaginary history and life when there were so many real people to read about? So with that logic, he was quite well versed in a multitude of subjects. He also had the driest sense of humor. And to see one of his rare smiles made her whole day.

But as much as she enjoyed learning about him, talking with him, seeing the ferocity with which he loved Emily, Lila, Sonny, Michael, Nia, and even Monica to some extent, she wondered if she could compromise who she was to be with him. If that was even a possibility. Could she betray her best friend? Did she really think she was building a relationship with Jason when she was keeping such a big secret from him? She knew he knew that something was amiss about her background. Her sources told her he had run multiple background checks on her from various ways, trying to find the missing piece of the puzzle. The questions swirling around her head were too much for her to concentrate on now, so she leaned her head against the headrest and went to sleep.


“Are you finally going to tell me where I am?” she asked, as they rode in a dated Chevy.

“I’ll tell you in a second.”

The car came to a stop; Jason got out of the car, and helped her out. He quickly paid the driver.

Keesha took off her brand new shades to get her bearings. As she did a one eighty she noticed the camels. Camels! She was enjoying this playful, surprised filled Jason. Everything from the clothes, shoes, undergarments, make-up, and shades which were awaiting her on the dresser when she awoke this morning. But a camel was never part of the picture.

“Welcome to Tunis,” Jason informed her.

Tunis, he had brought her to Tunis. “And the camels?”

“What,” he grinned, “you haven’t been on a camel ride before?”

She shook her head.

“Well neither have I, so it’ll be a new experience we can share together.”

From the moment she was lifted onto the camel, a smile was cemented on her face. She couldn’t remember the last time she had this much fun. And the picture she got of Jason feeding the camel from his mouth was a classic. She threatened to show it to Sonny, Johnny, and the rest of the guys.

As they sat outside underneath the stars at a candlelit table, they ate their authentic Tunisian food and chatted about the day’s events.

“Why Tunis?” she asked, sipping her wine.

“We needed a new Paris,” he stated simply.

Keesha was shell-shocked. She faltered putting her wine glass back on the table. Jason reached across the table to steady her hand. He kept her hand in his.

“Keesha, these weeks with you have been the best times of my life. You bring pleasure to sitting at home, reading together. I think I loved from the time I put down the first journal about you. I love you, Keesha Ward.”

Once again, Jason had her stunned. What could she say? Those three words were the words she begged God to let her hear one more time as she sat by his bedside praying for him to live. And now here they were. “What about Courtney?”

“We’re over. The minute she left our future together ended. The only things we have in common now are the baby, Sonny, Michael, and Nia.”

She knew he was serious. Once Courtney gave back his ring and left town without talking to him in his mind their relationship was over, never to be resurrected again. He would always welcome Nene into his life, but their intimate relationship was finished.

“Can you handle my lifestyle? Because it can’t change. I left once, but I wouldn’t be allowed a free pass again. And you deserve more than a life on the run, constantly looking over your shoulder, away from your family and friends. Plus I owe it to Sonny to watch his back to the end.”

Playing with her food, Keesha tried to process everything Jason said. It was do or die time. She expected this day to come, but not this quickly. But how could it have not happened this quickly? The connection she once felt with Jason Quartermaine was alive and well. If anything it had grown in intensity as she got to know Jason better. And to be honest, it felt nothing like their old connection. Maybe that was due to their maturity, physically, mentally, and sexually. Although they hadn’t tested their sexual maturity as of yet. They hadn’t shared more than heated glances and quick touches. But they were the most erotic things she had ever experienced. It was exciting and old fashioned, but also incredibly frustrating. Now was the time.

“A better question is can you handle being with an undercover cop who’s on a leave of absence?” she questioned, keeping her gaze focused on his.

“That explains why all my reports on you came back exactly the same. I couldn’t put my finger on it,” he replied, without missing a beat. “If Sonny can fall in love with the woman whose career goal was putting him behind bars for the rest of his life, I can handle being with a former cop. But can you deal with being a former cop living with and loving a man that shares the body and some personality traits of your former lover, who was also once engaged to your best friend and is the father of her baby? Because you’re getting that whole package. And rest assure, once you walk down the street on my arm, Keesha Ward will never be looked at the same again.”

Jason threw his napkin on his plate and stood up. He took her hand and helped her to stand. Then with his blue orbs penetrating her brown ones, he kissed her with a passion she had never experienced before. He was like a brain surgeon with a scalpel during surgery. He hit all the right spots and before she could will her arms to move, it was over and Jason was gone. Leaving her alone to contemplate that kiss and everything else she’d been avoiding since moving in with him and falling in love with him again.