Jason knew it would hurt, to see her after all these years, the warmth she used to radiate was no longer there. Everything he loved about her was no longer there for him to see. Her bright smile that could light up a room is replaced with a polite smile that doesn't reach her eyes. The understanding he could usually find in her eyes are replaced with this distant look - almost blank - a look he has perfected over the years. A look he never though he'd see in her eyes.
"I should get inside." her voice pulls him out of his thoughts. "It was nice seeing you."
Nice. If she had cussed him out, told him to go to hell - even shot him in cold blood - it wouldn't have stung as much as that word. Nice. To quote the woman in front of him, nice is the kiss of death. It was something you'd say when you had nothing better to say and you didn't want to say anything mean. Nice. Seeing him was "nice".
"Yeah." Jason shoves his hands into his pockets. "You too."
Elizabeth can feel the faint sense of familiarity as she stands there in front of him, but she's put that part of her life behind her a long time ago. So, instead of inviting him inside, she grants him a polite smile before walking back into her building with her groceries.
Jason watches as she walks away, knowing that it wouldn't get any easier - seeing her around town. Once the door closes behind her, Jason straddles his bike, starting it up and taking off into the night. He doesn't stop for anything, riding till the sun rises over the horizon.
Elizabeth locks the doors behind her once she's in her studio, checking and double checking to make sure the deadbolt was in place. The world had to have a sick sense of humor - thrusting him back into her life on her first night back. She wouldn't think much on it now - she couldn't think much on it.
Her appetite lost to her emotions, Elizabeth puts her groceries away and calls it a night. A long day of lawyers and legalities await her with the morning sun - sleep is desperately needed now more than ever and she hopes it'll take her over the moment her head hits the pillows. A small thank to the heavens for that is exactly what happens and - proof there are small miracles - it was mercifully a dreamless sleep.
"Yeah?" she answers, sleepily, forcing her body into a sitting position.
"I'm calling for Ms. Elizabeth Webber." the voice says formally.
"This is she." Elizabeth sits up abruptly now, knowing her day has begun.
"Good morning, ma'am." the caller greets with a soft tone. "My name is Vivian Walters, I'm with the Carson & Carson Legal Firm. I'm just calling to confirm your appointment for this morning."
"Yes. I haven't forgotten." Elizabeth forces her body off the bed, drudging towards the shower. "I'll be there promptly for the appointment."
"Very well, I'll pass that on to the team." Vivian says in that same tone, the tone that means she pities her. Elizabeth has grown accustomed to that tone - she hates it. "You have a nice day, Ms. Webber."
"You have a nice day, Ms. Webber." Elizabeth says mockingly after she ends the call. Stupid legal firm people.
Elizabeth takes a quick shower, ironing out the wrinkles from the first outfit she pulled out of the luggage, heading straight to the diner for bearable coffee. The coffee at the law firm, here and in San Francisco was horrid - if she's going to deal with lawyers, she needed the good stuff.
"Lizzie?" a familiar voice calls out, making her wish she never walked into the diner. "Lizzie Webber? Oh my gosh, it is you!"
"Emily." Elizabeth puts on her polite smile. "How nice to see you again. How're you doing?"
"Oh, I'm great." Emily smiles brightly. "You look so different...you've really grown up, sweetie."
"I'm older than you,sweetie." Elizabeth thinks to herself, keeping the polite smile on her face. "I'm just here for coffee."
"Right. Well you should come by Spoon Island sometime. Nikolas and I...we're getting married, you know?" Emily points out, showing Elizabeth her ring. "Yeah...anyway, we'd love to have you over. To catch up and whatnot."
"Sure." Elizabeth finally gets to the counter, ordering her coffee and paying for it. "Congratulations, on the marriage thing."
"Thank you!" Emily smiles brightly - as if Elizabeth had given her a lavishing compliment. "Nikolas and I have been together for so long that we figured why not...its not like we're ever going to be with anyone else, right? I mean, we're meant to be together forever."
"It was nice to see you, but I really have to go." Elizabeth takes her coffee from the waitress. "I'll keep your invitation in mind, though."
"You do that." Emily says, watching Elizabeth walk towards the door. "Welcome home."
"Thanks." Elizabeth calls over her shoulder, walking to her car as fast as she can manage, not wanting to see anyone else from her past before she has her first cup of coffee.
Jason unlocks the door to his garage, he had a lot of work ahead of him. When he decided to open up a garage, his best friend Sonny told him he was crazy, but he footed the bill regardless. Sonny had faith in him and Jason had been glad that it panned out. Only he had no idea that all of Port Charles would use his garage as their primary place to get their vehicles detailed and upgraded.
With only three mechanics working the garage, Jason had to put people on wait lists. He hoped they'd take their business to another garage, only for them to assure him that they could wait. So, knowing that the day would be long, he put on a pot of coffee and got to work.
"Hey." Johnny walks into the garage, grabbing one of the hand rags and lifting one of the cars up with the ramp. "You look like crap."
"Thanks." Jason stands up, wiping his hands on his rag. "I hadn't noticed."
"Apparently you haven't looked in a mirror lately." Johnny smirks, locking the car into place. "What's got your panties in a bunch?"
"Liz is back in town." Jason concedes, walking around to start up the truck he's working on. "I saw her last night."
"Ah, miss first love." Johnny remembers the girl vividly. She was a beaut. "How did that go?"
"She was polite." Jason shuts off the engine, walking to the front to close the hood. One down, many more to go. "She said it was nice to see me."
"Ouch." Johnny winced. "That must have stung."
"It sucked." Jason admits, slapping on a sticker to mark that it was fixed and ready for pick up. "Its not like I expected anything else."
"True." Johnny shrugged. "Wanna hit the bars tonight?"
"Yeah." Jason sighed, walking over to the black motorcycle that he just brought in the other day. "I can go for that."
"Who knows, maybe we'll see miss first love there." Johnny laughs when Jason throws him a wrench. "Just saying."
Elizabeth hated lawyers almost as much as she hated the police, but she had to do this. So, she kept her polite smile in place, listened to everything they had to say, signing every dotted line they put in front of her. Sign here. Initial there. Read through this, read that. By the time she was done, Elizabeth wanted to shoot something. Finally done with the signature part of the meeting, Elizabeth took all her copies and put them in her folder.
"Everything will be carried out according to plan." Mitch Carson assures. "All the debts have been paid off and the rest of the funds will be transferred into your account."
"Thank you." Elizabeth stands up, shaking the man's hand. "I appreciate you treating this as a priority."
"Aaron was an important client." Mitch says simply. "We're really, truly sorry for your loss."
"I appreciate that." Elizabeth says, sliding into her coat. "I trust you'll call me with any and all updates?"
"Of course." Don Carson says without hesitation, shaking her hand. "Take care, Ms. Webber."
She was growing real tired of being referred to as Ms. Webber. Its been a constant greeting for that last year. With a tight - polite - smile, Elizabeth walks out of the firm, getting into her car and screaming at the top of her lungs. She hated this. She hated everything about this. Once the pain subsided and she was calm once again, Elizabeth starts up the car and heads back to the safety of her studio. She'll see her grandmother and the rest of her family another day. Now, no, now all she wants is to be home.
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