Author's Note: History up to March 2001 is as it happened on the show. This story picks up a few months after Jason returned and was hiding out in Elizabeth's studio. Elizabeth is in the middle of the Face of Deception competition with Gia.

Disclaimer: All characters and places belong to ABC Disney/General Hospital, no copyright infringement is intended.


"I can't be here. If Lucky finds out…I, I need to go." Elizabeth paced across his room above Jake's bar as Jason watched, helpless.

"Let me take you home Elizabeth." Jason said softly, making Elizabeth pause mid step.

"I can't get on the back of your motorcycle in this dress." She pointed out, looking down at the elegant black floor length gown that she was still wearing following her disastrous photo shoot for Deception.

"Then let me have one of my guy's take you home. Francis can be here in just a few minutes." Jason said as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket.

"Alright…I guess that would be better then walking back to Kelly's in these heels."

Jason placed the call, telling Francis to get over to Jake's with the car, offering no further explanation on the situation. He then looked over at a nervous Elizabeth who paced to the window and back over and over like a nervous cat. He hated seeing her so on edge and wanted more then anything to make it better, to find a way to ease all of the stress that she was under but he couldn't. Elizabeth was turning herself inside out doing what she thought was best for Lucky rather then focusing on her own happiness.

"Elizabeth, what can I do?" He asked his voice filled with frustration and concern.

"There's nothing you can do Jason, there is nothing anyone can do. Lucky has made it clear that he doesn't want me to see you and I keep telling him that I won't, and then here I am, showing up on your doorstep again. I keep lying to him and I can't take it anymore."

Every muscle in Jason's body tightened at the thought of not seeing Elizabeth any more. "Then tell him the truth, tell him that he is being paranoid and that we are friends."

"How can I do that Jason? He has been through so much. I can't do that, I just have to find the strength to stay away from you."

"Is that what you really want?" He asked, unsure if he actually wanted to hear the answer. She turned and met his gaze, her blue eyes filled with unshed tears.

"It is the last thing I want." At her words Jason crossed the room to her, reaching out, his fingers gently caressing her cheek.

"Doesn't that tell you something?" He asked.

More then anything in the world Elizabeth wanted to throw her arms around Jason and never let go but she couldn't. Lucky needed her to be strong and to put his needs before her own. That was the least that she owed him after everything he'd been through.

"I have to do this Jason…it's what Lucky needs."

With a sigh Jason dropped his hand and stepped back. "I'll walk you downstairs; Francis should be here with the car. I told him to pull up to the delivery door so that no one would see you leave."

"Thank you." She said softly, her voice and her heart both breaking. She gathered her coat, gloves and scarf before walking to the door. Jason pulled open the door and checked the hallway before leading her to the top of the stairs. After making sure that the coast was clear he called up to her. Together they walked down the dim back hallway and out the delivery entrance at the back of the bar.

Jason saw one of Sonny's black cars in the alley and led Elizabeth towards it but stopped short when Rick climbed out from behind the wheel.

"What are you doing here?" He asked his voice cold as ice. Elizabeth knew instantly that something was wrong because of the change in Jason's demeanor. Without taking his eyes off of Rick Jason reached out and closed his hand around Elizabeth's arm to stop and guide her behind him. He cursed himself for not grabbing his gun before coming downstairs.

"You called for a car." Rick replied as if that was explanation enough.

"I called Francis. Where is he?"

"He was indisposed so I told him I'd come."

Jason turned to look at Elizabeth, meeting her confused gaze for a moment. "Elizabeth, go back inside." She looked at him with confusion but didn't argue. The skirt of her dress swished passed Jason's leg as she turned to go back into the bar.

"I don't think so." Rick called out as he moved around the front of the car, his gun aimed at the two of them.

"What are you going to do Rick? Shoot the two of us? Don't you think that will draw unwanted attention from the bar filled with people?"

"You think you're so smart don't you Jason? You don't have a clue!" Rick yelled at him.

Jason shifted to keep himself between Rick and Elizabeth as he waited for an opportunity to disarm the other man. "What don't I know Rick? I know you're working with Sorel, that you've been a traitor to Sonny, a man who trusted you."

Rick's hand faltered for just a moment but then he laughed. "You think knowing that somehow gives you the upper hand? So what? You figured out who the mole was, good for you. You're not going to have the chance to tell anyone else."

"What makes you think I haven't already told Sonny?"

"If Sonny knew I'd already be dead." He had a point. Jason hadn't been able to share the information about Rick working with Sorel with Sonny yet and that delay could cost him and Elizabeth their lives. Jason was determined to make sure that he got Elizabeth out of this safely.

"What do you want Rick?"

"We're going to go for a little ride, get in the car, both of you."

"There is no way in hell that Elizabeth is going anywhere near you. She has nothing to do with this Rick, let her go."

"I'm not leaving you." Elizabeth whispered from behind him.

"I don't think so. Move towards the car Jason, now." Rick looked passed Jason at Elizabeth. "Elizabeth, walk towards me. If you don't, I will shoot Jason where he stands."

"Don't do it Elizabeth. He is bluffing." Jason growled but Elizabeth didn't listen. She stepped out from behind Jason and took two steps towards Rick before Jason grabbed hold of her arm. "Don't do it."

She looked up at him, her eyes pleading. "I won't let him shoot you." She pulled her arm from Jason's grasp and walked towards Rick, who once she was within reach pulled her roughly against his chest.

Elizabeth let out a cry. Jason didn't know if it was from pain or just surprise but either way Rick was a dead man. There were a lot of reasons that Rick was going to die but the fact that he put his hands on Elizabeth had sealed his fate as far as Jason was concerned.

Jason stepped closer, keeping his hands loose at his sides as he glared at Rick.

"Stop right there Jason."

"What do you want Rick?" Jason spat, his contempt for the other man glaringly obvious.

"To live to see tomorrow, to start with." The man said with a huff of humorless laughter. "And I think I've found a way to ensure that will happen, thanks to this sweet thing." Rick glanced down at Elizabeth before meeting Jason's cold stare again. "Elizabeth is coming with me and you are not to try and follow us. Once I am in the clear I will release her."

Jason met Elizabeth's eyes and hoped that she could see reassurance in his eyes. There was no way in hell he was going to let that bastard leave with her.

"Not going to happen Rick. Let Elizabeth go now."

"Do you think I'm stupid? If I let her go now I won't make it out of the parking lot. Not a chance." Rick's grip on Elizabeth tightened as he moved back towards the passenger side door.

Jason moved at the same time, getting a little closer to the two of them but still just out of reach. Elizabeth's terrified expression made his chest tight but he had to put that out of his mind and focus on Rick.

As Rick shifted to reach for the door handle Elizabeth faked stumbling and dropped to the side, pushing Rick further off balance. Jason launched himself at the other man, the two of them landing on the ground in a tangle of swinging limbs. Elizabeth landed hard, knocking the wind out of her momentarily before she was able to scramble back to her feet. She watched in terror as Jason and Rick fought over the gun. Rick groaned as Jason landed a blow to his side.

A shot rang out making Elizabeth scream as both men went still.

"Jason!" Every second felt like an eternity as Elizabeth waited.

After another few moments Jason rolled away from Rick, the gun firmly in his grasp. Elizabeth watched as the red stain of his blood spread rapidly across the white of Rick's dress shirt.

The moment that Jason was on his feet Elizabeth was in his arms. Her body trembled as he held her tightly.

"Jason…are you hurt?"

"No, I'm fine. Are you ok?" He asked as he pulled away enough to look at her and began checking her over.

"I'm fine…" She said, her voice shaking. Her elbow and forearm were scraped up from her fall but otherwise Elizabeth was unhurt. Jason pulled her close again and closed his eyes, just being grateful that she was in one piece. After allowing himself that one moment he pulled away again and looked down at her.

"I have to get you out of here." He said as he pulled his cell phone from his pocket.

"What? Why? Jason, we need to call the police." Jason just looked at her for a moment without answering before dialing his phone.

"Johnny, its Jason. I need you at Jake's, we've got a problem." He paused as he listened to Johnny for a moment before continuing, "yes, now and find Francis. Rick might have done something to him." He glanced over at Elizabeth before adding. "Bring a car and change of clothes for a woman." Another pause. "Then get something of Carly's, just get over here." After hanging up the phone Jason pulled his keys from his pocket and turned to Elizabeth. He pressed the keys into her hand.

"Go back inside and up to my room, lock the door and don't open it for anyone except for me or Sonny, do you understand?"

Her hands shook and Elizabeth looked on the verge of tears but she nodded. "I understand."

Jason couldn't help himself from reaching out and caressing her cheek lightly. "It's ok Elizabeth, you're safe and I will take care of everything."

Elizabeth leaned her face into his palm and closed her eyes for a moment before nodding and stepping back. Without another word she disappeared back into the bar.

Jason watched the door close behind her then turned back to the problem at hand. If he was lucky the gunshot had been muffled enough that no one called it in, if he wasn't then it was quite possible the cops would arrive before they had a chance to dispose of Rick's body. Jason didn't really care about himself but he did not want to involve Elizabeth in this mess any more then she already was.

The sound of approaching sirens told Jason that lady luck hadn't been on his side this time. With a muttered curse he tucked the cleanly wiped down gun in Rick's hand and stood just before multiple cop cars screeched to a halt and Detective Marcus Taggert was climbing out of the car, gun drawn.

"Why am I not surprised to see you Morgan?" He said snidely as he looked around, seeing the body on the ground and Jason the only other person in the alley. Jason simply glared at Taggert, his arms folded over his chest.

One of uniformed officers knelt beside Rick's body and checked for a pulse. When he didn't find one the officer looked up at Taggert and shook his head.

"What happened here anger boy?" Taggert asked as he stopped in front of Jason. When Jason just looked at him, Taggert laughed and shook his head, then looked at another uniform police officer. "Search him."

Jason knew the drill and extended his arms for the search.

"He's clean Detective, no weapon." Taggert looked at Jason, surprise evident in his expression.

"No weapon? Why don't I believe that for a second? I've never known you to walk around unarmed. Where is your gun Morgan?" Jason remained stone faced, just starring back at Taggert.

Taggert looked at one of the uniformed officers. "I want a complete search of the alley. Stay with Mr. Morgan while I head inside and take a look around his room."

At Taggert's statement Jason stepped closer and glared at the other man. "You have no cause to do a search."

"Well, well, well, he speaks. I have plenty of cause, there is a man, dead from a gunshot wound and I find you standing over the body. And now you don't want me to search your room, which peaks my curiosity. What is it that you're afraid I'm going to find anger boy?"

More than anything in the world Jason wanted to punch the smug detective in the face but he knew that was the fastest way to end up in cuffs. Elizabeth needed him to keep his cool. If it wasn't for her Jason would gladly spend the night in a cell for assaulting a police officer.

Taggert could almost feel the tension radiating off of Jason and it made him smile. It was rare that Jason showed any sign that he was affected by Taggert's comments. Taggert called over to one of the uniform officers walking by.

"Keep an eye on Mr. Morgan while I got do a search."

"You have no right Taggert." Jason said, moving towards the Detective.

"Cuff him." Taggert ordered as he stepped back.

"For what? I haven't done a damn thing!" Jason said, his voice rising.

"You're a dangerous man Morgan and for everyone's safety you have to be restrained." Taggert replied a superior smile on his face as the uniform stepped closer.

For a moment Jason considered his options. He could fight back. It wouldn't be that much a challenge to take down the cop and Taggert but the other dozen or so cops between him and the door to Jake's presented a problem. Jason's hands clenched into fists as they were pulled back and he felt the cold metal against his skin. Every instinct he had was to fight and get to Elizabeth to make sure she was safe from Taggert.

Jason did his best to remain calm when all he wanted to do was rail against Taggert. He'd never had any use for the holier than thou detective and tonight was no different. Most of all Jason didn't want that bastard to scare Elizabeth; she had already been through enough tonight because of him.


Taggert walked up the stairs after getting the spare key from the bar manager for Jason's rented room. Taggert would be perfectly within his right to kick the door in but he didn't feel like dealing with the extra paperwork. He slid the key in the lock with one hand, his other holding his service weapon as he stepped into the room.

"Jason, thank…" Elizabeth stopped as she saw the man entering the room was not Jason, but Detective Taggert.

Taggert froze for a moment then looked past Elizabeth Webber, the last person in the world he expected to see in Jason Morgan's room. "Are you alone Elizabeth?" He asked, trying to keep the judgment out of his voice.

"Yes I am." She replied nervously. Taggert stepped further into the room and closed the door behind him, returning his gun to the holster. He took in the appearance of the room which was hardly lived in, the only person items he could even see were a few travel books piled on the small desk. Taggert also looked over Elizabeth who looked completely out of place given the floor length black evening gown that she was wearing that was covered in dirt and torn. Her hair was still up in a fancy style, though a few strands seemed to have fallen out of place.

"Miss Webber, what are you doing in Jason Morgan's room?"

"Jason and I are friends Detective." She answered evasively.

"I understand that, but why are you here? What do you know about what happened outside?" Taggert asked his hands firmly on his hips as he looked at the young woman. When she didn't respond he stepped closer. "Were you out there Elizabeth? Were you in the alley with Jason? Did you see him kill that other man?"

"Detective, I…" As much as Elizabeth wanted to cooperate she knew well that Detective Taggert hated Jason and anything she said, even if she was trying to help Jason Taggert would twist around to make Jason look guilty. "I don't want to answer your questions…"

"You don't have a choice Elizabeth. From the dirt on your dress and that scrape on your arm I think I am safe in assuming you were out in the alley when the murder happened. I can't help you if you don't tell me what happened."

Elizabeth wanted to tell him everything, to tell the truth and explain that the other man was trying to kidnap her and Jason saved her but she knew enough not to talk to the police about any part of Jason's life. "I'm sorry Detective, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything and I want to leave."

"I can't let you do that. If you don't want to talk to me here then we can go downtown but you are not going home."

Elizabeth began to tremble at the idea of being taken downtown by the police for questioning. There was no way that she would be able to keep the fact that she was there from Lucky now.

"So what's it going to be Liz? Do you want to explain to me what you were doing here and answer my questions or are we going downtown."

"I'm sorry Detective, I don't have anything to say." Elizabeth said, her voice soft and trembling as she wiped tears from her eyes.

With a sigh Taggert shook his head sadly. "Have it your way." He pulled his cuffs out from his belt. "Put your hands behind your back Elizabeth."

Her eyes went wide as she looked at Taggert. "Why? Am I being arrested?" She cried, her hands shaking as she felt the cold steel slide against her skin with a click.

Taggert led her from the room, which he turned over to Detective Andy Capelli to search. Taggert kept his hand on Elizabeth's arm, careful of her long gown as he led her downstairs.

Jason watched as Taggert led Elizabeth out the back door of Jake's and towards the cop car that he was currently leaning against. As she came out of the shadows Jason realized that her hands were cuffed behind her back. Self control was not always his strong suit and in that moment Jason wanted to rip Taggert apart with his bare hands. There was no possible reason for Taggert to have handcuffed Elizabeth.

Elizabeth had to fight the urge to run across the alley to Jason. More then anything she needed to feel the safety of his arms around her, feel the warmth of his body seep into hers. She looked away from Jason to Taggert as the detective led her to the cop car to stand beside Jason.

"Look who I found waiting in your room upstairs Morgan. Elizabeth here claims that she doesn't know anything about what happened tonight and refuses to answer any questions. Did you coach her anger boy? Tell her not to talk to the police because you don't want her to implicate you in a murder?" Jason remained stone faced on the outside while he screamed on the inside. "Have it your way Morgan, you both are coming downtown."

"What's the charge?" Jason ground out.

"Murder." Taggert said, a sick satisfaction dripping from his voice. Taggert smiled at Jason before turning to one of the uniforms. "Take Mr. Morgan to the station and put him in the interrogation room. I will be along shortly with Miss Webber.

The uniform officer nodded and opened the door to the police car to put Jason inside. Jason glanced at Elizabeth.

"It's going to be ok Elizabeth." He whispered before the car door shut with a deafening click. Elizabeth had no idea how he could say that but she believed him. That is what Jason did, he made things in her life ok.


Author's Note 2: This is the first chapter of an 18 chapter story. I plan on posting daily updates. Hope you all enjoy it and I welcome feedback, so please review. Thanks!