Jason is in an accident in Italy. He stumbles upon a cottage and Liz takes him in. He has to learn to depend on others to survive, something he's definitely not use too. Elizabeth has to learn to cope in Jason's world if she's going to make it out alive. Together, they make a pretty good team.
A/N – Okay, I'm posting this today but it will officially start on Monday.
Chapter 1 - Emergency
The unforgiving rain was coming down in sheets as Jason stumbled to the light he saw in the darkness. His vision kept going in and out. He knew that he was in trouble and that if he didn't keep moving, he might not make it. Too quickly he was losing blood and his head was throbbing relentlessly. He wasn't quite sure how long he had been walking, but he knew that if he didn't get off his feet willingly, that his body would undoubtedly make the decision for him.
Someone had ambushed him and left him for dead. It was supposed to be a simple mission. Sonny had sent him to Italy to find out some information on the Bellucci family who were trying to move in on their territory. He was supposed to meet with Maximus but he was forced off the road and had struck a tree. Some gunmen shot at the car and a bullet had hit him. When he had finally managed to get out and kill them, he realized that he had no idea where he was and at some point, he had lost his phone. And now, he was fighting for his life. If he didn't make it to the house he could barely make out in the distance, he knew he was going to die.
Elizabeth was in another world. It was filled with flowers and every color imaginable. Her canvas was filled to the brim with them and she smiled as the painting started to take form. With each stroke of her brush, the picture came to life and she relished her much deserved vacation. Her dad had paid for her to go on a trip as a reward for doing so well in nursing school. It was a graduation gift and Liz was very happy with it. It was in fact, her most favorite gift ever. She would stay for a month before she had to go back to New York. Her grandmother had gotten her a job already in a town called Port Charles where she lived.
Elizabeth had lucked out when she switched her travel itinerary and her seatmate was Milo Giambetti. He was very sweet and was going to visit his father. When he eventually offered for her to stay at the cottage which was on the North end of his father's property, she thought it sounded too good to be true. It was private and a beautiful meadow was just outside her window, which had inspired her new painting. Give her an easel and a brush and she was in heaven. It was her passion. She loved nursing too but art spoke to her soul. Hearing a sound outside, she put down her brush and walked to the door. And as she whipped it open, Jason fell forward and she barely caught him as he collapsed.
"I'm hurt," he said in Italian through gritted teeth.
He repeated it in English as Liz tried to assist him inside. It was awkward, but somehow she managed to support his weight and helped him over to the couch before quickly running into the bathroom and grabbing some towels and the first aid kit.
"Where are you hurt?"
"I'm shot and my vision keeps going in and out," Jason said painfully.
She helped him pull off his jacket and gasped when he lifted up his shirt.
Their eyes met and it was like everything stilled. In that moment, she thought his eyes were the most perfect shade of blue she had ever seen. If he wasn't in such dire need of her help, she would have dashed over to her easel and tried to duplicate it. Transfixed, she watched as Jason's eyes fluttered a few times and Liz was stunned when they suddenly closed and did not reopen.
"No…no…no…," Liz yelled as she tried to apply pressure to his wound.
She jumped up and grabbed her phone and then reapplied the pressure with one hand. "Milo."
"Elizabeth?" he said plopping onto his bed. "What's wrong?"
"I need your help and a doctor," she said frantically.
Milo stood back up. "What happened?"
"Uh, this man came to the door. He was shot and has a head injury. I don't know what to do. He has a gun. I didn't think I should call the police." She was almost panting before she finished speaking.
"I'll be right there. If he moves, shoot him with it," Milo said lethally.
Her eyebrows shot up and then she pulled her hand down and looked at the phone like it had burned her. Chucking it to the side, she used both hands to try and stop his bleeding. "I really loved this couch," she said knowing it was probably going to be ruined.
Ten minutes later, Milo ran into the house. He took in the scene with his gun drawn and then walked over to the couch and when he saw Jason he gasped. "Holy Shit."
"You know him?"
Milo nodded and pulled his phone out and started talking rapidly in Italian before turning back to Liz. "The doctor will be here in a minute along with my father."
"What's his name?" she asked as she switched with Milo and he applied pressure as Liz wiped off Jason's face and felt for his pulse. He was still alive but it was weak.
The door burst open and Maximus came inside followed by a doctor and two guards carrying some equipment.
"How is he?" Maximus asked.
"His pulse is weak. He has lost a lot of blood and he hasn't moved since he lost consciousness earlier," Liz said quickly.
The doctor switched places with Milo.
"I'm Elizabeth. I'm a nurse."
The doctor nodded. "The bullet went through. It really wouldn't be that bad if it hadn't nicked an artery. The bleeding is stopping but he's going to need some blood. Do you know his type?"
Milo shook his head no and pulled out his phone and called Sonny.
"Sonny it's Milo."
"What's wrong?" he asked, shocked by the tone of Milo's voice.
"Jason is hurt. He needs blood. Do you know his type?"
Sonny was completely thrown. "It's O. How bad is it?"
Milo put his hand over the phone. "It's O," he said before moving across the room to finish the phone call.
The doctor nodded. He grabbed the cooler he brought and opened it. "Can you start an IV?"
Liz nodded yes and he gave her some gloves and then handed her what she needed. She quickly got him ready and then grabbed some scissors and cut off Jason's shirt. Together, they got his boots and jeans off.
The doctor started the I.V. and then began to sew Jason up. "He's lucky that the bullet didn't do any permanent damage."
Maximus sighed. "How long will he be out?"
"Elizabeth can you check his head out while I finish up?"
Liz nodded. "He definitely hit his head," she said noting the knot that had formed. "He was complaining about his vision going in and out."
"He probably has a concussion. I can't do anything without a scan. I won't know how bad this is without it."
Maximus got on the phone and began to talk in Italian. He ended the call and looked over at the doctor. "Scanning equipment is on the way."
The doctor spoke to Elizabeth. "You're going to have to take care of him. If he needs to use the bathroom, he'll need help."
"I'm going to put a rotation of guards outside. So, she'll have help," Maximus said.
"Good. See if you can get him to eat some soup once he wakes up. It's important to get his strength up. I'm going to give him an antibiotic shot but he still may get a fever. I'll leave some pills just in case. He'll need two a day. His bandages should also be changed twice; more if he's bleeding through. I'll come back tomorrow evening to see how he is."
He finished up the stitches in the front and put a bandage over the sutures. Jason started to mutter. Milo switched places with Liz as Jason's eyes snapped open. "Milo?"
"Hey, you got lucky and you found a cottage on my father's property."
"What's wrong with me?" Jason asked as his vision blurred and sharpened a few times. It was like trying to focus a lens on a camera.
The doctor spoke up as he checked Jason's eyes. "You were shot in the side. It went through so I just patched you up. No getting up for the next few days unless you need to use the bathroom. I'm giving you some blood and after that some saline. I think you have a concussion. They are bringing me a portable ct scan. You hit your head pretty hard."
Jason tensed up and started to panic when everything went black again. At first he thought he had passed out but he could still hear movement in the room.
"What's wrong?" the doctor asked after seeing his discomfort.
"I—I can't see," he said softly.
The doctor looked up at Maximus right as the door opened and a guard stepped inside with the handheld machine. "We need to sit him up for a minute," the doctor said urgently.
Milo slowly lifted Jason up as the enforcer moaned in pain and sat behind him to hold up his weight so that the doctor could use the scan. Jason was in hell. Between his head and his side he felt like he was going to pass out the pain was so bad.
"Hold on Jason," the doctor said scanning his skull. He looked at the output and then motioned for Milo to lay him back down again.
He studied the results for a few minutes. "It looks like you have some swelling and a blood clot where the nerves of your eyes connect. It could take a while for it to dissolve, but I'd rather see if it will resolve on its own. Our only other option would be surgery."
"So, I'm temporarily blind?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I'll have one of my colleagues review it who is more specialized in this area but it's pretty cut and dry."
Everyone was silent. Jason was stunned. He couldn't protect himself or do his job without his eye sight. Getting shot he could handle but what if he didn't get his sight back?
The doctor gave him something for the pain. "Jason, I'm going to leave some medications that I need you to take. There is a pain pill. Your body needs to relax and heal so I need you to take it steadily for the next few days."
"Okay." Normally, he would fight it but he was in such shock that he agreed.
The doctor stood up and motioned for Elizabeth to follow him to a table where he explained each medication.
Milo leaned over Jason. "Do you need anything?" He couldn't imagine how hard this was for someone like Jason. He was the most feared enforcer in the United States. The man was practically a legend and now he is vulnerable and the blindness could cost him his life.
"No," Jason muttered. He felt completely deflated wishing that this was a dream and that he'd wake up and everything would be back to normal. But there was one problem. He didn't dream.
Maximus motioned for Milo to follow him outside.
"This is really bad. If they come after him, he won't be able to defend himself. I need you to make sure that there are at least two guards on the property at all times. Call Sonny and let him know about the situation. No one can find out about this. If the Bellucci's figure out that Jason is blind, they will try to hit Sonny where it hurts and kill Jason," Maximus said direly.
The Bellucci family was legendary in Northern Italy. Sal, the head of the family, was ruthless along with his two sons Tony and Bruno who were equally feared. There were also two daughters, Marissa and Gabriella. In the last few months, they had decided they wanted to lay down some roots in the United States. They knew Jason's reputation and respected it. However, if they could take him out, Sonny's business would be theirs for the taking and its location was prime property. They weren't afraid of the five families and would force them to do business. They needed the ports and they would have to deal with the Bellucci family in order to use them.
"I understand," Milo said.
"I also don't want to get caught in the middle. If Sal finds out that I am helping Jason, he might turn on us. The last thing I need is a war right now. You think Elizabeth is willing to care for him?" Maximus asked.
"I'll talk to her. She's our best option right now."
"Tell her she will be paid for her time," Maximus said firmly. Jason could be a handful normally, but with the loss of his eyesight, he would probably be a bear.
"Get a message to Sal, without him knowing it's from our organization. Say that I'm still here and I'm coming for you. It will put him on edge and maybe he won't make a move if he knows Jason is alive. We need to buy some time. If he starts a war with Sonny right now, it will be brutal and bloody. I don't want to get involved but we might have too. We have an alliance with Corinthos but we also have one with Sal so we'd have to work behind the scenes," Maximus said before rubbing his face. This whole situation was like a powder keg ready to blow.
The doctor joined them and Maximus walked him back to the car.
Milo walked back inside. "Elizabeth, may I speak to you?"
She nodded and followed Milo onto the porch.
"I know this isn't how you planned for your vacation to go, but are you willing to stay here and help him?"
Liz sighed. "Am I the only one who can do it?"
Frankly, this whole situation was freaking her out. She felt really badly for Jason but she was scared. Milo had withheld some details and she needed answers.
"At this point, yes. We don't want the word getting out that he is hurt."
"Then I'll do it," she said softly, hoping that she didn't regret it later.
"My father said that he'll pay you for your time. There will be two guards around the perimeter of the house and then a few more in the woods. Sonny, Jason's boss, will probably want to send Johnny over. He's Jason best friend," Milo said thinking ahead. It made the most sense at this point. Jason needed people around him that he trusted, especially under the circumstances.
Liz nodded. "I'll need some soup."
"I'll take care of all of that. I won't leave you here alone. Jason trusts me, so, I'll be a part of the guard rotation."
"What's Jason like so I know what I'm dealing with?" Liz asked curiously.
"He's a good guy. He doesn't usually talk much. Part of his skill is that he listens and takes in the environment around him. That should actually help him right now. He's stubborn and he's kind of a loner."
"What does he like to read?"
"Travel books. I'll get you some."
Liz figured she could read to him if all else failed. Jason might have a problem with conversation but she didn't suffer from the same affliction; she could ramble with the best of them. "He'll probably be knocked out for the night."
"I'll be here in the morning. Are you sure you'll be okay?"
"Yes. After he gets up I think we should put him in the bed. He'll be more comfortable.
"I need to ask you something."
Milo sighed. He knew it was coming. "Go ahead."
"I need to know about your family Milo. Why do you have guards at your disposal? I didn't notice any before," Liz said.
"They were here occasionally, but they know how to be discrete. I'm sorry I didn't tell you up front, but my family is in the business. I think you know what I mean. Jason is part of another organization. He's an enforcer."
"What does that mean exactly?" Liz asked suddenly feeling a little nervous.
Milo paused not sure how much he should say. "He protects the head of the organization he works for at all costs."
Liz swallowed hard. "Sonny?"
"I see. Am I in any danger?" Liz asked softly. Considering that fact that a man almost bled out on the couch, she'd be a fool not to ask.
"Right now, no. We'll do everything we can to shield you from it. I guess the question is if you're still willing to do this knowing what you know now," Milo said anxiously awaiting her reply.
Liz thought for a moment. "Jason is hurt. I help people without judgment. It's what I'm trained to do. So, I'll stay."
Milo sighed with relief. "Just because we're in the business doesn't mean we're totally bad Elizabeth. I think you know that. Good night and thank you so much for doing this."
A/N - Let me know what you think! Thanks!