Chapter Three

She awakened safe and snug in the arms of the man she loved. Carly gazed at him, feeling secure and warm. She softly kissed his lips, then pulled away, watching his blue eyes open to gaze upon her in wonder. "Jason, I'm here. It's true. I am home."

"Yes, you are. You're back in my arms."

The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace
Shadows fade into the light
I am by your side
Where love will find you

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love, it never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late
What about now?

Their quiet bonding moment was interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing on the bedside table. Jason reluctantly pulled out of Carly's embrace to answer the phone. "Bobbie, calm down," he said soothingly into the phone. "Carly and the baby are just fine. She got her memory back late last night. She's going to be okay."

"Thank God," Bobbie breathed.

"There's something we need though. Could you watch Michael, our son for a little while? Carly and I have to take care of something really important."

"Of course, Jason. Just bring him by. I'd love to spend some time with my precious grandson," Bobbie replied.

"Is Mama okay?" Carly asked when Jason ended the call.

"She's good. She's just worried about you."

"I feel so bad. I worried everyone."

"It wasn't your fault. It was Edward's."

"Yes. As I told you last night, I had gone to the hospital for a pregnancy test, because I hadn't been feeling well. I suspected I may be pregnant, but I needed to have it confirmed. Well, I found out the happy news that we were in fact having a baby. I couldn't wait to tell you. I had a romantic surprise all planned out for us, but you were late coming home..."

"You went for a walk... and that's when Edward confronted you..."

"That's right. I was walking on the docks and there he was, following me. He said he knew about the baby. He said that you and I weren't fit to raise our baby. He called you a mobster and a hoodlum and he said... he said I was just a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. He said he was getting a court order and when the baby was born, the Quartermaine family would gain custody of our child."

"He had no right to do say those things!"

"Jason, I tripped... and I fell in the water on the docks. I was trying to get to you," Carly said. "I hit my head... I think I was drowning."

"Let's get Michael fed, then we'll drop him off at Bobbie's," Jason said. "After that, we're going to deal with my grandfather."

They worked together to get Michael prepared to visit Bobbie. After having a quick breakfast, they were ready to visit the Quartermaine mansion. "The Quartermaines won't be taking our son, Carly. And they are never interfering in our lives again," Jason promised as he pulled her close and held her against his chest. "From now on, I promise to keep you safe... no matter what it takes."

"It wasn't your fault, Jase. I was wondering though... are we still going to get married?"

"Of course, Carly. I still want to be with you. I searched everywhere for you. I never gave up."

Change the colors of the sky
And open up to
The ways you made me feel alive
The ways I loved you
For all the things that never died
To make it through the night
Love will find you

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late
What about now?

"Are you sure, Jason? Because a lot of time has passed and I understand if you don't feel the same."

Jason caressed Carly's cheek as he gazed into her eyes. "I love you. I never stopped. And I want to get married, just as soon as you are ready."

"You mean it?"

He pulled her close and kissed her deeply. The passion in his kiss was answer enough. He still loved her. It was forever.

After the heated kiss was over, he gently traced her trembling lips with his thumb. "I missed holding you... and kissing you."

She grinned. "I missed it, too. I just didn't know how much until I got my memory back."

"Let's go take care of the Quartermaines. After we are home, we can kiss and hold each other all day long. I never want to let you go again, Carly."

She took his hand as he grabbed the infant carrier's handle which contained their baby son. She reached for the diaper bag and they were off.

Xxxooo

At Bobbie's, Carly hugged her mother tightly. "My sweet baby girl. I am so glad you have your memory back," Bobbie said. "We all missed you so much. I almost lost heart, but not Jason. He never gave up. He knew we'd get you back."

"I am so glad that Michael and I are home where we belong," Carly replied. "I love you, Mama."

"Where are you two off to?" Bobbie asked cheerfully as she extracted her sleeping grandson from his baby seat.

"We are going to pay a visit to the Quartermaines," Jason replied. "Thanks for watching Michael."

"Anytime," Bobbie said. She had a happy smile on her face as she cooed to her infant grandson.

Xxxooo

The Quartermaines were shocked when Jason showed up with Carly. "Son!" Alan exclaimed with happiness. He then stared over at Carly in disbelief.

"You found Carly?" Alan asked in surprise. "Where has she been all this time?"

"Apparently she's been in Albany, New York at a homeless shelter. She was suffering from memory loss, but she has her memory back now," Jason explained. "Where's grandfather? I need to speak to him. NOW."

Jason's voice left no room for argument. By then the foyer was filled with Quartermaines. They had just had breakfast in the elegant dining room. One by one, they entered the foyer, gasping and gawking when they saw Carly was at Jason's side.

"Carly!" Monica said in amazement. "We thought -."

"I was dead?" Carly finished.

Just then Edward entered the room right after Lila who was seated in her wheelchair. "Grandfather," Jason said in a low, menacing tone. "I know what you've done. I know everything..."

"Now wait a minute, Jason," Alan said as he looked at his angry son and then over at his father who looked like he might bolt from the room. "What is going on here?"

"Evidently Grandfather found out about Carly's pregnancy... somehow-."

Monica interrupted before Jason could finish. "Carly had a baby?!"

"Carly and I have a newborn son," Jason said. "And Grandfather threatened to take our baby away. Because of him, Carly slipped on the docks and she hit her head. She NEARLY died!"

"I never meant to hurt her," Edward said defensively. "I was only trying to talk to her when -."

"Don't you LIE!" Carly spoke up. "You said you going to get a court order and you would take our baby away! You had me so upset that I ran. It was foggy on the docks. I didn't see the edge. When I tripped, I fell into the icy water... hit my head."

"Edward!" Lila cried out. "How could you have done such a thing to Jason's future bride? Do you realize that your actions could have cost us our first great-grandchild?"

Edward looked greatly remorseful as Lila scolded him. "I am truly sorry. I don't know what possessed me. I didn't mean to cause you any harm, young lady. I've felt just awful ever since that night. I'm the one who made the 911 call. I thought maybe... maybe they could save you," Edward said to Carly. He hung his head as remembered the incident on the docks.

"If you ever threaten my future wife again, you'll answer to me, old man. Do you hear me?" Jason said harshly. "I love her with all of my heart and every bit of my soul. We're getting married. If any of you here in this house does not like it, then you won't be seeing our son. He doesn't need your dysfunction. Carly and I want to give him a good life. We love him and we're all he needs."

Emily came forward to give her brother a loving hug. Instantly, Jason calmed as he hugged his younger sister. "Can I see the baby?" she asked eagerly.

"Yes, when can we see him?" Monica spoke up.

"Soon," Jason said. "I need to get Carly home. She needs her rest."

He gazed at Carly with love aglow in his brilliant blue eyes. "From now on, all of you better treat Carly with kindness and respect. She has my heart... and I won't tolerate ANYONE trying to come between us."

"Of course, Son," said Alan.

Then he said to Carly, "Welcome to the family."

Once again, Edward was apologizing for his wrongdoings, but Carly and Jason weren't too quick to forgive. It was more than a little tense as they said their goodbyes and left the Quartermaine mansion.

"Carly, are you okay?" Jason asked as soon as they had entered the limo.

"I'm fine, Jason. Just eager to be home. With you," she said as she reached out for his hand. She raised it up to her lips and placed a warm kiss on each of his fingers.

A shudder went through Jason's body. "You don't know how much agony I have been in. I felt like I had lost you. Forever."

Now that we're here
Now that we've come this far
Just hold on
There is nothing to fear
For I am right beside you
For all my life
I am yours

"I am right here, Jase. And I am never leaving your side again. There's nothing that can separate us now. You're stuck with me forever."

He laughed softly. "Then you're stuck with me, too."

"There's no one else I'd rather be 'stuck' with than you," she said with a huge smile. "I love you."

THE END

(Lyrics in this chapter are from "What about Now" by Daughtry)