Jason stood there, not daring to move or even to breathe, afraid that if he did, she would disappear like she did in his dreams.
Jessica smiled slightly as she watched Jason. She took a tentative step toward him, the poncho she wore covering her secret. “It’s really me Jason,” she said softly. “It was time for me to come home.”
“I’m glad that you did,” Jason said as he walked closer to her. He wasn’t sure what to do. He knew he wanted to pull her into his arms and hug her, but he didn’t know how she would react to that. Jessica made the choice for him when she closed the small gap between them and threw her arms around his neck.
Jason closed his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her, burying his head in her neck and smelling the sweet scent of vanilla in her hair. They stood on the docks for what seemed like hours in each other’s arms.
Jessica finally pulled back and took Jason’s hand. She led him to a bench and sat, pulling him down beside her. “Jason, before you say anything I want to thank you.”
Jason looked at her, puzzled as to what she meant. “Thank me for what?” he asked.
“I want to thank you for two things. First, I want to thank you for allowing me time to heal and process what happened; for letting me do it on my own and not following me,” she said. When Jason was about to respond, Jessica placed a finger on his lips. “Please, I need to get this all out before you say anything,” she said. At Jason’s silent nod, she continued. “While I was away I went to a therapist who helped me to see that I was not to blame for what happened and that you and my father tried as best as you both could to keep me safe and then to save me. Jason, you risked your life to find me after you were shot, and I can’t even tell you how much that meant to me. I came home because my healing has to continue here. I don’t want to run and hide anymore from what happened. I want to face it head on.” Jessica paused a moment. What she had to say next could possibly determine where things went between them, even though she wasn’t sure herself what she wanted to happen.
Jason watched her. She looked nervous. Like there was something she wanted to say to him and she was not sure how he would react. When she didn’t say anything, he took her hand. “I’m glad that you felt safe enough to come back, but what is the second thing you wanted to thank me for?”
Jessica slowly let out the breath she had been holding and looked down at Jason’s hand over hers. Without saying anything, she used her free hand to lift the poncho from her body and took their joined hands, placing his over her belly. Only when his hand was splayed over the slight roundness there and she heard him pull in a breath did she look up into his blue eyes; eyes that mirrored the ocean she used to spend hours staring at over the last four months.
Jason looked up at her, his eyes wide and watched as Jessica smiled and nodded. “Yes Jason, I’m pregnant. I found out just after I left here. This is the main reason why I came home. I wanted you to know and be a part of our daughter’s life.”
For the first time since she had left, Jason felt a smile coming to his lips. He swallowed past some dryness in this throat before he could speak. “A daughter?” was all he managed to get out.
Smiling, Jessica nodded. She then opened her bag and pulled out the last sonogram picture and handed it to him. Jason took and it looked down at it. He was able to make out the baby’s head and hands. He looked back up at Jessica. “Thank you,” he said.
“For what?” she asked, wiping at the tears that were pooling in her eyes.
“For this,” he said, looking back down at the picture. “For coming home and letting me be a part of her life.”
“I could never keep you away from your child Jason. I know what damage that can cause, having gone through it first hand with my own mother. I have to say though Jason; I don’t know what I want to happen between us. I know I still love you and I always will . . . but I’m still healing and I would hope that you continue to give me time.”
Jason nodded. “I never stopped loving you Jessica, never. And I will wait as long as needed for you.”
Jessica nodded. “I should head back. I’m staying at my father’s for now,” she said as he stood with her. “But I have an appointment with Dr. Meadows at GH tomorrow morning. If you can, I would like you to be there.”
“I will be there with you Jessica,” he said. “How about I walk you home?”
“I have a guard with me. I know things are no better between you and my father Jason and I don’t want to put you in a position where we will all be uncomfortable. How about you meet me at Kelly’s tomorrow morning, about 8am, and then we can go over to GH together,” she suggested. It was her first night back and Jessica knew they would all need time to adjust.
Jason knew she was right. He nodded as he watched her walk to where the guard was waiting. Then he headed back to his penthouse and slept soundly for the first time in a long time.
“Oh . . . My . . . God,” said Carly as she stood in the doorway of Kelly’s the next morning.
Jessica looked up from the newspaper she was looking through before Jason arrived and smiled. “Well, hello to you too, Carly.”
Squealing, Carly ran over to Jessica and threw her arms around her. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming back? Does Lorenzo know? Have you seen Jason yet? And are you pregnant?” Carly asked in a rush of breath and as eyed her friend’s expanding waistline.
“You know, it’s a wonder you never pass out when you talk like that,” said Jessica with a smile as she readjusted herself on her chair after Carly’s hug. “And to answer your many questions, I didn’t tell anyone I was coming back, my father knows I’m here and yes, I saw Jason last night, and I am pregnant with Jason’s baby.”
Carly was actually speechless a moment. Then she plopped down into the chair opposite Jessica. “What did Jason and Lorenzo have to say?” she asked, her eyes open wide as she leaned forward.
“Well, my Dad was honest and said he was not too entirely thrilled with the whole situation, but he said he wasn’t going to fight me on it. He even said that Jason had a right to know he was going to be a father. He’s trying Carly and that means a lot to me. As for Jason, I was really worried how he was going to react to this,” she admitted.
“And . . . ? How did he react? I mean, I know Jason, and I know he would be ecstatic about having his own child . . .” said Carly emphatically.
“Well, I don’t know that I would ever use the word ecstatic to describe the way Jason reacts to something . . . but he was surprised at first, I think, then he was happy about it. He said he understood why I didn’t tell him right away when I found out, but that he wanted to be a big part of this baby’s life. In fact, he’s meeting me here this morning, I have an appointment at GH with Dr. Meadows and Jason wanted to be there.”
“Well, that definitely sounds like Jason,” Carly said with a smile. “And I know that Jason will make a great father, Jessica. So . . . does this mean that you and Jason are getting back together?”
Jessica sighed. “I don’t know Carly. I mean, I still love him and I always will . . . but I still have a lot to process and work through.” Jessica could see that Carly didn’t like her answer, but it was the best that she could give.
“Okay, I understand that Jessica, but now you two have a baby to think of. I think it would be better for all of you for you and Jason to be together,” Carly insisted.
“I am thinking of her Carly, that’s why I’m here. Before I found out that I was pregnant, I was dead set on never coming back here, but that changed Carly. And things can still change. Right now, Jason and I need to work on what we both expect from this relationship. I plan on Jason being a big part of our daughter’s life; I would never keep her from him. But there is still a lot to work through.”
Carly nodded. Although she understood, and had been in the same situation when it came to her children and Sonny, Carly still wanted to see Jason and Jessica happy and with each other.
Shortly after Carly left, Jason arrived and the two headed over to GH. Dr. Meadows was ready for Jessica as soon as she got there and was shown into an exam room. Once settled Dr. Meadows started asking Jessica some questions about how her pregnancy has progressed so far and looked over the information Jessica’s previous doctor had sent over.
“Well Jessica, everything looks good according to your last visit,” said Dr. Meadows as she quickly scanned the chart. “How have you been feeling since your trip and arriving back in town?”
“I was pretty tired after the flight and have been taking it easy for now, but there have been no other changes,” she said.
“Okay, well, let’s see how everything is going here,” Dr. Meadows said as she prepared Jessica for a sonogram. Once everything was ready, the machine was turned on and Jessica turned to look at Jason a moment as the room was filled with the sound of the baby’s heartbeat.
Jason listened in awe to the sound of his daughter’s beating heart. He looked down at Jessica and saw the smile on her face and thought that in that moment, he loved her even more than he would have thought possible.
“Everything looks good here Jessica,” Dr. Meadows said as she hit the button to print the picture. “She’s progressing very nicely. Now, your blood pressure is a little high, but that’s to be expected with all the moving around you have done.”
Jason looked up at the doctor, alarmed. “Is Jessica going to be all right?” he asked.
“Yes, she just needs to take it easy for the next few days and her blood pressure should return to normal.”
“Thank you Dr. Meadows,” Jessica said as she took Jason’s hand to reassure him that she was okay.
“On your way out, make another appointment for next month. But if you feel out of sorts or anything, come and see me right away.”
Jessica nodded and then got cleaned up and dressed and met Jason out in the hall. When she saw the worried look on his face she shook her head. “Jason I’m fine. My last doctor said to expect this due to the traveling, but everything is fine.”
Lorenzo looked up as the door opened and Jessica came in. “How did the appointment go?” he asked standing and walking over to her.
“It was fine. Dr. Meadows said the baby was doing well,” she answered, then she looked at her father. “Okay, look I know you’re concerned about me and all that’s going on Dad, but please don’t start hovering over me, okay? I don’t think I can take it.”
Before Lorenzo could respond, his phone rang and he pulled it out of his pocket. “I’ll be right there,” he said, turning back to Jessica. “I have to go, will you be alright?”
“Of course I will,” said Jessica, trying not to get frustrated.
Lorenzo kissed her on the cheek before heading out the door.
“Finally, some peace and quiet,” Jessica said to the empty room. “So little one, how about some lunch and a nap?” Jessica went into the kitchen and made herself something to eat and then got comfortable on the couch and was soon asleep.
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