Goes back in time a little and changes things around just a bit. Should be explanatory what's changed.
"You don't have to be here. We can go anywhere."
Run way from everything? Never look back?
Elizabeth yawned so hard that her jaw hurt and her head leaned back, trying to accommodate the action. The movement was enough to shake her out of her memories, as she thought back to that night in the park all those months ago when Jason asked her to go away with him. They had admitted they had feelings for each other and then Lucky attacked Jason and lied about it, and for a moment - just a moment - she had almost believed Lucky. That he hadn't attacked Jason, the enforcer was lying because he was jealous of what they had and wanted to steal Elizabeth away for himself. Then, she remembered. All the months of Lucky's erratic and controlling behavior, and how Jason had stood by and just quietly supported her and helped her how he could. He never asked anything from her, and while she could sense he was confused and a bit frustrated by the way she'd almost kiss him and then turn around and talk about Lucky, he never, never acted the way Lucky would have in that situation.
That was when she realized what Jason was trying to tell her. Lucky was dangerous, and he wasn't the same person he'd been before the fire and Helena rewiring his brain. She was holding onto an illusion, a ghost of the past, and she couldn't keep doing it. She couldn't save Lucky Spencer, despite feeling like she should. Everyone thought she should, that she should just try harder, and save the boy who had once saved her. But she couldn't do it. She was tired, exhausted, hurt and she just wanted to be done with the whole situation.
Jason knew that, and that's why he'd made his offer. It wasn't a particularly eloquent one, or maybe even that stellar of one, but it sounded better than anything she had to look forward to in Port Charles. There she would only be known as either Lucky Spencer's girlfriend, or the girl who had dumped him when he needed her the most. Either way, her identity would always be tied up in Lucky. Out here with Jason, though, she was just Elizabeth Webber. Wanna be artist, traveling companion, and sometimes motorcycle driver. Nobody understood it; her grandmother disapproved, Emily was disappointed, and Lucky and the rest of his family were furious. It was all just a distant memory now as she sat on the back of Jason's bike.
Jason had offered to take her to Italy, but she had declined. Elizabeth told him she wanted to see America, from sea to shining sea, first. She hoped he hadn't sensed that she didn't want to go there, at least not yet. She wasn't ready to see Italy, not with him. Too much was still unresolved between them, and she wasn't prepared emotionally for the experience. They both weren't ready for it.
Despite their declaration in the park and the near kisses, they hadn't really moved forward. Elizabeth, despite claiming she was happy to be gone, still had a lot of baggage to deal with in the aftermath of their exit. Jason had done his best to be patient and supportive, and she was determined to not do anything in regards to him until she could be certain that her heart was truly in it. That she wasn't going to regret, change her mind and want to go back to Port Charles.
Those days had been there, and Jason had actually been on his way to an airport to drop her off at her insistence once. Thankfully she'd changed her mind, and they continued on their travels. They started in one state and drove where they wanted. Saw historic sites, drove down the roads less traveled and just spent the days together. Sometimes they would stay in an area for several days, or even weeks, and sometimes the towns seemed to blur together as they stopped only for gas, food and rest.
This was a period of blurriness. She couldn't even remember what state they were in, let alone what the last town was they'd passed through. Or maybe that was because it was so late and she was so exhausted. They'd been on the road since five, traveling for several hours before stopping for breakfast. They'd stopped at little roadside markers when they felt the desire to stretch their legs, but today it had just been them and the road. And lots of little white stripes of paint. Road signs, lane markers, and countless cars were all mixing together in her mind, and they didn't go away when she closed her eyes.
It was now three in the morning, and even though they'd changed time zones, they'd still been on the road way too long. They needed to find a place to sleep, but there must have been some kind of convention, or fair, or something going on, because every town they passed through all they saw was 'No Vacancy' on every hotel, motel and B&B. It was ridiculous and frustrating, but now it was starting to get dangerous. Because she knew that Jason was getting tired. She was exhausted.
The bike was going slower, a clear sign of Jason's fatigue. He always drove just a little slower when he was tired so that he would be safe, for her. She couldn't spell him on the driving because while she was getting better, she really couldn't drive the bike all by herself. Especially not now when she could barely lift her head off Jason's back. They weren't in a car so they didn't even have the ability to pull into a rest stop, lock the doors and sleep for a few hours. She didn't know what she could do to help Jason stay awake; he wouldn't be able to hear her talking over the roar of the engine and the wind. She felt helpless and near tears with fatigue-fueled emotions.
Lifting her head off Jason's back, she gave it a shake in an attempt to wake herself up. Even if she couldn't necessarily help him, she wasn't going to fall asleep on Jason. She'd keep herself awake so that if he seemed like he was dozing off, or getting hypnotized by the white line and drifting she could alert him. Her eyes watered in the crisp night air and she lifted a hand to rub them wearily. Then, she saw it. The rubbing changed from an exhausted action, to an attempt to clear her eyes.
Rising up above the trees was a small sign. A hotel; some local operation, not part of a chain, was up ahead. And there wasn't a 'no' in front the 'vacancy'.
"Jason!" She shouted and touched his shoulder with just enough pressure to get his attention. A signal they used to communicate with each other due to the constraints of their mode of travel. When he turned his head just enough to let her know he was paying attention to her, she pointed at the sign, even standing slightly on the footrests and leaning against him. "Look!"
She could tell he saw it by the way his body tensed, then relaxed and the bike sped up just a little bit. Salvation was definitely in sight.
Jason Morgan had seen his share of dumps and dives. He'd even been unfortunate enough to sleep in a few of them. He didn't necessarily like it, but he accepted that certain things had to be done in the course of business. And really, as long as he could find a decent place to sleep the following night and wash off the last hotel, he didn't really mind. But standing outside the Ak-Hi-Ho _otel - the M was burnt out - he was balking. He was ready to get back on his motorcycle and keep going.
It wasn't for his sake, it was for Elizabeth's. There was no way he wanted her in a dump like this. He could tell just from the run-down, dilapidated outside that the rooms would be awful. There was no way his conscience would let him get a room here; Elizabeth should never be in a place like this. It's not that they spent the night in five star hotel rooms all the time, but she certainly shouldn't be subjected to something like this. He should have pulled over sooner. He should have bribed someone to give them a room. He should have done anything so that they wouldn't have to stop at 3 in the morning outside a hole in the wall dive because it was becoming too unsafe to continue.
He knew Elizabeth was exhausted. She should have been asleep hours ago. He was tired and knew, realistically, that he couldn't keep going. He wouldn't risk their safety, or lives, by continuing. But there had to be something else.
Just when he was ready to tell Elizabeth that they were going, she stepped up to his side, leaned against him so heavily he knew if he shifted just slightly she'd fall right down onto the graveled parking lot, and sighed, "It's an oasis in the desert. I'm so happy we found it."
They were going to have to stay here. There was no way Elizabeth would be able to continue. So with a reluctant sigh, Jason went inside to secure them a room. Normally they each got their own rooms; it's just the way it was. They weren't ready to deal with the heavy baggage that came from sharing a room, even if it was platonically. Yes, their relationship was progressing from where it had been in Port Charles, he held her hand, wrapped his arm around her waist on occasion and Elizabeth no longer blushed beet red and tried to correct people when they commented on her boyfriend, but he'd only kissed her on the mouth a couple of times. Mostly he kissed her on her cheek, lingering on the soft, delicious skin and getting tantalizingly close to the corners of her mouth, but there still seemed too much awkwardness or uncertainty for anything more.
Tonight, however, in this hotel, there was no way he was sending her off to her own room. He'd get a room with two beds and let the desk clerk think whatever he liked. They'd never see the person again, what did it matter what conclusions the man drew? Elizabeth followed him inside, and headed over towards some pea-soup plastic green chairs to sit down. However, when she saw the five inch moth perched on the wall right where her head would have rested, she altered her course and stood next to a soda machine that was rattling so loudly Jason was tempted to pull the plug on it just to give himself some relief.
"We'd like a room," he said to the overweight night clerk who had a bead of sweat on his upper lip and was looking at Elizabeth like she was the main dish at an all-you-can-eat buffet. "Something with two beds. Doesn't matter what."
"Sorry," the man laughed. "There's one room left, it has a queen."
Jason contemplated bribing the man, offering to compensate whoever they needed to move to free up the room he wanted, but he was honestly too tired to do so. He made one feeble attempt in asking for a rollaway bed and the man laughed all the harder. He signed the registration card, pulled off the cash, didn't even wait for his change, and took the single key attached to a cracked and faded red, plastic diamond key fob and walked over to Elizabeth.
"I've got the key," he said softly, steadying her when she jerked awake.
With his hand at her elbow, he guided her outside, stopped at the bike long enough to grab their bags, and then walked to the first room number 9. He supposed it was their room number 6, since it was in between 5 and 7, but he didn't bother to see if the number swung up to make an actual six. The key fit in the lock and the door swung open and he guided Elizabeth inside while reaching for the light switch. She stopped in the middle of the room, and when he pulled the key out of the door and turned to close it, he realized why she'd frozen in horror. Taking a quick look around, the bags slipped out of Jason's fingers and fell to the floor with a muted thud.
The room was worse than he ever could have imagined.
The first thing Jason noticed was the door didn't fit the doorway. There was a gap between the door and the frame and Jason could see the dark of the night creeping around the edges. He knew in the morning he'd see daylight streaming in. Then he realized there was no safety chain, no deadbolt, the only thing keeping the outside out was a thumb bolt. He was horrified from a safety standpoint. A second scan of the room revealed one rather questionable chair by the wall. Figuring it was better than nothing, he retrieved it and wedged it underneath the doorknob.
That job accomplished, he turned to find Elizabeth standing in the same spot, her head swiveling from side to side as she took in the place.
"I'm sorry," he said as he came to stand beside her. He'd definitely failed her today.
"Well," she attempted with a laugh, "It's certainly not the Ritz."
Elizabeth regretted the words the moment they'd slipped out of her mouth. She'd been attempting to lighten the mood, and all she'd succeeded in doing was making Jason's scowl turn darker. Great. She knew he was already going to hate the place, and now she'd made him feel worse.
It wasn't that she was particularly thrilled about the accommodations, but she didn't hate them as much as she knew Jason was right at this moment. She was so tired that right now, she was glad that there was a horizontal surface available to them that wasn't a hospital bed. Although, it might have been worth it to fake a minor accident just to get to spend the night on some clean hospital linens. But she wasn't going to think about that, or even mention it to Jason right now. She was going to help him come to peace with this situation, if it was the last thing she did.
"I should know," she forged on, forcing lightness into her voice. "You paid for a suite for us in New York City. Sure, this place doesn't have turn down service and I don't get a nice little mint on the pillow, but at this moment, Jason, I don't care."
He sighed and moved away from her. "I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I should have done something sooner so that we wouldn't end up here."
"Jason, stop," she commanded him as she closed the space between them and placed her fingertips against his lips. She was so exhausted she was getting that false high of wakefulness that preceded a stronger crash. For the moment, though, she was going to take it so that she could deal with Jason's self-recriminations. "Honestly, yeah, I'm not thrilled about this place, but I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth and I'm not some spoiled society girl who is going to melt if she doesn't have a Roman tub and bottled water. I'm so tired that all I need at this moment is a place to sleep for a couple of hours, and-"
She swept her arms out to the sides in a wide arc, "This happens to fit the bill tonight."
He sighed again and rubbed the back of his neck. Clearly he was still beating himself up. Impulsively - maybe it was the lack of mental clarity due to extreme fatigue, or maybe it was just stupid recklessness - she grabbed his face and kissed him. It was over before she, or he, even really processed it, but it seemed to shock him out of his stupor.
"Enough," she said forcefully. "There's nothing we can do to change the situation, so let's just deal with it."
He nodded, slowly and mutely, and she felt that at least she'd made a little bit of progress.
"Okay, first things first," she said as she looked down at the carpet. It was a brown shag, and she couldn't tell if the color was by design or from neglect, that was matted and clumped and had several large and interesting stains she didn't even want to think about or contemplate. Sure, she could ask Jason if he thought the rust colored one by the wall was blood, but she'd really rather not go there. Some looked like dried pet stains, some were probably food, and some were clearly burns from cigarettes. She stopped, and gave herself a shake; she wasn't going to think about it. "I am not taking off my shoes until I'm ready to get into bed."
Jason followed her gaze, his mouth twisting with disgust. "Yeah," he strongly agreed. "I wouldn't recommend it."
"Second," she ticked off a mental list. "I have got to go to the bathroom. So, if you'll excuse me."
He nodded his head and she went into the small room located in the corner and peered around the corner before reaching out for the switch. She wasn't going to inadvertently put her hand into something, or onto a bug. Finding the plastic device, and not the stain next to, she flipped on the light and promptly gasped.
"What?" Jason was immediately at her back and peering around her. Probably thought there was a bug, or a rodent, he was going to have to take care of. Instead, he was just assaulted with the same sight she was.
"Oh my..." Elizabeth trailed off on a shudder she couldn't repress. The tile on the floor was cracked and covered with grime. The chipped blue toilet, hummed faintly as water continually ran from a leak somewhere in the fittings. And as she looked at the sink she could see a stalactite of goop hanging from the bottom of the faucet in the sink. Hard water deposits? Or something else?
She twisted slightly to look at Jason over her shoulder and could see her horror reflected in his eyes. "I'll um...I need to go."
"Right," he nodded, looking dubiously at the room. Backing up, he allowed her to close the door.
Once he could no longer see her, she did a full-bodied shudder and quietly gagged. She was tempted to grab some toilet paper and go outside, but she decided not to. She was, however, going to put some paper down on the seat. Not that she actually planned on sitting, she was a woman, she knew how to hover and do her business - never in her life she envy a man more than she did right now - but she wasn't going to take any chances.
Quickly she accomplished her task, and tried not to think too much about the water she was washing her hands with. With an almost desperate need, she flung open the door and rejoined Jason back in the room. "There is no way I'm brushing my teeth with that water," she announced. "I think I've got a bottle of water in my bag, so after I get that the bathroom is all yours."
Jason had never been so happy to be a guy in his life. There were certain advantages, and being able to stand right now, was definitely one of them. As he looked around the bathroom, he agreed with Elizabeth. He wasn't brushing his teeth with that water; he smiled when he saw the bottle sitting on the edge of the sink, she'd left him some water to use. And looking over at the rest of the bathroom, with the rust stains in the tub, the spider webs in the corner and who knew what growing along the grout and shower curtain, he was not taking a shower in the morning. He'd wash off with a water hose at a gas station before he got cleaned up here.
This was a lousy place. Elizabeth was trying to put his mind at ease and get him to stop hating himself for having to stop here, but he couldn't help it. Nobody deserved to sleep here, least of all Elizabeth. The ACLU would call these conditions cruel and unusual punishment in prison, and for once Jason wouldn't think the lawyers were just a waste of breath and space. The place deserved to be condemned.
Quickly washing his hands, he dried them off on his jeans as he stepped back out into the room. Elizabeth was staring at the bed and Jason wondered if it was from disgust or trepidation. He'd first thought about sleeping on the floor, but even he couldn't bring himself to do that. He really hoped that Elizabeth mistook the blood stain against the wall for a water leak; he also didn't want to think about what would have caused the stain and why the carpet hadn't been replaced.
"I, uh...I guess we'll have to share."
Elizabeth twisted her hands together. "Yeah."
"I'll take the side by the wall," he stated.
"Oh, no," she shook her head. "I'm smaller, I'll take it."
"Elizabeth," he said in a tone that indicated he was not going to argue on this, and he wasn't going to give in. "I'll take the wall."
There was no way he was going to let her sleep by the window. Should anyone try to come in the room, they'd have to go over him to get to her.
"Alright, fine," she sighed with a roll of her eyes. She walked over to the bed, looked at the bedspread with its holes, stains and dirt and promptly ripped it off and let it pool on the floor. "There is no way I can sleep under that. At least we have a better possibility of the sheets having been laundered...recently.
"I don't think I want to sleep under the sheet," she admitted. "Is that going to bother you?"
He shook his head, once again in complete agreement with her assessment of the bed linens. He reached for his jacket that he'd set on the luggage rack and offered it to her. "Here, you can put this over you so you don't get cold."
Then he reached into his duffle bag and pulled out two shirts. Walking over to the bed, he slipped them over the pillows as an extra layer of protection against whatever might be lurking in them. When she raised a brow at his action he smirked at her, "Your shirts would probably be a little small, even on these things."
The pillows were pretty much non-existent and when he slipped off his boots and got into bed first, settling in near the wall, he discovered the filling had been almost completely flattened. He folded his pillow in half, just to get a little volume, and also for something to focus on besides Elizabeth getting into bed and settling his jacket over her as she turned on her side to face him. He was a bit startled to look over and see her deep blue eyes looking at him.
"Sorry," she whispered. "I...I always sleep on my right side. Habit, I guess."
Jason shifted in an attempt to distract both of them from the admission and also his lack of response. However, he didn't refrain from commenting. "I think..."
He shifted once more and wearily said, "I think we're sleeping on a foam mattress on top of a board."
One shoulder lifted in a shrug as Elizabeth drew his jacket closer up to her face and he thought he might have seen her smell it. The indrawn breath certainly seemed longer than normal, or even necessary. "I don't...I'm so tired," she said, a yawn splitting her face. "I wouldn't care if it was a concrete slab or a prison cot."
He would, he wanted to say. Especially for her. She should have better than this, but he kept that to himself. She already knew how he felt, and he didn't want to get into another argument over it. She needed her sleep, and even though Jason doubted he'd be getting much rest himself, he could at least take advantage of the ability to stretch out and not have to steer the bike for a few hours.
Turning his head, and rotating his shoulders, he gazed at Elizabeth. Her long lashes were settled against her cheeks, charcoal lines against porcelain. She was so beautiful and his feelings had grown deeper for her every moment they were together, but until she was more settled and sure of her own, he would keep them to himself. He'd offered to take her to Europe, to Italy, and she'd turned him down. She wanted to see America she claimed, and he lived in fear that she would declare that she'd seen enough, she'd had her fun with him, and now she was returning to Lucky. So he would continue to love her in silence, and hope he could remain content to merely be her friend.
Her eyelids fluttered, surprising him and he looked away so he wasn't caught staring at her like a lovesick fool. He didn't want to make her uncomfortable.
"Goodnight, Jason," she said softly, but it echoed in his brain. His gaze flew back to her when he felt her small hand rest lightly on his arm, the touch burning his nerve endings and making him all the more aware of her.
"Goodnight, Elizabeth." His voice was low and gruff and Jason knew that sleep would be a long time coming, if it ever did. Especially when her breathing evened out and her hand remained on his arm.
She woke up after dreaming something was crawling across her. At least, she hoped it was just a dream. After sitting up and looking around, making sure there were no bugs on her or the bed, she collapsed back onto the foam mattress. As Jason's jacket remained pooled around her waist, she remembered she wasn't actually alone. She looked over expecting to find him watching her and was surprised to see he was still asleep.
It was a sign of how exhausted he really was, and had tried to hide from her, that he hadn't sensed and woken up at her movement. Settling back down onto the bed, trying not to wake him, she closed her eyes in an attempt to get some more sleep. But the remnants of her dream remained in her mind, and with the sunlight streaming into the room - good grief the door looked like it was lit in a Sci-Fi movie the way light was pouring in around the edges - she knew it wasn't going to happen. Lifting her wrist to look at her watch, she bit her lip to stifle a groan. It was barely after 7, she'd gotten less than four hours of sleep. No wonder she still felt tired, and Jason was still asleep.
She felt slimy and she was imagining that her scalp itched and it took great effort to remain still so that Jason could continue to get the rest he needed. Gently, ever-so-slowly, she rolled onto her side to face him and her breath caught in her throat. He was so handsome. She'd always thought that, even when she was confused about her feelings for him and Lucky, but after these months of traveling together, she was no longer feeling flushed and embarrassed every time the thought crossed her mind. She didn't just feel friendship towards him, and she didn't just care about him, she...she'd fallen in love with him. He was handsome, inside and out, and she knew he probably had no idea how she felt.
Maybe it was because she was still tired and her normal guard, that she had tried not to have between them but hadn't fully banished, wasn't in effect, or maybe it was easier to admit these feelings to herself when he was asleep and had no idea he was under such intense scrutiny. But watching him now, as he slept, and looked vulnerable yet strong, at peace but still with an edge, she found herself drawn to him more than she already was. He had given her the chance to find herself, and had stood back and simply let it happen. Regardless of if she'd chosen to walk away from him. He'd never pressured her, never tried to influence her...something that Lucky wouldn't have done in his situation. And it made Elizabeth love Jason all the more. Because he gave her what she needed most, time, space and his support.
Before she was even really aware of it, her hand was crossing the distance between them until it rested lightly on Jason's chest, right over his heart. She could feel the steady beat of it against her palm, feel the warmth of him through his shirt, and her own heart expanded just a bit and sped up. Her fingers splayed out, and she was mesmerized by the paleness of her skin against the deep green of his shirt. Her mind began to drift, wondering what it would be like to wake up every morning and be able to see him like this. Resting, at peace, trusting her enough to let his defenses down.
Her fingers curled slightly, and then relaxed once more, her thumb rubbing against his shirt. There was something intimate, and dangerous in the motion; she'd never touch Jason like this if he were awake. Briefly she felt like she was taking advantage of the situation, but her heart firmly told her brain to shut up and let her enjoy this early morning interlude.
Jason stirred and she immediately stilled her hand, biting her lip in the fear that she'd woken him up. He settled back down, turning slightly towards her as he continued to slumber and she let out a soft sigh. She left her hand where it was, but stopped moving it; she'd keep the connection but wouldn't risk his rest. She continued to gaze at him, tracing his features with her eyes, detailing the scar above his brow, the straight line of his nose, and tried to commit them all to memory. Maybe they'd be able to stop at an art supply store sometime and she could try her hand sketching him one night while they were in separate rooms. She'd filled up other sketchbooks and they'd been shipped to a storage place set up for them away from Port Charles, and she hoped whoever got the next set boxes wouldn't look through it and her art. Somehow she sensed most of her sketches were going to be of Jason.
"Oh." The sound slipped through her lips when his hand suddenly closed over hers, trapping her hand between his and his chest.
His eyes opened, bright with just a hint of tiredness, and she felt pierced by his look. "Good morning."
She wet her lips, "Morning. I...I'm sorry I woke you. I wanted to let you sleep some more."
"I'm alright," he assured her, even if they both weren't entirely convinced. "Did you get some sleep?"
Her lie might have been more convincing if she hadn't yawned right before she said, "Yeah."
When he raised an eyebrow, she shrugged and admitted. "Alright...I had a nap, and I'm still tired, but I don't think I can stay here any longer."
He nodded in agreement, but didn't release her hand, and didn't move. They continued to regard each other, and then she felt just the barest hint of friction as his thumb swept over her hand. Instantly, her nerve endings felt alive and awareness and anticipation awoke in her stomach. She matched the movement with a pass of her thumb over his chest, and then looked up to watch his eyes flare, the pupils widening.
There were so many things she wanted to say, but the only thing that she could think to tell him was probably the one thing he needed to hear most. "I'm not going back to Port Charles, Jason. At least, not unless you're going back too."
His voice was low and husky, definitely lower than when he'd first woken as he whispered her name, "Elizabeth."
"I know you've said I can leave any time I want, but I don't want to. I wake up in the morning, and I don't think about Lucky or what he's doing, or how he is...I wake up in the morning and my first thought is how quickly can I get dressed so that I can see you. I want to be with you, Jason, for as long as you'll let me tag along. If you get tired of me, then I'll leave."
"No," he refuted her, his word a low growl deep in his throat. "I won't send you away. Not because I'm tired of you. I'm not, I couldn't-"
That was all she needed to hear, all she wanted to hear right now, and she leaned forward, pressing her hand against him more firmly as she sought his lips. Their first pass was tentative, they'd only done this a couple of times, and they'd been awkward because of their lingering uncertainties. This time there were no impediments, no ghosts of the past haunting them; there was only the two of them finally acknowledging what they wanted.
Jason knew right away that kissing Elizabeth was going to be addicting. As he lost himself in the feel of her mouth against his, the taste of her lips and the sound of her whimpers, he knew that he didn't ever want to stop. He would look for excuses to repeat this action again and again. The other times had never been like this and he knew why. Because they hadn't settled their past. Now they had, and he liked the prospects for the future.
Now, if he ever had to do something for Sonny that couldn't wait, he wouldn't worry so much about going away for a little bit. He would send Elizabeth to the island, or wherever she wanted to go, and he now felt confident that when he was done with his assignment she would be waiting for him. And if this moment was any indication, his homecomings could be amazing.
Her hand snaked over his shoulder and came to rest on his neck, leveraging him closer. Endeavoring to help her, he wrapped his arm around her lower back, and pulled her towards him, bringing her to rest partially over him. She whimpered her appreciation of his action, and brought herself up on one leg, and went to swing her left one over him. He was already anticipating the feel of her straddling him, when she yelped and rolled off him, holding her knee.
"I hit the window ledge," she hissed.
Reality hit him like a splash of cold water in his face. The room was awful, and this bed was questionable. He collapsed back onto his pillow briefly, before raising himself up on his arm and turning towards her. "Are you alright?"
She nodded, still rubbing at the injured joint. "Maybe it was for the best, though."
Before he could shut down and think that she was regretting kissing him, she continued on. "I uh...this place."
Relieved that they were on the same wavelength, he grinned. "Yeah. This is not exactly the kind of place I envisioned something like this...I mean..."
She silenced him with a finger over his mouth. "I know what you mean. I don't want our first time together to be in a place where we're afraid of what we might catch from the sheets."
Then she blushed and looked away, as if embarrassed by her bold statement. "I mean-"
It was his turn to silence her. "Elizabeth, the only thing stopping me right now, is the fact that you deserve so much more. I hated stopping here last night, but there wasn't any other option. But I will not-"
He silenced and looked at her expectantly.
"Maybe we should go," she suggested.
He nodded. "Yeah. And look for a hotel earlier tonight."
"Tonight?" She sounded almost disappointed. Or maybe that was just his imagination. He didn't want to rush her, and he didn't want her to think that he was some hormonal teenager who was anxious to find the first hotel so he could bed her. He would not push her, despite wanting her with everything he possessed. "I was kinda hoping we could stop earlier than that."
"One room?" he asked. "Or two?"
Her plump mouth turned up in a seductive smile and he knew they had to get out of this hotel room soon. "One," she answered, "definitely one."
"I like the way you think," he grinned, sliding down to the end of the bed and then standing. He reached out to help her stand, "Are you alright, now?"
She nodded, testing her weight on her leg and then walking unaffectedly across the room. Pleased with the response, she returned to the bed and pulled his shirts off the pillows. "We're going to have to do laundry soon."
He nodded in agreement as he stuffed the shirts back into his duffle.
"Or," she mused, drawing his attention back to her, "we could just wait until..."
"Until what?" Jason asked as he straightened and grabbed their bags in one hand, holding out his other for her.
"Until we get to Italy."
He seemed to freeze, his hand hovering in the air as he looked at her. "Italy?"
A weak, nervous smile played across her lips. "I...if the offer's still-"
"Yes," he immediately confirmed. "Any time you want to go."
"Then we can talk about it tomorrow," she said, her smile now more confident, and seductive as she crossed the room and took his hand.
He nodded and bent towards her, proving his earlier prediction that kissing her would be addictive. "Tomorrow," he whispered against her lips. "Definitely tomorrow."
This was 'inspired', for lack of a better word, by a skivey little hotel my DH and I were forced to stay at under circumstances much like Liason. The names have been changed to protect the 'innocent', but the description of the room? Down to the last stain and stalagtite...after driving 23 hours, a person gets a little desperate. Never did I appreciate the shower in the next hotel we stayed at more...just as I'm sure Jason and Elizabeth will at their next hotel.
And before you ask...no follow up. Use your own imaginations.
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