The Return



“Turn around.”

That voice, so completely unexpected, caused Keesha’s heart to thump so loudly that she was sure he must have heard it. Frantically she tried to catch her breath, determined to present to him a visage as emotionless as his own. She had no idea why Jason Qua-, Morgan was standing in her backyard, but she wouldn’t make the mistake of believing it had anything to do with ‘them’.

“Turn around and look at me,” he ordered, waiting patiently as she turned and met his gaze.

“What are you doing here, Jason?”

“You’re here,” he said simply. “I’m here to take you home.”

Keesha’s confusion turned to panic. “Something has happened to Justus, hasn’t it?!” Instinctively she reached out and pressed her hands to Jason’s hard chest, needing his calm demeanor to lessen the fears that were running rampant in her mind. “No one has heard from him in months!”

“I’m not here about Justus,” he said.

“Well, if it isn’t Justus, then…” As if she had suddenly been scalded by hot water, Keesha jerked back from the motionless man before her. Before she could distance herself from Jason, however, his hands shot out like lightning and grabbed her wrists.

“I’m not going to hurt you.” He pulled her, unresisting, toward him. Jason placed Keesha’s hands back upon his chest, taking care to hold one directly above his heart. “Not anymore.”

For several long moments Keesha searched his face for some clue to what was happening. For so long she had kept her dream of loving Jason Quartermaine alive, only to have Jason Morgan trample all over them and leave them as dead as her heart.

“Who are you?” Unbidden, the tears came.

“A man who wants to know what it is to love you,” he replied quietly. “Does it matter what name I go by?”

Keesha shook her head. “You ask too much of me, Jason. I can’t just let myself dive headfirst in love with you again.”

“I’m not asking you to.” Jason’s arms enfolded her in a tender embrace, even though his expression remained severe. “We can both take it step by step.” He lowered his mouth to Keesha’s. “Beginning now.”

Part Two