face revealed nothing. From the
doorway he stared at AJ, who met his gaze equally.
“Don’t call me that,” he finally said.
rose from the bed and nodded vehemently. “Oh
yeah, that’s right! You’re only
Jason Quartermaine when you choose to be.” He gave the other man a hard stare. “Like now, when you thought you would be manipulating
Keesha’s emotions. Tell
me, Jase, is it a coincidence that you’re here at the house on the night
before my brother’s twenty-fifth birthday?”
Morgan’s expression grew blank. It
was a thing he had perfected after numerous encounters with former friends and
family seeking some spark of recognition in his face.
he adopted the unrevealing demeanor, Jason felt totally detached from the stress
such encounters produced. It was as
if a protective buffer fell between him and whoever threatened the careful
distance he constantly maintained. He
did not realize that, like now, the gesture was far more revealing than anything
else he could have done.
a nerve, huh, Jase?” AJ’s taunt
was delivered with particular satisfaction.
“You always do that ‘Borg’ thing when somebody tells you something
you’re too much of a coward – or a fraud – to admit.”
stepped into the room, unaware that his hands had curled up into two tight
fists. “I am here because
Grandmother and Emily asked me to come,” he replied tightly.
this why you were so insistent on changing rooms with me, AJ?”
Keesha’s quiet inquiry made both men’s heads whip toward the door.
“Because you were expecting Jason?”
had a feeling he might knock on your door, yeah.”
you for the concern,” Keesha said pointedly.
AJ’s tendency to try and insulate her from life’s difficulties was a
point of heated contention between them. “But
since I am here now, I will handle Jason.”
menacing stare as he walked reluctantly past Jason Morgan was an obvious
message. The frustrated man knew
that there was no changing Keesha’s mind so he directed he anger toward Jason.
did you come to my room?” Keesha asked after closing the door behind a
seething AJ. “What did you
was unfazed by Keesha’s incredulous expression. “I saw you watching me all through dinner, wishing I was him.”
you are not him.”
your eyes closed. This,” he
cupped himself, “hasn’t changed, and I promise you it will be all that you
can concentrate on.”
saw Keesha’s gaze drift down to the bulge in his worn and faded jeans.
“You know you want this,” he said, matter-of-factly.
Keesha whispered finally. She
reached behind her and locked the bedroom door.
Quickly she dashed away a tear threatening to fall.
Keesha closed her
eyes and began to undress. As she
felt the first touch of Jason Morgan’s hands upon her flesh, she concentrated
on memories of happier times with the Jason she loved. “Happy
25th birthday, sweetheart.”