Chapter 14


Port Charles, New York, USA:

Jax sat in the large armchair in Brenda's tower, listening to music, logging on to AOL, and trying to be as close to her as he could when she was halfway around the globe. "You've Got Mail."

I'm a desperado

Underneath your window

Subj: A favor.. .. ..

Date: 99-02-16



Hey.. ..'s me.

I actually do need a favor. I'm away from home, just like you were a few weeks ago, and I miss my home, my tower. Watch it for me, will you my friend? I'd like to think that we're the oldest of friends, that we house-sit for each other, or pet-sit, or whatever. Take care of my tower. Protect it from demons and monsters, and the occasional roommate. :)

You said my description of home helped you when you were away, so return the favor. Where are you, FlyGuy?

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

With Carnivale swelling around her, Brenda waited impatiently for her gown to be exactly arranged. After dialing, she held the phone gingerly against her face, careful not to smudge her makeup, but disappointed to only get the answering machine.

Brenda: Hi. It's Brenda-

Jax: and Jax.

Brenda: Shhh!

Jax: We can't come to the phone right now-

Brenda: YOU certainly can't. You don't live here!

Jax: I do SO live here! So leave a message

Brenda: For ME, and only ME after the beep and-

Jax: WE'LL get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks.

Brenda: Bye. Jax, why are you such a pain in the-


"Hey.. .. .. It's me. I figured you'd be home. Just wanted to check in. Say "hi." Whatever." Realizing how melancholy she sounded, and how much she wanted to talk to him, she tried to sound perkier, despite her jet lag. "Anyway, Carnivale is SO much fun. I gotta go but I'll talk to you later.. .. ..Oh, Jax! Remember to water the tulips.. .. .. and stay away from my tower!!! Bye."

Jax signed off of AOL, and ran downstairs to open the door for Jerry. She had been so insistent that the answering machine was hers, that he didn't bother to check the messages.


London, England:

Brenda sipped her coffee in Julia's dining room, overlooking London. It was the only luxury she'd be afforded on the trip, not that staying with Julia was much of a luxury.

I see your silouhette

Are you my Juliet?

She turned back toward her computer and logged on, while on Julia's phone, she dialed the cottage. "Mmphh. Brenda Barrett's residence. House-sitter Jasper Jacks at your-YAWN-service."

Brenda giggled prettily into the phone, and Jax smiled a sleepy and contented smile. "So you're at my service, huh?" With an entire ocean separating them, it seemed harmless to flirt so shamelessly with one another.

I feel a mad connection

With your body

"We'll see." Brenda could see the mischevious grin forming on his face, though she wasn't quite sure how she knew that it was the case. "So what is the face of Deception up to this fine morning. Looking exquisitely beautiful I presume?"

Glancing down at her pajama bottoms, and the PCU T-shirt she couldn't seem to sleep without, she had to laugh. "Hardly. Actually, I'm just sitting here, taking in the view-"

"You've Got Mail." Damn, Brenda hoped Jax hadn't heard it, but of course, her prayers went unanswered.

"What was that?"

"What was what?" Please, please, please.. .. ..

"Are you listening to music?" If he hadn't known for certain that Brenda was PrncessBB, her music-listening habits certainly would have pointed him in that direction. Brenda listened to music from morning until night, and she listened to everything from rap to oldies, Broadway to Beethoven, but he'd never heard what she was playing before.

"Yes." She paused, picking up the CD in her hands and turning it over. "Thank you. Miguel said that he thought it had turned out really well, but I had no idea."

Had Brenda been in Port Charles, or perhaps if she hadn't been distracted by the cover photo of Miguel, she may have picked up on Jax's immediate change in attitude. He visibly bristled, but tried to cover it up. He just had to figure out a way to keep Brenda and Miguel apart in Mexico. "You're welcome. I thought you might want an advanced copy, especially if you're going to be back at L &-"

Brenda's eyes darted nervously across the London skyline. "Oh, Jax! There's Julia's call-waiting. I'll talk to you later. Bye!"

She rattled off the sentence so fast that he barely had time to say good-bye, and just like that, she had hung up, and moved on to her email.

Subj: Re: A Favor.. .. ..

Date: 99-02-17



It would be my pleasure, your highness. I am your Knight in Shining Armor, or have you forgotten? I'm always looking out for you, believe that.

As for my home, I'm working on it. I've lived in a lot of different place, but none have ever really felt like home, but I'm trying to work something out. I think a home is just a place where you are safe, where you are happy, and where, like you said, you're just able to be yourself.


Paris, France:

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

As much as she loved Paris, Brenda had been noticeably distracted since she talked to Jax. Why did he keep having to mention his proposal? I mean yes, it was important, she supposed, but of all the times for her to be away!

Port Charles, New York, USA

I wanna be your lover

Your only latin lover

"The guy's good." As Miguel's CD played around them, Jax was desperate to find away to keep Brenda from re-uniting with Miguel.

"Thanks a lot, Jerry."

"I've got to get into this singing thing. I mean, to have women like Brenda throwing themselves at you. That is a career I could get used to."

Jax wanted to strangle his brother. Only Jerry would think of himself at a time like this. "She is NOT throwing herself at him!"

Paris, France:

Brenda, Lucy, and the entire crew had dashed into a small café, as a spring rain began to pour down on the streets of Paris. Brenda had immediately yanked out her cell phone, and as was becoming customary, someone found her laptop and passed it to her. Everyone was used to Brenda's rampant email checks. Hopefully, since she'd check it early, she wouldn't be such a bear later. Lucy approached her table with the computer, having promised to get dirt on whoever Brenda was talking to on the computer. She definitely had a guess though. "I figured you'd want this."

Brenda looked up at Lucy and smiled. "No thanks. Am I that transparent?"

Lucy sat down, glancing out the window at the lessening rain. "Yes and No. It's just as well anyway. The rain seems to be letting-up, so it'll probably be easier to talk to him on the phone." Lucy had to laugh when she saw the confused expression on Brenda's face. "Jax, I mean. It'll be easier for you to call him, than email him or instant message him. I mean, that is who you've been typing furiously back and forth to, isn't it?"

Port Charles, New York, USA:

Jerry continued to shake and swivel his hips around the living room

"Then what are ya worried about, mate?"

Jax looked at his brother incredulously. "You, for starters. What the hell are you doing?"

Jerry was oblivious as he sang along with Miguel. "C'mon Jax, shake your bon-bon."


Port Charles, New York, USA:

Subj: My turn.. .. ..

Date: 99-02-24



I've given this a lot of thought, so bear with me, okay Princess?

You like your home, your tower, because of the permanence and stability you find there, and surprisingly enough, or not, I find I'm just the opposite. For most of my life I've been without worry, without fear, without much concern for anyone but myself. Home is a concept that I don't take to very well, but if I had to pick, I'd love to live on my.. .. .. boat.

I'd like to think that there's no other boat like it in the world, and because it's mine, I like to think that I'm right. But it's constantly in motion, and I know that once aboard, at the touch of my hands, I can set out for the horizon, and follow a star to its destination. I like knowing that every possible outcome is possible. I like to know that I can make my dreams my reality. And I can. And so can you. Just figure out what they are, and reach for that star, grab it, and let it lead you home.


Jax sent the message, and after disconnecting from America Online, he picked up the phone. He hung it up, and decided to pull Brenda's messages, and call her with them later.

"Hello, Jax." The voice was cold and rigid. "It's Alexis. I'm calling for Brenda but I know she's on her campaign. Please let her know that I called and that Lois and I want to know when she's going to be in Mexico. Tell her to tell Miguel "Hi" and that we miss him! Bye."

"It's Ned, Brenda.. .. .. or Jax." Jax could hear Lois in the background telling Ned what to say, and insisting that she use his (Jax's) name as little as possible. "We.. .. ..I am calling for Lois, who is calling for Brenda. Umm.. .. ..Bren, Lois wanted to know if you wanted some company in Mexico…"

"Thank you, Ned." Jax deleted the messages, without listening to the one Brenda left for him, and began making plans. The Jacks' beach house in Puerto Vallarta was going to be very busy during Spring Break

We'll go around the world in a day

Don't say no, no

Shake it my way, oh



The Skies over Southeastern Europe

Subj: My Brilliant Idea

Date: 99-02-26



You know what we need? A House Boat. Well, a cottage-boat, actually. But I think that would be perfect, or nearly perfect, if there even is such a thing. Isn't the most brilliant idea you've ever heard? Or at the very least, one of them? I don’t' really know why I am rambling so, it just seems to fit the mood I'm in, which, I'm sad to say, I am also currently unable to define.

It's a sort of confusion, but not necessarily a bad one. Like I'm worried about what will happen, but I know it'll work out. I thin I know what I want to happen but I'm just not sure. The right answer is running through my head, and I know what to do, but I'm afraid if I actually say it out loud, it'll turn into something different. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I think you really, couldn't possibly have any idea, and others, I feel almost as though you can hear in your head, what I'm typing, exactly as I am, before you even read this. Must sound crazy, huh?

And just for the record, I don't think were opposites, at least, no more so that I already thought. Besides, although we've both been remiss in sharing music, Paula Abdul did say: "Opposites Attract."

Okay, it wasn't REALLY Paula Abdul. I mean it was, but not originally, I'm sure. I'm sure it was someone much wiser, but it's still brilliant. Just like my idea for a cottage boat. Don't you think?

Brenda sent the email, reclined her first-class seat, and pulled the shade down over the small ovular window. Though she was able to shield her eyes from the blinding sun, there was no escape from the inquisitiveness of the passenger to her left: Lucy. Brenda had no sooner shut here eyes, when she felt Lucy poking her on the shoulder. Through half-closed eyes, Brenda gazed at her boss, afraid to wonder what Lucy wanted. "So how's Jax?"

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Not this again. "Lucy, unless you want a campaign full of ads of me with dark circles under my eyes, I suggest you let me get some sleep."

"We have make-up to take care of that. You can't fool me. I can sense these things you know." Lucy was "known" for her psychic abilities. She swore up and down that she had premonitions and got senses about things, but no one really ever took her seriously. If that was how Lucy chose to disguise her innate business sense, no one really cared.

"What are you talking about?"

Lucy smiled triumphantly. Finally: some gossip! "The better question would be: who? And the answer to that six-million-dollar-question would be, well, actually, it's probably a lot more than six million, but that's really besides the point-"

"Which is?"

"Which is: Jax. What have you been writing to him about?"

"Lucy, I haven't' been writing to Jax. I've been writing to a friend," at Lucy's triumphant expression, Brenda turned over, and tried to go to sleep, "and Jax is anything but a friend."

"So he's.. .. ..what? Your roommate? Boyfriend?" Lucy was getting no response from Brenda. "Lover?"

"Goodnight Lucy."

Port Charles, New York, USA:

Jax hung up the telephone, and despite all of the initial protests, his plan had worked. Lois, Ned, Alexis, Scotty, Serena, Jerry, Bobbie, and Lucas would all be joining he and Brenda in Mexico for Miguel's concert. He scanned Brenda's itinerary, and dialed again.

He hadn't called her since she'd been away. He hadn't heard anything from her when she was in Athens, Venice, or Pamplona. He'd let her make all of the moves, but almost two weeks had gone by, and he was stepping up to the plate, calling her hotel. She wasn't there, but he wasn’t surprised. Not entirely. With all of the pyramids of Giza at her fingertips, someone as insatiably curious as Brenda would have to be pried away.

You're a Mata Hari

I wanna know your story


Jerusalem, Israel:

Brenda dialed home to Port Charles, and to her dismay, the phone rang and rang.

In the Sahara sun

I wanna be the one

That's gonna come and take you,

Make you

Shake your bon-bon

Jax: "Hello. If you're calling for Brenda, she's away on business, but I'll make sure she gets your message as soon as possible. I'll guard it with my life. And if that's you, Brenda, we're missing you like crazy. Leave a message after the beep. We'll get back to you."

Brenda smiled at the new message. "Jax, it's Brenda. I miss you, too." Did she just say that? WHAT did she just say? "Tell everybody I say HI" That should cover it, right? "Jerusalem is so beautiful! Have you ever been here? You'd love it. I know. Lois told me about Mexico. I can't wait. You'll like Miguel. He's very cool. See ya soon. Bye."


Port Charles, New York ,USA:

Jax checked his email, and had to laugh at Brenda's ramblings. Lucy was rubbing off on her.

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Subj: Your brilliant idea…

Date: 99-03-01



It is brilliant. I have a brilliant plan of my own, but that's for another time. I have to ask, what has gotten into you? Are you getting enough food? Water? Sleep? Air?

Jax sent the email, and left for Bobbie's to have dinner with she, Jerry, and Lucas, as a thank you for taking them to Mexico. On his way out, he checked the messages. She misses me!


Mt. Everest, Nepal:

Up in the Himalayas

C'mon I wanna lay ya

We'll go around the world in a day

Subj: Re: Your brilliant idea…

Date 99-03-03



You're pretty astute, you know that? Actually, I'm in the mountains.. .. ..thin air. That's not too much info, is it? You and you're brilliant idea have definitely intrigued me. I've actually had a brilliant idea of my own.. .. .. Can you believe it--another one!?!?

Maybe it's just that I'm so far away.. .. .. Maybe it's the jetlag.. .. .. Maybe the thin air.. .. .. Maybe, we should meet.. .. .. ???

Don't say no, no

Shake it my way, oh


The Great Wall, China

Subj: Re: Your brilliant idea…

Date: 99-03-05



You really *are* brilliant, aren't you? I think that yours is a very brilliant idea, indeed, and I would very much like to meet the person whose mind thought of such an idea. But.. .. ..

Right now, I'm working on something very important, and am heading out of town. If all goes according to plan, we would have to wait until the end of the month. Can you wait that long?

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon


Sydney, Australia

Brenda was not a happy camper. She'd called Jax everywhere, but couldn't get a hold of him. She'd called the house, she'd called the office, she'd called Jerry's, the Outback, the gym, and now, finally, his cell phone. It rang and rang, and then finally,

"Jax here."

"Where exactly is here?" She paced back and forth. Brenda was sick of being away. She missed, her house, her friends, her Jax.

"You tell me."

Brenda turned around, and saw him, cell phone in his hand, looking expectantly at her. She was lost in a pair of blue eyes as bright as the sky and as deep as the ocean that inexplicably drew her toward him. Brenda tossed her cell phone to Lucy, and wove her way around the crew, trying to get to Jax.

Hola amiga, hola amiga

You're my temple of desire

"What are you doing here?" She stood poised in front of him, hands on her hips, trying very hard to look annoyed, but her homesickness, lack of sleep, plus the fact that she had genuinely missed Jax, betrayed her, and after a few seconds, she launched herself into his arms. She held his face in her hands, forcing him to look right in her eyes, which Jax certainly didn't object to. "I'm really glad you are."

Hola amiga, hola amiga

Let my spirit take you higher

"Well so am I…now. After all, you are in Australia, and good tour guides are so hard to find." She smiled, as she started to give Jax a very polite, though possible too "friendly" kiss and though she could hear Lucy calling, she really didn't care, so long as she got back to Lucy before she saw her and-


He didn't even hear his name echo shrilly in the air, until Brenda quickly and forcefully pried first their lips, and then their bodies apart. "Run," she whispered. "Put me down and run. Run like the wind."

We'll go around the world in a day

Don't say no, no

Shake it my way, oh

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

"Jaa-aax?" He hated when his name became to syllables. It was always so unattractive.

"Jaa-aax?" Brenda started pushing him away from the shoot, and Jax found himself have to recant his earlier statement. It was actually bloody attractive when Brenda said it. Whenever she said his name it was attractive. Anything, everything she did was attractive and-

"JAX!" As Lucy approached Brenda looked like she wanted to sink into the Earth. "You weren't thinking of sneaking off without saying 'Hi' to me, were you?" Lucy tried her best to act flirtatious, but Jax couldn't take his eyes off of Brenda, and how peculiar she was acting.

Go away, Lucy! Go away! When it was clear that Lucy wasn't going anywhere, she amended her silent plea. Keep your mouth shut! Keep your big mouth shut! PLEASE don't mention e-mail to Jax! How would I even begin to explain that one to- She stopped as she felt a familiar gaze fall upon her, and remarkably, she calmed down. She stubbornly refused to meet those piercing blue eyes. She wouldn't. No. Nope. Not her…Where was her will-power when she needed it?

 We'll go around the world in a day

Don't say no, no

Shake it my way, oh

Jax looked straight at Brenda until she finally raised her deep brown eyes, and found herself lost in the sea of blues and greens gazing at her. Brenda looked away again, after what seemed like an eternity, at the sound of Lucy clearing her throat. "Um Brenda, we're done. You know, that's a wrap and all, so I thought maybe you'd come over just for a second and help me thank the crew."

"We're done already?" Lucy nodded, and Brenda turned to Jax, but wouldn't look him in the eye. "Can you hang on a sec?"

"No problem. Your tour bus awaits." And then she saw it. A double decker, red tour bus, waiting expectantly for the two of them. Her eyes once again met his, and Jax was sure he had never seen a more beautiful sight. Gold sparks illuminated the brown, putting the nearly setting sun behind Brenda to shame.

"That's for me? I mean, for us?"

"How else do expect to see the sights of Sydney in only a few hours time?"

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Thirty minutes later, Jax and Brenda were touring around Sydney in their own private bus. Jax was an excellent tour guide, pointing out all of the usual sights, plus ones that had significance in his own life. The bus pulled to a stop in front of an enormous glass and chrome building, and in distinguished chrome letters over the massive glass doors, read

Jax smiled nodded at everyone in the building, and his secretary, B, or C, or something certainly seemed to stop smiling when she got a look at Brenda, and the way Jax held her hand, and had his other arm wrapped possessively around her waist. He was in a hurry to get her into his office, though Brenda couldn't figure out why.

I'm a desperado

Underneath your window

I see your silhouette

Are you my Juliet?

Jax's office was naturally on the top floor of the building, and the wall behind his desk was made entirely of floor to ceiling windows looking out over Sydney harbor, now bathed in the golden glow of sunset. Brenda gasped as she approached the window, and looked out at the sunset before her. "Jax.. .. .. it's unbelievable. I can't see down, or side to side. All I can see is this sunset, and-"

"The whole world stretched out before you." He wrapped his arms back around her, and rested his chin on her head.

"Oh my god. Isn't it just the most beautiful thing you've ever seen, in your whole entire life."

Jax turned her head towards him, and where Brenda found herself, once again, lost in his eyes. "Yes it is." He lowered his head, and in a moment of perfect timing, Jax's lips descended on Brenda's, just as the sun made a descent of its own. Their lips were seconds from melting into one another, when Brenda whispered,

"Jax, we missed it." She looked into his eyes, and instead of seeing remorse that they had missed the sunset, Brenda saw an entirely different kind of light, one that burned hotter and brighter than any sun she could imagine.

I feel a mad connection to your body

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

I wanna be your lover

Your only Latin lover

In the millisecond before Brenda surrendered to the sublime feeling of Jax's lips on hers, his breathless voice rang in her ears. "I missed you." The kiss started out slowly, but the gentle, steady rhythm of Jax's lips stroking hers proved to be Brenda's undoing. She found herself urging him on, deepening the kiss, and finally breaking away breathless, when she realized that she had played right into his game.

She sat down on the edge of his desk, her breath still coming out in tiny gasps, her heart still pounding, and her lips still burning from the heat and intensity of Jax's kiss. He smiled at her, and it was that simple, honest smile that made her go weak in the knees. Why? "Why?"

"Why what?"

Brenda shook her head, and Jax saw the sadness and the doubt creeping back into her eyes.

"Just why?"

"Before I answer your question, may I ask one of my own." He saw her eyes dart about the room, searching for an escape, but he took her hand in his, trying to ease the fear he only caught glimpses of, but that he knew permeated so much of who Brenda was. "Not that one, I promise." She smiled briefly, and nodded. "Are you happy?"

Jax heard, and Brenda felt, the air surge out of her, and she tried to swallow the lump rising in her throat. "What do you mean?"

He wanted to shake her, make her realize how easy it could be, how lucky they were, but he didn't. "Are you happy? Today, for instance. The tour, the sunset. Right here, right now, with me.. .. .. are you happy?"

She knew what he was asking, what he wasn't saying, but she looked in his eyes, and couldn't avoid the truth. "Yes."

He stood up, smiled, and took her other hand in his. As they walked to the door of the office, he turned to her, took her face in his hands, and kissed her forehead. "That's why."

We'll go around the world in a day

Around the world we'll do the fandango

The flight to Puerta Vallarta was long, and Brenda was having a difficult time speaking to Jax, after their conversation in the office. She had slept on and off, listened to music, done crossword puzzles, read, but with an hour left, she was getting restless.

Jax was busy, on the other hand, trying to figure out what he had done wrong, where he had gone off track , so that now, Brenda wasn't ever speaking to him.

"Jax?" He looked up from his computer, and his eyes urged her to continue. "Did you mean what you said earlier? About me being happy?"

"Yes. Did you mean what you said earlier?"

"Yes. This is a business deal, right?" Blue surged into his eyes, but Brenda didn't give him the satisfaction of an answer to his proposal.

"Yes," he said hesitantly. Is that why she was so quiet.. .. .. ?

"Then I have a counter offer for you." She was smiling, and smug. A little too smug, he thought.

"A date. Two dates, to be precise. One planned by you, one by me, in Mexico. After that you'll have my decision, and of course, you can back out at any point."

"Of course." He smiled, and thought back to the first day he'd seen her, when she'd first dumped the flowers over his head. He'd known then, and she only re-affirmed it now, she was a woman after his own heart. If only he knew how true that was, because Brenda had decided something in her prolonged silence. If she could have FlyGuy's heart, but nothing else, it was unacceptable, and only having Jax legally as her husband, for business, was also unacceptable. She wanted all or nothing. She wanted to be happy. She wouldn't accept anything less.

"Do we have a deal?"

"Seal it with a kiss." Jax pointed to a spot on his cheek, and Brenda approached his seat. At the last second, Jax turned his head, but Brenda, with similar intentions, maneuvered toward his lips, and they both ended up missing their intended targets by a great distance.

But as Jax's jet headed for Puerto Vallarta, Brenda and Jax's lips had other destinations in mind: toward each other.

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon

Shake your bon-bon


(Song credit: Shake your Bon-Bon, by Ricky Martin, on the album, Ricky Martin)