Life After Dark
Chapter 24

"Hold still," Eve said, as she tended to AJ's forehead. "This is what happens when you don't see to a cut right away. The blood hardens and it hurts when it's cleaned off."

"Thanks, Dr. Lambert," he said, his voice heavy with sarcasm.

"Call me Eve," she said as she dabbed his cut with more alcohol. "Somehow, I donít like the way my name rolls off your tongue."

"Okay, Eve," he said, putting emphasis on her name.

"Geez, what is with you?" she asked, as she tossed the cotton ball into the waste basket.

"Nothing," he answered. "Will this take long? I have things to do."

"No, it won't take long. Fact is, I'm finished unless you want stitches," she said folding her arms across her chest to look at him.

"Do I need them?"

"Depends. You will have a small scar if you donít have stitches. Does the idea of a scar bother you?" she asked, trying to remain polite in spite of his impudence.

"No, it does not," he replied as he rose from the examining table.

"Well, I guess you're done," she answered. "Wait! No, you're not."

"What now?" he asked clenching his jaw.

"A band-aid," she said, shoving one at him. "I won't hold you any longer. I'm sure you can put it on for yourself."

"I can. Thanks," he muttered as he left the curtained area.

A part of AJ felt bad for being rude to the young doctor. She was only doing her job. She didn't know that her perfume was the same delicious scent that Keesha wore. She couldn't understand that smelling it again made him long for a woman who didn't love him. Couldn't love him and would never love him.

~*~

Keesha stared at her ceiling and thought for the millionth time that morning that she should get up. She should get up and not wallow in whatÖ? Self-pity? Doubt? Confusion? All of the above? She didn't know and she didn't care. Frankly, she didn't want to think about it.

She didnít want to think about how right she felt in Jason's arms every time he held her. How her skin tingled from head to toe every time he touched her. How his kisses intoxicated her and made her body long for more.

She didn't want to think about how her heart ached when AJ's eyes clouded over with pain. How her ears burned from the self-loathing she heard in his voice when he told her that she wanted Jason and not him. How her heart hurt when he flinched from her touch.

She didn't want to think about anything at all. For once, she wanted to know how it would feel to wallow in self-pity. To shut out the world and cling to her pain. To lay in sadness and despair indefinitely.

She rolled over and clutched her pillow to her. Her mind drifted to thoughts of Rocky Road ice cream as the buzzer of her door bell interrupted her chocolate-covered dreams.

Her first inclination was to ignore it, but she couldn't. Maybe deep, way deep down inside, she wanted to be with someone. To let the questions of her heart be quieted by the addition of another person.

She rose from the bed and padded to her door. She looked through the peep hole and smiled faintly as she opened the door.

"Good morning, sunshine! Rise and shine," V said as she bounced into the room.

"V, what are you doing here?" Keesha said, closing the door.

"Donít tell me you forgot," V said, plopping on the sofa.

Keesha moved away from the door to stand in front of V. "Forgot what?"

"The recruitment booth? Remember? You said you'd help me set it up," V said. V had recently become involved in the Port Charles Big Sister program. She and Keesha had met each other at one of the recruitment meetings which Keesha helped organize. After a short conversation and a few lunches later, they weren't the best of friends, but they weren't exactly strangers either.

Keesha kneaded her forehead with the palm of her head and sat down beside her. Eyes closed, she said, "I completely forgot."

V smiled. "No problem. If we shake a leg, we can get there and set it up in no time."

"VÖumÖ" Keesha began.

"Don't you dare cancel on me, Keesha!"

"Oh, V! I just donít know. I'm not sure if I'd be very good company today," she said.

"I'm sure that all you need is a dose of the fresh fall air. Come on," V said. "You won't be disappointed. The park is beautiful this time of year and if you get tired of the booth, you can always walk around."

Keesha frowned at V for a few seconds more as she contemplated her suggestion. Fresh fall air versus dull, stale self-pity. Fall air won and Keesha stood, "Give me ten minutes to get ready."

~*~

"So Michael, what do you say?" Jason asked as he lifted the baby in the air. "What do you want to do today?"

Michael giggled at Jason and kicked his legs in reply.

"Jogging?" Jason asked as he pulled Michael closer to him. "Aren't you a little young for that?"

Michael began to spit and wave his arms as he stared at Jason. Jason laughed and said, "Okay! You donít have to be so adamant about it. Jogging it is!"

Jason picked up his telephone and pushed one number. The phone was answered on the first ring. "Johnny. Have the car ready. Michael and I are going for a Sunday drive."

Jason hung up the phone and began to put Michael's sweater on him. "So, where do you want to go? The docks?"

Michael made a face and kicked one time.

Jason smiled and said, "I know what you mean. The fishy smell gets old after a while. How about the park?"

Michael began to bounce up and down and Jason laughed. "Okay, Mister Man. The park it is."

Chapter 25

Home Page