Freedom to Love

PROLOGUE


Heart pumping wildly. A cold sweat all over. Dr. Matt Harmon awoke from his tormenting slumber with a start.

"Dammit!" he cried, running a shaking hand through his damp prematurely gray hair. Not the same dream again! Would he never stop thinking of her? Dreaming of her? Longing to be near her? Would the ache never go away?

When he wasn't busy saving lives and healing broken body parts, his mind was filled with thoughts of his own broken heart. And of the woman who had split him in two when she walked out of his life...

Ellen.

Often, his mind would wander back to the good times of when they had first met. She had been strong, independent, but wary and so afraid to let her guard down. He had wanted her on sight, but she was his superior. He had been hesitant about approaching her until he no longer had the willpower to resist her anymore. He then pursued her relentlessly.

She had dodged him at every turn, as he had known she would. Every advance was met with a subsequent push backwards. He had been undaunted and persistent, as she was stubborn in keeping him at bay. Until finally he broke through the walls and her self-imposed barriers. The attraction he had felt for her was returned tenfold. Their union had been explosive and neither could ever turn back. Not then, not ever.

Or so he had thought.

Reaching over to turn on his bedside lamp, Matt allowed himself to think it all through. He had turned away from this thought before on the other nights when he had awoken from his agitated slumber. He hadn't wanted to face it. He had already lost her, so why remember the painful events before she drove the stake through his heart for the last time?

Because it was time to move on...

Matt swallowed hard as the whisper soft voice floated through him. He pulled himself upright and grabbed his wheelchair. He slid into the wheelchair and rolled away from the damp bed. The time had come for him to face losing her, he reasoned. He couldn't be in the bed where he had made love to her morning, noon, and night. He wouldn't be strong enough to see it through if he could grab the pillow she once used and hold it close to his heart. He needed to be away from the memories that the bed held. Far away...

He pushed the wheels until he came to his terrace door. He fiddled with the latch until the doors unlocked and then he rolled outside. The November night was brisk. The air chilled his still damp skin and goosebumps sprang up on his arms. He didn't feel a thing. He rolled closer to the railing and looked down onto the street below. His dark eyes stared out sightlessly onto the nearly empty streets below. Inside his heart raced as memories of Ellen choosing Sebastian washed over him and his exorcism of her possessing his heart began.

~*~

A lonely backwoods road was no place for a woman traveling alone on foot. Ellen, a woman who had never really ever been afraid of anything, was terrified. She knew that her method of transportation—her feet—would get her nowhere fast, but she had to keep going. "Keep moving," she murmured to herself over and over.

She pulled the old, worn oversize coat closer about her shoulders. The gloves she had found in the pockets were large and torn, but they kept her hands warm. The black working boots she wore were about two sizes too big. Her feet had slid around in them and she had come close to losing the boots until she had stuffed the toe with dried leaves. The cushioning the leaves provided were soft and would prevent little bruising. The boots would carry her on further down the road and for Ellen, that was the only thing that mattered.

The fall moonlight lit her path and the stars glittered the sky like a stairway to heaven. Ellen glanced upwards for a second, never pausing to stop. A sky as beautiful as the one on that night was filled with promises. She remembered a few promises that she had made, ones she hadn't been able to keep. Promises to Matt...

"Stop it, Ellen!" she glumly muttered to herself. She couldn't allow herself to think about him. Not yet. Maybe after she reached Port Charles... if she reached Port Charles, then maybe...

Matt.

Just the thought of his name and remembering how it rolled off her tongue caused shivers to course up and down her spine. She had loved him. Before he came into her life with his persistence and odd sense of humor, she had never thought that she'd fall again. But fall she had. And hard.

He was the one that she had been waiting for, but never knew it. He was the one who showed her that loving didn't hurt. To some the thought might seem corny, but he taught her how to love again. He made her life whole.

She found it hard to believe that she nearly threw it away on some stupid fantasy!

Sebastian!

The time she and Sebastian had shared in New Orleans had been magical and special, but it wasn't real. It was a moment in time and wasn't meant to be repeated. The ball, the costumes, the mystery had all been a fantasy.

Sebastian was a girl's fantasy while Matt was a woman's reality. How could she not have realized that before it was too late? Why was life so cruel to her when she did finally realize it? Why—when she was so close to admitting to Matt how foolish she had been—did Fate intervene and take everything away from her...take her away from Matt?

It just wasn't fair.

"Nothing in life ever is," Ellen whispered to herself. And that was why she had to make her own rules and turn the tables on Fate. That was why on a cold November night she trudged through rural upper state New York alone and on foot. That was why she was going back to Port Charles. She was going back to Matt and this time Fate would learn a thing or two.

She would win Matt back and she would have her revenge on Fate for taking her away from him in the first place.

Go to Chapter 1

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Freedom to Love ©1999 niklovr
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