Chapter 1

"Marcie, I love you. Please donít leave me."

Michael sat by Marcieís bedside, holding her hand. He wondered how anything like this could happen. Heíd been missing her like crazy, especially after he was suspended from the hospital, but he hadnít wanted to burden her with his problems. She was in the process of publishing her book and he was so proud of her. Like heíd told her earlier, he believed if they were meant to be, they could wait until after her book was published.

However, now, he wasnít so sure. She was lying in the hospital bed unconscious and it was his fault. Heíd been thinking about her, while Steph had been flirting with him. He never should have agreed to dance with her, but he hadnít wanted to hurt her feelings and he hadnít expected Marcie to still come to his party after their talk. When Steph kissed him, it had taken him by surprise. Heíd pushed her away and been about to tell her not to ever do that again, when he realized Marcie had seen them. If heíd just followed his instincts, none of this would have happened. Marcie would have come to his party with him and they would be there right now, both safe and sound. Instead, Marcie was fighting for her life.

Michael squeezed her fingers and smiled down at her before sighing. He was a doctor and he knew how bad this was. Could she recover? Definitely, but depending on how much damage was done, the road to recover could be a long one. In that moment, he committed to himself that no matter what he would be there for Marcie. He loved her and he was going to prove it.

"God, I know I havenít talked to you in a while, but I really need for Marcie to be okay. Please donít let her die."

Michael glanced over his shoulder as he heard the curtain to the cubicle being pushed aside. "Michael, I need to check her vitals. Could you give me a few minutes?" one of the emergency room nurses said as she entered the cube.

"Sure." He looked down at Marcie as he stood from the stool where he sat. "Iíll be right outside. Iím not leaving you alone," he said to Marcie before releasing her hand.

The nurse placed her hand on Michaelís arm as he passed her. "Michael, weíll take care of her."

He smiled at her, but didnít speak. He glanced back at Marcie and walked out of the cube. He leaned against the wall and took a deep breath. He had already had a run in with Paige Miller about having assisted in treating Marcie when the accident happened. He really didnít care about his career right now. All he wanted, all he needed was for Marcie to live.

He needed to call some people: Ron, Jen, Riley, John. He needed his brother, but John had so much going on right now. He was glad that John had Evangeline. Evangeline. He should call her. She and Marcie were becoming friends and he knew she would want to know what was going on.

He walked down the hall to a location where he could use his cell phone and keep watch of Marcieís cube.

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"Evangeline Williamson," the voice on the other end of the phone answered.

"Evangeline, this is Michael."

"Hey, Michael. Whatís going on? John told me about you being reinstated. Congratulations."

"Thanks, but I was wondering if youíve seen John."

"Yeah. Iím at the police station right now and heís questioning a suspect."

"Oh, that explains why his phone is off."

"Do you want me to give him a message for you?"

"Yeah. Tell him Iím at the hospital with Marcie. She was in an accident and right now sheís in the emergency room."

"Michael, Iím so sorry. Is there anything you need? Is there anything I can do?"

"No. Just the fact that you want to is enough. Thanks."

"Michael, I care about you. So, if you need anything you give me a call, okay?"

"Yes, maíam," he said with a chuckle.

"Thatís better," she laughed back, then sobered. "Give Marcie my love. Iíll see you at the hospital later."

"Okay," he said before pushing the "End" button.

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Evangeline glanced at the door to the interrogation room. John had just booked Cristian for the attempted murder of Antonio. With Cristianís confession, all the charges against Antonio would be dropped. She was relieved, but now she had other things on her mind. She was really fond of Michael and she could tell by the sound of his voice that he needed someone with him.

John walked out of the interrogation room a moment later and noticed Evangeline writing at the desk.

"Hey," he said as he moved to her. "I was wondering where you went off to."

"I came out here to take a breath after that confession by Cristian and then Natalie jumping him." John put his hand on her arm as she turned to him.

"Yeah. Itís a lot of drama around here right now."

"You have no idea," Evangeline responded.

"What are you talking about?"

"I just got a call from your brother."

"Michael called you?" When she nodded, he continued, "What did he want?"

"Actually he tried calling you and when he couldnít get you, he tried me. He wanted to tell you that Marcie was in an accident earlier and that heís at the hospital with her. I was writing you a note to let you know that since Cristian has confessed and Antonio is off the hook for the crime, Iím heading to the hospital to check on Michael and Marcie."

"OkayÖuhmÖtell Michael Iíll be there as soon as I can get away."

"Iíll do that. Donít worry. Iíll take care of Michael."

"Donít do too much. The two of you are a little too friendly for me sometimes," he said with a frown.

"You are too funny," she said with a laugh, as he pulled her to him for a quick kiss goodbye. "See ya later."

"Yeah, later. Drive safe."

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After Michael finished his conversation with Evangeline, he made the other calls. Jen and Riley were in Philadelphia, but would get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Ron Walsh would get to the hospital within the hour, but he would call back to check on his sister. He would also call the rest of the family and let them know what was going on. As he was ending his call with Ron, he heard Hayesí voice. How had Hayes heard about the accident? Why was he here at the hospital? He cringed as he made his way to the admissionsí desk to relieve the nurse of what he considered a pain in his butt.

"Hayes?" he said as he walked around the corner.

"Michael McBain. I should have known. She was fine until she decided that she had to spend the evening with you. I hope youíre happy now."

"Hayes, Marcie is in intensive care. Iíll let you know how sheís doing once I know something," Michael said, instead of responding to Hayesí comments. He was trying to hold onto his temper and keep it together since he was in the hospital. He turned to walk back to Marcieís cubicle.

"Michael, havenít you done enough. You canít possibly love her to allow something like this to happen to her. If sheíd stayed at the Palace with me, sheíd be fine right nowÖ..."

As Hayes continued on his rampage, Michael could feel his temperature rising. He turned and caught Hayes in the collar and had him pinned to the wall, before he could stop himself.

"Hayes, I love Marcie more than my own life. I canít deal with you and handle whatís going on with Marcie too. Lay off me or you will be sorry."

"Are you threatening me? After what happened to Marcie, thatís rich."

Michael pulled back to punch Hayes, when Evangeline caught his arm. "Michael, donít do this."

Michael glanced at her and took a deep breath before releasing Hayes. Instead of saying anything, Michael turned down the hall.

Evangeline looked at Hayes and realized he was about to make another comment. "Donít make me regret that I stopped him. Let it go and leave," she said before she followed Michael. "Michael?"

"Thanks Evangeline for stopping me. That would have been one more thing for me to live down."

"Howís Marcie?"

"Not good. She hasnít regained consciousness and I suspect that there are internal injuries. They were doing x-rays and cat scans a few minutes ago."

"Sheís going to be okay. You have to believe that."

"I want to, but Iím a doctor. I know how these things can go."

"I understand that Michael, but youíve got to believe for her and know that sheís going to fight to come back to you."

"I donít know that sheíd be fighting to come back to me."

 

 

"What do you mean?"

"Tonight right before the accident she walked into my little celebration and saw one of the nurses from the hospital kissing me."

"What?"

"The nurse told me that she was interested, I told her that I was still in love with Marcie. She asked me to dance. I did because I didnít want to hurt her feelings and then she kissed me. Marcie walked in, saw us, and then she ran out and was hit by a car."

"Oh, my God. Michael, it wasnít your fault."

"Logically, I know that, but if I had told her that I wanted her there in the first place, instead of leaving her with that agent, she would have been with me and none of this would have happened."

"Hindsight is 20/20, Michael. You canít go back. All you can do is be here for her now and let her know how much you love her," she said, patting his knee.

"Thanks, I guess I needed that pep talk." He smiled at her and looked a little better than he had when sheíd walked in.

"Thatís what Iím here for," she responded with a smile. "By the way, your brother will be here as soon as he can get away from the station."

"OkayÖ" Michael didnít have the opportunity to say anymore, because a group of doctors and nurses rushed into Marcieís cube. Michael limped to the cube to get an update and was nearly mowed down as the same group was wheeling Marcie out of the cube toward the operating room. Michael was able to ask one of the nurses what was wrong. Marcie was bleeding internally and they had to go in and quickly. As Michael watched the doors swing shut, he couldnít wrap his brain around how any of this had happened.

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