"Can't you spare a few minutes for your mom Dr.
Burgess?" For the second time in the last 12 hours
Alice arrived unannounced at Ellen's apartment. On
this occasion Ellen had on her 3/4 length blue winter
woolen coat and leather boots and was on her way out
of the apartment when Alice arrived.
Ellen stepped aside and allowed Alice to enter.
Speaking with a tinge of impatience in her voice,
Ellen explained, "I really need to go and take care on
something now. Mother, I love spending time with you
but really you should call before you come by."
"With Matt out of town I didn't think you needed
advance warning before I dropped by. Obviously I was
wrong last night," Alice said flashing an unmistakable
look of disapproval at Ellen. Late the night before
upon leaving a nearby movie theatre, Alice and Mary
Scanlon decided to drop by Ellen's apartment and give
her a surprise visit. Knowing Matt was out of town,
they thought she could use the company. Needless to
say they were the ones surprised and stood
open-mouthed as they met Kevin Collins leaving Ellen's
apartment just as they arrived. Alice sensed Ellen
would die right there of shame when Alice offered
Kevin a facial tissue and said, "You missed some,"
referring to the faint traces of burgundy lipstick
that were still on his lips and face. Both Kevin and
Ellen's reaction to her comment told Alice all she
needed to know, but she came back this morning to hear
the truth from her daughter's own lips. Alice removed
her coat and made herself comfortable on the living
room couch. Taking a deep sigh, Ellen resigned herself
to the fact that she had to talk to Alice now. She
removed her coat and sat down on the couch also.
Remembering Ellen's impromptu excuse for cutting their
visit short last night, Alice's voice dripped with
sarcasm when she inquired, "Are you feeling better
"Somewhat, but I'll feel better if I can leave soon
and take care of what I need to do Mother. Can't I
come by your house later today to see you?"
"No, we're going to talk now Ellen. What happened last
night between you and Dr. Collins?"
"I told you last night, Mother. We went to Dara's
apartment for dinner and Kevin brought me home. He was
here only a few minutes and was leaving just as you
and Mary Scanlon arrived."
Refusing to let Ellen dodge the question Alice
persisted, "You know what I'm asking Ellen. What's
going on between you and Dr. Collins? Have you
forgotten you're engaged to be married?"
"Mother, one area of conversation we need to stay away
from is my relationship or assumed relationship with
men. It caused us to be separated for several years
and I don't want to go through that again. Just trust
me, O.K.? For once, just trust me to lead my own
life." Biting her bottom lip and feeling her face
flush, Ellen reached for Alice's hand. "I know that it
did not look good last night and maybe your questions
are even justified, but I refuse to answer them. At
least right now I do. Let me take care of things my
Alice's heart constricted as she listened to and
watched her only daughter. It was obvious that Ellen
was disturbed about whatever happened last night but
she was right. She had to let Ellen handle it. Ellen
was a smart girl and a caring person. Alice had to
have faith in her that she would do the right thing.
"Go on. We'll talk later." Ellen hugged and kissed her
mother on the cheek, and quickly left the apartment.
"Come on in Dr. Burgess." The enthusiasm in Victor
Collins' greeting somewhat surprised Ellen. As Victor
helped Ellen out of her coat, she asked if Kevin was
busy. Victor said no and told Ellen to make herself
comfortable while he went to fetch Kevin.
Wrapping her arms around herself, Ellen walked around
the living room of the lighthouse and stood for a
moment in front of the fireplace that generated a
warm, comfortable heat. The crackling sound of the
fire and even the smell of the burning wood helped to
relax Ellen. She lost track of time, standing there
with her eyes closed. She didn't hear Kevin walk down
the stairs. For a few seconds he just watched her and
reflected on how beautiful she was. Not wanting to
startle her he walked towards her and softly said,
Ellen turned to face Kevin and asked, "Can we talk
Taking her hand, Kevin led Ellen to two chairs that
weren't far from the fireplace and they sat down. He
raised his hand to touch her face but in mid-air
stopped and instead he placed his hand on his knee.
"Did you get any sleep last night?" he asked observing
Ellen's slightly puffy eyes.
"Not much," Ellen replied. "Kevin, last night you said
that you never told me your feelings previously
because 'it was never the right time'. Kevin, it still
isn't the right time, at least not for me." Kevin
started to interrupt Ellen but she halted his speech
by clasping both of his hands in hers. "No, please let
me finish. You're not involved with someone but I am.
And I'm more than involved; I'm engaged to be married.
I love Matt, Kevin. I really do love him. I know you
want me to take time and explore these feelings we
have for each other - see, I'm not denying it. I agree
that something is there. But I don't want to explore
them. I have very few rules, I mean moral rules, which
I live by because the few I have are quite
comprehensive. One of the main ones is not doing
something that I wouldn't want done to me. It's kind
of the reverse of the Golden Rule. I would be furious
if Matt came to me now and said that he needed time to
explore his feelings for another woman, and there is
no way that I could put him through that Kevin. It
wouldn't be right."
Ellen paused to take a deep breath before continuing.
"You're one of my closest friends, Kevin. Maybe even
my best friend. I don't want to lose your friendship.
But last night, for a moment, we crossed a line that
we shouldn't have crossed. And we can't do it again.
You have to make a decision, whether you want us to
continue our friendship. It is very special and
important to me and I want to maintain it. But that is
all I can offer and all I want Kevin, a friendship."
As much as he wanted to try and change her mind, Kevin
knew that it would be useless. "I can't say that I'm
surprised by your decision, Ellen. But I was
hoping..." Kevin reached for Ellen and they embraced.
Holding her Kevin knew that it would be hard to
pretend that Ellen was only a friend to him but he was
willing to try. Unless he left Port Charles he
couldn't see not having her in his life and he was
going to do whatever it would take to maintain a
relationship with her. He could feel her relaxing her
arms around him and reluctantly he released her from
his grip. "I don't want to lose you Ellen. I'm willing
to try." Kevin tried to be honest in his response and
Ellen recognized that he didn't say he wanted to be
just a friend.
"O.K." Ellen replied. As she prepared to leave Ellen
thought of Victor's greeting to her. "Oh, was anything
going on with your father this morning? He was looking
at me a little...strangely."
A crooked grin appeared on Kevin's face. "It was
probably due to Mary Scanlon's call to him early this
"Oh no," Ellen groaned.
"Don't worry," Kevin assured her as he opened the
front door for her. "I'll talk to him Ellen and maybe
he can help put a stop to the rumour mill before it
"Thanks." Ellen tip-toed up to kiss Kevin on the
cheek. "I'll see you later. Bye."
"Goodbye Ellen." Kevin stood at the open door in the
freezing cold and watched Ellen's car until it was no
longer in sight."
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