The heater was blowing at full-force in the sedan but
the passenger and driver felt only a deathly chill
inside of the car. Initially Ellen was grateful when
Matt insisted that they immediately leave Luke's club
and not say a word to each other until they arrived at
her apartment. However, the short drive from Luke's
to her apartment seemed unbearably long tonight.
Several times during the drive she briefly glanced at
Matt hoping that their gazes would lock, but not once
could he bring himself to look at her. His expression
was stoic and impassive as he stared straight ahead.
Matt's clenched jaw and unusually deep, controlled
breaths were the only indications of the emotions he
was working desperately to keep in check. Upon
arriving at her apartment, Ellen sat down on her
couch, nervously clasping hands, and prepared to tell
Matt what she should have told him as soon as he
returned to Port Charles. Her heart became heavier -
if that was possible - when she noted that Matt
remained in his chair opposite her and did not join
her on the couch.
"Matt," she began, her eyes beginning to fill with
tears and her voice quivering, "I know that this is
late in coming, and that someone has probably
mentioned to you - "
"Grace," Matt sharply corrected her. "Ellen, Grace
was the person who finally had the nerve to say to me
what GH personnel apparently have been whispering for
weeks - that you and Kevin Collins are lovers."
Knowing the actual truth was not much better than
Grace's erroneous comment, Ellen still attempted to
defend herself. Shaking her head she said, "That's
not true Matt. Kevin and I aren't lovers but, but
something has changed between us."
"When?" Matt barked, still trying not to raise his
voice. "When did you two decide that you were
something more than friends?" Matt blinked his eyes
as he felt his face flush red in anger.
"During the past few weeks - "
Interrupting again, in an attempt to make sure he had
the facts straight, Matt gave Ellen a piercing stare
and asked incredulously, "You mean when I was out of
town in New York?"
Nodding her head, shame washed over Ellen's face.
"Yes, Kevin told me that he had romantic feelings for
me and, well, you know that I care for Kevin and he is
just about my closest friend and all of a sudden I
wasn't sure what my feelings were for him. My love
for you is real Matt. It still exists and I will
always love and care about you. But my feelings for
Kevin," Ellen shook her head in disbelief, speaking as
much to herself as she was to Matt, "I don't
understand them and I can't explain them. I've tried
to ignore them and focus just on you and me, but -"
Ellen's speech faltered as she watched Matt close his
eyes and use his fingertips to massage the temples.
With a dangerous edge in voice Matt said, "You said
that Grace - and apparently the whole GH staff - were
wrong in thinking you and Kevin are lovers." He
started recounting the details that Grace stubbornly
described to him at Luke's that night. "Were they
wrong in saying he came out of your apartment late one
night covered with lipstick, or that you've visited at
his home while I was away, or you've had numerous
private meetings with him at GH, or - "
"Stop, Matt," Ellen pleaded, voice cracking and the
tears started rolling down her face. "Please!"
Ellen reached out to touch Matt but he quickly rolled
his chair backwards to avoid her touch. Taken aback
by Matt's response, Ellen placed her hands in her lap
and tried to reach Matt with her words. "I can't deny
on the surface, just looking at the facts, it looks
like we were sneaking around behind your back, but we
didn't plan what has happened. We didn't
intentionally go out to hurt you or Lucy."
As much as Matt wanted to believe the woman he loved,
his rational mind was overriding the urgings of his
heart. Narrowing his eyes, he sharply asked, "Why did
Lucy run out of Luke's tonight?"
Ellen dropped her eyes momentarily as she remembered
Lucy's shocked, tear-stained face staring at her and
Kevin from Luke's office doorway. On the dance floor
Ellen had made her decision and now she had to tell
Matt. Taking a deep breath and knowing there was no
easy way to break someone's heart, Ellen said, "She
came into Luke's office and saw us - Kevin and me -
Gripping the wheels of his chair in an unsuccessful
effort to keep himself from exploding, Matt bellowed,
"She...saw...you...and...Kevin...kissing? She saw you
and Kevin kissing!" Matt became apoplectic as he
remembered the conversations at Luke's that evening.
That book was a work of fiction, Matt. Matt, you
don't mind if I dance with Ellen, do you? Matt had a
few choice words he'd deliver soon to Dr. Kevin
Collins but unfortunately for Ellen, she alone was
going to bear the full brunt of Matt's rage at this
moment. "What was going to be your plan? Were you
going to feign having a headache so that you and Kevin
could continue your Valentine celebration later
tonight without the inconvenience of Lucy and me being
"Matt, I decided on the dance floor that I was going
to tell you everything about Kevin and me tonight. I
only went into Luke's office to tell Kevin of my
decision." Ellen knew that her explanation was not
the complete truth. She also went into Luke's office
to comfort Kevin because she knew how this situation
was affecting them both, but she couldn't bring
herself to share the truth with Matt.
"But you needed to tell him with something other than
words?" Matt said bitterly through clenched teeth.
What kind of a fool did Ellen take him for?
With dogged persistence Ellen attempted to explain why
she delayed in tell Matt what had happened with Kevin.
"Matt, you know me better than almost anyone else.
My main character flaw is that I have a great fear
sometimes of expressing my feelings for people and
often I try to deny them. For years I denied that I
needed my mother and family in my life and it took
years for us to reconcile. For the better part of a
year I denied my feelings for you and only because of
your love and patience and tenacity was I able to
finally admit that I loved you. And then when Kevin
told me how he felt for me, and I recognized that I
did have similar feelings for him, as usual I fell
into my state of denial. But I discovered quickly
that I couldn't maintain it and I needed to tell both
of you the truth."
Knowing his next words would hurt Ellen and hopefully
inflict some of the pain that stabbed his own heart,
Matt sarcastically commented, "I'm so glad that you've
made progress in not denying your true feelings.
Alice had to wait several years for that breakthrough;
I had to battle your stone wall for a year; but Kevin
benefited tremendously from your enlightened knowledge
and is on the verge of bedding you after only a few
weeks of work." Ellen gasped and visibly flinched
upon hearing Matt's stinging remark. She knew he had
every reason to be furious about her actions and he
wasn't pulling any punches with his rebukes.
"Ellen, I trusted you. I trusted you," Matt repeated
with noticeable emphasis on the word trusted. He
quickly brushed away tears that had been threatening
to fall since his conversation with Grace. "Do you
know how important trust is to a person like me and
the world from which I come? My own father and
brother were willing to kill me because they didn't
trust me. Kevin Collins was making advances and
hitting on you for weeks and you said NOTHING to me.
It didn't matter whether you did or didn't know how
you felt about him. I'm talking only about you and me
now. You should have told me immediately and you
didn't," he said fiercely. How could Ellen have done
Ellen had no defense and she knew it. Tears continued
to fall from her reddened eyes. Her delay in telling
Matt about Kevin was inexcusable but until tonight she
sincerely thought she could eventually deal with her
feelings for Kevin without hurting Matt. That huge
error in judgment may have cost her any chance of
having any type of relationship with Matt. Her words
were totally inadequate but it was all she could
muster, "I am so sorry," she sobbed.
Now having all of the facts out in the open, Matt
decided they both needed some time apart to decide
what would happen next. With tremendous sadness and
without saying another word, he abruptly turned around
and started moving towards the apartment door to
leave. Ellen ached to jump off of the couch and stop
him from leaving, but there was nothing she could say
at this moment to ease the pain her actions had
caused. It was best to let Matt decide when they
should talk about what would happen next. Matt opened
the door of the apartment and not turning around to
face Ellen, he strained to keep the sobs from his
voice, "I'll call you in a few days." Once in the
hallway, Matt quickly pressed the open palm of his
hands to his mouth to muffle the cry that
uncontrollably burst from his throat. Gasping for
breath he whispered hoarsely, "I can't believe it is
over. I can't believe it."
It was 11 p.m. and Kevin lay on his bed, briefly
breaking his almost constant stare at his ceiling to
look at the uncomfortably silent telephone again. He
had arrived home an hour earlier and immediately
checked his answering machine for a message from
Ellen. No message had been left, and during the
ensuing time as he waited his mind continuously
drifted to his altercation with Lucy.
After leaving Luke's office, she quickly retrieved her
coat from the coat check and had run almost a full
block before Kevin was able to catch up with her.
"Let me go!" Lucy screamed as Kevin grabbed her arm
and she unsuccessfully tried to break free. The cold
winter's night air was quickly drying Lucy's tears,
which continued to fall.
"Lucy, you'll break your neck running out here in the
freezing cold in high heels," Kevin reasoned. "We
need to talk." Nodding his head towards the doorway
of a bar a few yards from them Kevin suggested,
"Please, let's go in there where I can at least call
you a cab if you insist on not letting me take you
Lucy finally jerked herself free of Kevin's grip.
Recognizing the fact that she was freezing, Lucy
sniffled and haughtily raised her head as she entered
the bar. She and Kevin sat down across from each
other in a booth in the almost empty bar.
"Aren't you going to call the cab for me?" Lucy asked
Kevin leaned back in his seat. "I am, in a minute.
But we need to talk first."
"It's kind of late to talk isn't it Kevin?" Lucy asked
bitterly. The unbelievable sight of Kevin
passionately kissing and embracing Ellen in Luke's
office continued to flash before her eyes. Lucy had
been standing in the doorway at least 30 seconds,
shocked in frozen horror watching, before Kevin caught
a glimpse of her. "Apparently both you and Ellen have
been keeping Matt and me completely clueless about
"Lucy, I'm not to address what Ellen did or did not
tell Matt because I don't know. I'm sorry that you
found out my feelings for Ellen the way that you did,
but I have told you repeatedly that I didn't want to
be anything but friends with you. You cannot say that
I misled you in that matter."
"You didn't tell me that you didn't want to be with me
because you were having an affair with Ellen Burgess!"
Lucy shot back. "How can you even pretend that you've
been honest with me?" Momentarily having a clear
mind, Lucy snatched her cellphone from her purse and
called for a taxi.
Assuming that a taxi would be at the bar to pick up
Lucy any moment, Kevin continued trying to talk to
Lucy in the little time they had left. Leaning
forward he looked Lucy directly in the eyes and said,
"Lucy, you know very well that I couldn't tell you
anything about my relationship with Ellen. But it
really is a separate issue. Even if I never had a
chance to be with Ellen, which was a very real
possibility, you and I were not going to get back
together again. Nothing has changed between us since
we've broken up and it would have been useless to
resume the relationship. We've discussed it many
times; you just refuse to accept it."
"You never told me that there was another woman
between us!" Lucy insisted.
"There is no woman between us Lucy. Didn't you just
hear what I said?" Kevin sighed heavily.
"Regardless, if I had confessed that I was in love
with someone, you wouldn't have left things alone and
you would have done you best to find out who this
woman was before we were ready for people to know. I
have no regrets not telling you my feelings for
"Love? You believe that you love her?" Lucy asked in
wide-eyed disbelief. "Worrying about me and my
reaction to you and Ellen should be the least of your
concerns. Don't you think Matt Harmon is going to
have something to say about all of this?" Seeing the
look of concern that flickered across Kevin's face,
Lucy knew that she had drawn blood with her last
question. "I see that you haven't thought much of
Matt. Well, when Ellen comes to her senses and Matt
agrees to forgive her, maybe you might be looking for
me to forgive you also." As the driver for Lucy's cab
entered the bar, Lucy hurried to leave and put an end
to one of her worst nights in recent memory. "Don't
wait too long to call me Kevin."
Now, back at his home alone, fear and uncertainty
gripped Kevin as he wondered why he hadn't heard from
Ellen yet. Was it possible that Matt, though he was
probably angry with Ellen, convinced her not to break
their engagement? Did he get her to agree not to have
any association with Kevin? Certainly the longer he
didn't hear from Ellen the more his anxiety grew. It
would be stupid to call Ellen now, especially if Matt
was still there. And it would be even more stupid to
go to her apartment now. She had promised to call him
tonight and Kevin decided to wait for her call, no
matter if he had to sit up all night. Nervousness
made him restless and he went downstairs to work on a
new oil painting in an attempt to do something
productive while waiting. Just before midnight, the
telephone rang and Kevin answered it before the second
Without preamble, Kevin asked anxiously, "Ellen?"
"Hi Kevin," Ellen said in a soft voice. All of the
events of the evening had left Ellen emotionally and
physically drained and Kevin could discern this from
her voice. For the last two hours Ellen had cried
continuously. Her rational mind told her it was silly
that 'she' should be crying. After all, she was
responsible for the turmoil and upheaval that occurred
tonight. But knowing how she had hurt Matt, who had
given her his love and support from almost the moment
they met, distressed her tremendously. Ellen knew
Matt deserved better than what happened to him
tonight. Apologizing to Kevin she said, "I know that
I should have called earlier but it's taken me
sometime to pull myself together."
"Are you alone now?" Kevin asked hesitantly.
"Yes, Matt came back to the apartment with me but he
left quite some time ago. He knows all about us now.
Unfortunately, he heard it first from someone else
tonight. We argued and he left, saying that we needed
a few days apart before we could talk again."
"So you two didn't finish talking tonight?"
Ellen replied, "No, we didn't."
Kevin drew a long breath. He needed to know now if
Ellen had made any decisions about her future, and in
essence his future also. "Ellen, when you came into
Luke's office tonight, I sensed that you were coming
to me. Was I right?"
"Yes," Ellen admitted, "I was coming to you. I don't
know what there is between us Kevin or if we have a
future together, but I need to find out. I can't
marry Matt and always be thinking "what if". It would
be better for me to be alone than to have those doubts
and also have Matt sense them. So yes, I want and
need to understand what this is between us."
Kevin would never be able to describe the overwhelming
relief and joy that permeated through his body. He
swallowed hard and blinked his eyes, silently thankful
for Ellen's decision. After several seconds he found
his voice again and asked, "When can we see each other
"Kevin, I need to talk to Matt again first. He was
too angry to talk about our engagement tonight and I
had no right to try to ask him to do so. I need to
talk again to Matt before we see each other, so it may
be a few days."
"I understand," Kevin replied, not able to hide his
disappointment. "It's just that, it seems as if
because we've voiced how we feel about each other, I
have this pressing need to see you and be with you.
Do you understand what I mean?"
"Yes, I do Kevin. I know exactly what you are
feeling. That was one of the things I wanted to tell
you in Luke's office. I want to see you too but I
must talk to Matt first. I should have done it some
time ago and we can't see each other anymore until I
"O.K." Kevin promised. "Can I at least call you
"Yes, please do." Ellen rubbed her neck as she
finally started temporarily release some of the
tension she'd felt all night. No matter what their
relationship proved to be, Ellen knew that the
foundation was a strong and deep friendship with
Kevin. They had shared some of their best and worst
experiences with each other during the brief 3 years
they'd known each other, and tonight was no different
in that respect. Recognizing this, a faint trace of a
smile appeared on Ellen's face as she added, "That
is, if I don't call you first. Good night Kevin."
Ellen listened to the noticeable pause before Kevin
eventually said, "Good night." Some things shouldn't
be said during a telephone conversation; Kevin would
wait to say what was on his mind when he would see