This story is not related to Twilight in any shape or form. I just thought I'd share with you all and hope you enjoy it. There is no preface, just the first chapter so far and if you'd like me to send up updates add me as a friend.
I want to thank Mandiberry for both banners. They both fit perfectly for this story.
Driving to work this morning was a nightmare. Traffic as far as the eye could see and A.J. Miller couldn't find a way out to save her life. Stuck in the center lane, heading for downtown New York at six-thirty in the morning should have been fairly easy. But it wasn't and the only thing that calmed her was knowing she was the owner of the art gallery Forever Treasures. So, whenever she showed the doors would then open.
The sun was shining by the time she managed to exit the highway and start her slow commute towards the gallery. And low and behold it seemed as if everyone had made the same choice A.J. had to leave for work. Sidewalks were packed, there were all kinds of vehicles on the roadways and you guessed it construction on every street. Got to love New York!
She turned on her blinker before the actual street was visible so the everyone around her would know she wanted to turn. And when she finally made it to her parking space she had to sit there a few minutes so her heart would stop beating so fast. If she didn't get it under control there'd be trouble. With a capital T.
“Ashley, help...” she mumbled. Did she say this out loud? Would Ashley come outside and find her boss, dead? No, no. She couldn't think that way. There was too much going on right now in her life to think about death, even though it's always been in the back of her mind for a long time coming.
Sweat beaded on her forehead and one hand automatically went to her chest trying to control her heart from the outside. But nothing was working. No one had noticed.
Her hair was falling out of the tight bun it was in, landing in her eyes but she couldn't raise her left arm to brush it away. She was losing the fight she'd fought forever and the only thing that was on her mind was the one thing she'd never said....I love you.
“Miss, don't move. I've called 9-1-1 they're on their way.”
She opened her mouth but the words never come. Pain shot through her chest and her vision blurred then faded to black. Slipping away from the life she loved, from the people she knew and the friends she'd never be able to say 'Good-Bye' to.
Tears escaped her eyes as her world came to an end.
“Miss can you hear me? Stay with me.” He bent down and checked for a pulse. Nothing. His heart squeezed shut, he'd come here to surprise her, to rekindle something they'd had years ago and now he wouldn't get that chance.
Terrance Bailey grabbed her hand and begged God himself not to let this happen. His eyes teared up and he knew right then and there if he didn't do something he'd lose her forever. Angling her head back, he opened her mouth taking a deep breath and blowing straight into her lungs. He watched her chest rise and fall with every breath he breathed into her. Placing his hands on her chest, he started compressions. One, two, three, four, five and breathe. Checking her pulse again, still nothing. One..two..three..four..five and breathe.
“Oh my God what happened?” Ashley stepped out the back door to see why her boss who she saw in the parking lot, was taking so long to come inside. “A.J.?” She dropped beside her and cried.
Sirens could be heard coming their way but would they make it in time? Ashley whispered a short prayer that they could save her friend. A.J. being only twenty-six years of age and only a few years older than herself and the youngest person that she knew of that owned and ran her own art gallery. The one person she looked up to and worshiped.
Ashley stroked her blond hair back from A.J.'s face and gasped. There was blood thick and dark red, mixed in with gravel and dirt on the back of her head. Cries ripped out of her and she stumbled back.
The ambulance was there a minute later, the doors opened and two paramedic's ran out. “Does anyone know what happened?”
They pushed their way past Terrance to assist with their patient. “How long has see been out?”
“Five minutes,” Terrance said calmly.
“Does she have any medical problems that you know of?”
Ashley cried out, “A.J. has a heart condition. Dr. Ellicott at Mercy General has been treating her for the last five years.”
First both paramedic's stared at each other, wondering how someone so young could be in so much danger. Then they began to work, placing a neck brace on A.J., inserted an IV for fluids and an oxygen mask to start CPR. While one took over the compressions the other pulled the gurney out the back then both lifted her and took her away.
Disinfectant and something else was all A.J. could smell to figure out where she was. Maybe she'd passed out and was in the waiting room at her doctors office. But when she peeled her eyes opened she knew she was way off. The green wallpaper and tiled floor gave everything away. This hospital she knew way to well. She'd actually been here three times a month for the last five years. This is where she first found out about her condition and the last place she wanted to be now.
In this tiny room she felt alone, there were of course the nurses that had come in and checked on her but no friends or business partners. The room was bare, no flowers, cards that said get well, nothing. Maybe, she thought, she'd done something wrong in the last twenty-six years.
Dr. Ellicott was making his rounds and his last stop before his shift ended was the patient he feared for the most. She was so young and beautiful, he couldn't help thinking this was one of life's jokes. Having A.J. Miller walk into his office on that very day he was thinking about quitting for good. And to see her vibrant passion for life, her eyes pleading for him to help, he couldn't walk away.
He'd walked into her room expecting her to still be asleep and when he saw her blue eyes shining, his heart sank. “I was just sneaking in here to check on you but since you're awake there are a few things I need to discuss with you. First off you gave me and half the staff here a scare, young lady. And your heart, it's not so great anymore. I've put you on the top of the waiting list for a new one but it won't be for a couple months from now. So, what you're going to have to do for me is rest. Don't stress over anything, and I mean it. If I have too I'll write you a note stating bed rest until the heart is available.”
Nodding her head caused pain to shot through her skull and making her wince. She understood everything but didn't like it one bit. In order for her to live someone else had to die and that didn't settle well with her.
“I know what your thinking and I remember when you first came to my office. The vibrant young lady you were, I want to see her live a long life. Just keep strong and I'll be with you every step of the way.” Dr. Ellicott bent down and brushed his lips across her forehead. Wiping a tear away from her eye and having to turn around before his own betrayed him.
“I'm going to go make my rounds but if you need me for anything, call the nurse and they will page me.” He exited the room and stood there for a while. Getting this close to your patients is never a good thing but she'd saved him and he had to save her.
“Thomas...” she whispered as she watched the door. He meant well she knew this but he had to know he couldn't save everyone.
One of the nurses came through the door and her heart sunk. She thought he'd come back, she needed him to come back. She needed his strength, kindness, and love.
“Just checking everything dear,” the nurse said. “Are you in pain?”
“No,” A.J. cried, turning her head to face the wall.
The first time she'd stepped foot inside Dr. Ellicott's office she was terrified. And when they called her back, she thought, she'd cry. Not wanting to hear any kind of news about what was wrong with her. She wanted everything to be normal.
When he walked in the room her breath caught. He wasn't what she'd expected, nothing what she'd envisioned her doctor to look like. Dr. Thomas Ellicott was six-two, dark brown hair tied back in a ponytail, tanned with muscles she would have loved to touch. But his eyes are what she zeroed in on, the silverness of them held a lot of pain, a lot more than even she had and that made her want to hold him and say 'everything would be okay.'
Foolish is what she was, but her whole mood changed when he turned and smiled, sadly. Instead of feeling sorry for herself and her situation she smiled brightly and actually enjoyed herself. And then she found out the shocker of it all that he was twenty-nine – eight years her senior - and single.
After her initial visit he told her if she needed him for anything to call. And what would you know, exactly two weeks later that's what she did. However, when he showed up at her house for what she wanted a more relaxing time together ended up with him rushing her to the hospital. One minute she was standing at the door, inviting him inside and the next thing she knew she was in the hospital bed.
Dr. Ellicott checked on a few more patients before he retired for the night. Walking down the hallways he passed A.J.'s room and heard her soft muffled cries. Taking a deep breath he entered her room and found her curled up tightly. From the many times he's seen her both personally and professionally he knew better than anyone, how it feels to be alone. And at that moment all he wanted to do was hold her and promise the world. Instead he stood and watched with his heart tightly wound and tears of pain clouding his eyes.
Remembering back when he'd first figured out he loved her. They'd been in a hospital room almost exactly like this one and she was silently laying on her back, staring up at the ceiling. Although he believed it wasn't the ceiling she was seeing at all but beyond it, towards Heaven.
Her blond hair hung in ringlets, highlighting the blueness in her eyes, her lips were slightly parted but in his eyes she was beautiful. Whenever he'd think of her, see her, his heart would beat faster breaking into a sprint whenever she was near. And all he could do was smile because she made everything look easy, made his world perfect.
He walked to the chart and noted the nurse had just been and all her vitals were normal. Coming up to the side of the bed he reached out, placing his hand on her back and whispered, “we'll get through this together. I won't leave your side until your better.” It was a promise he'd made to himself all those years ago.
“Thomas, please. If something happens promise me you'll be happy.” She turned over to look at the man she fell in love with at first sight.
“Sweetheart, I'm happy now.” He whispered afraid of his own voice to say this louder. This was one thing he loved and hated about her, her calmness about death. He didn't want to think about it, let alone live it, ever.
He wanted to see her scream, yell, fight for her life. Wanted her to know he loved her and wasn't ready to let her go.
She covered her mouth when she yawned not wanting him to see that she was tried. Already she'd slept for what...hours? Days? What was the day? How long had she been here?
“I saw that. Close your eyes and I'll see you when you wake, I promise.” He bent over and kissed her lightly on the lips.
“Stay, please. Until I fall asleep.”
“Wouldn't dream of leaving.” He hummed and pulled up a chair so he could hold her hand while she closed her eyes. After her grip on his hand loosened he whispered faintly, “I love you”. Brushing another kiss on her forehead before sitting back down.
The peace that surrounded her while she sleep concerned him. Her mouth parted slightly and within minutes alarms were going off. Jumping to his feet, he checked her monitors and saw that it wasn't her's that were sounding.
Down the hallway the call came, “Code Blue, Code Blue!”
A tall brunette ran into the room and stopped short when she saw him. Then whispered in a rushed tone, “Dr. Ellicott your needed in Room 620.”
The whole floor consisted of patients with heart conditions and most of them were his patients. Quickly he jumped into step and ran down the hallway. Right behind a half a dozen others and entered the room. The nurses on call were already starting CPR and as if a switch had been turned inside him, his emotions buried deep and the doctor mode was forth right.
That night they lost two patients and even though A.J. knew she was meant to be sleeping, she couldn't. She cried for their loss, for the patients that were no longer here, for the families who'd lost them and for the staff. But most of all she could feel his pain as if it were her own and cried harder because of it.
Rolling over to face the wall, she pulled herself in, clasping her hands together and silently prayed. “Our Father, who art in Heaven. I ask of you this, please take care of those who have joined you and their families that have been left behind. The staff who've tried their hardest to keep the promises they've made, please ease their suffering. For the doctors who believe they've failed, please reassure them that they are not at fault. And I promise you, when my time in near I will follow you into the light and welcome your arms around me. Thank you for your gift of a great man who believes in me, who I love with all my heart, please take care of him when I no longer can.”
She was crying more now, saying these words out loud. The words she longed to say to the man himself. Thomas, she thought and her heart constricted. Squeezing pain throughout her chest.
Calm down. She told herself or the next room he'd be in tonight would be yours. Trying to save your life again.
Closing her eyes and taking deep relaxing breaths didn't help. Her emotional state was too high and soon her own alarms were sounding.
Thomas was sitting in the lounge room trying to cover up his grief. It had been a long night of doing everything possible to save lives. There'd been alarms going off all night, some he was able to save and some he lost. Losing those few broke him. Tears slid down his cheeks and his heart tightened. His shift was over, he knew that but he couldn't leave.
The two nurses that entered the lounge shortly after he did, were shaking badly. “I can't take this,” one stated as she cried.
“We need a crash cart, we're losing her. Start the compressions, nurse, the oxygen.”
“I'm so sorry, Dr. Ellicott,” a nurse said softly as she sat down beside him. She knew just by looking at him how he felt about A.J. And to know the she now was losing the fight, broke down her own shields.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “I'm going to go check on one other patient then I'm headed home.” He stood and was about to drag himself away when her words stopped him.
“If we loss her too, I don't know how much longer I can do this job.”
“What-” Before the question come out of his mouth he took off running. Reaching for her door and pushing it opened, he saw the crew that had just come on working on her. Alarms were sounding for all the machines in the room and all he could do was stand there and watch.
She was dieing from the first moment he met her. Most patients that saw him were, he was their last hope in surviving. And that's one reason why he wanted to end his practice. He couldn't keep his work at the office, he had to be come emotionally involved and this time was worse than any other time before.