Chapter 2

But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

— Bless the Broken Road, Rascal Flatts


Patrick shrugged off the strange conversations with Elizabeth and Robin and looked at his father. “So you fell.”

Noah cleared his throat and smiled at the intern who was finishing his sutures. “Yeah. I was in my room at the Metro Court and I blacked out.”

Patrick frowned, shoved his hands in his pockets. “But you weren’t drinking.”

“No, I told you that was all behind me.”

The intern finished Noah’s sutures and gave him some brief instructions before leaving the room. Noah reached for his coat but Patrick put his hand out to block it. “Why’d you black out if you weren’t drinking?”

“I don’t know.” Noah jerked a shoulder. “Low blood sugar, not eating. There are always reasons. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take a cab back to the hotel–”

“You’re not leaving here until we know what happened. So sit down.” Patrick waited until his father obeyed before going to speak to Noah’s doctor.


“You didn’t run anything more than a basic blood test,” Patrick all but snarled as he tossed the test in question at Robin.

She blinked and reached for it. “He fell. I didn’t even need to run that but I thought you’d–” Robin pressed her lips together. “I’m not required to run anything more than that. Noah said he fell, we stitched him up. I don’t know what you’re getting at.”

“He said he blacked out and as soon as you knew it wasn’t alcohol related, you should have–”

“Wait just one second–he never said anything like that to me.” She looked at Elizabeth who was studiously ignoring the both of them as she made some notations in a chart. “Did he tell you that?”

“No.” Elizabeth fiddled with the cap on her pen. “But if he did, he’s going to need to be admitted for tests.” Her eyes darted back and forth between the two doctors. “I’ll…just…get started on that.” She picked up Noah’s chart and all but fled from the nurse’s station.

“We’ll get him admitted and get some tests run.” Robin sighed and decided it was better to be a doctor than to be a woman scorned. “I’m sorry but he never said anything like that. When he said he fell, I just thought it might be related to…and I thought if I ran the blood test, at least you’d know for sure.”

Patrick rubbed the back of his neck. “Well. Thanks. ” He leaned forward. “What was that about earlier? You seemed…off.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Robin said innocently.

“Don’t be stupid, Scorpio. It doesn’t look good on you. I mean about the deep freeze.” He crossed his arms on the counter and leaned closer. “I thought we had a good time last night.”

“We did and we agreed that would be the end of it. You’d stop…this…” Robin gestured with hands. “This whatever and we’d get on with our lives. I’d go back to…whatever and you’d get on with your next conquest.”

“We didn’t agree on anything. You stated that before the evening got started and I was under the impression that we had a good time after that.”

“What exactly did you think would happen, Patrick?” Robin asked coolly. “You stop acting like an arrogant jerk for five minutes and…what? I’d fall into your arms?” She snorted.

Patrick frowned. “I’m not following you. I thought you’d at least be open to the suggestion of another date.”

Robin hesitated. But before she could even begin to think about it, the elevators doors beeped, slid open and Carly stepped out. “Patrick,” she smiled. “You left the restaurant so quickly that I thought I’d make sure nothing was wrong.”

And just like that, Robin remembered. She shook her head. “For once, Carly, you showed up just in time.”

Carly pursed her lips. “Don’t tell me you abandoned me for Princess over here.” She tossed her back and for a moment, Robin wanted to rip it out. “She’s not worth your time.”

“Carly, this isn’t a good time,” Patrick began.

“No, it’s perfect actually. Just perfect.” Robin picked up stack of charts. “I’ll get started on those tests and as for the other thing, you can go to hell.” She stalked away.

Carly shook her head. “I don’t know why you’re wasting your time with her.” She leaned in toward him and didn’t notice the way he slightly leaned away. “She can’t give you what I can.”

Patrick stepped back. “I think you’d better tell me exactly why you and Robin don’t get along.”


“I don’t know why we’re going to all this trouble,” Noah sighed as Elizabeth started to hook up some monitors. She reached for the IV kit. “Do I have to have one of those?”

“For a doctor, you’re really a bit whinier than I would have expected,” but Elizabeth was smiling as she said it. “At any rate, it was your son that convinced Robin that you need some further testing. If I were you, I’d take it as a good sign and go along with it.”

“Yeah, I guess it is a good sign but I don’t know why he’s bothering. We haven’t gotten along in years,” Noah sighed. He grimaced when Elizabeth slid the needle into his skin. “I hate these things.”

“I haven’t seen my parents in almost ten years,” Elizabeth murmured. “They show almost no interest in me or my son and didn’t even reply to the invitation to my wedding.” She met Noah’s eyes. “But I’d like to think that if anything happened to one of them, I’d step up to the plate. He’s reaching out to you, Dr. Drake, in the only way he knows how.”

“And getting some torture in while he’s at it,” Noah muttered as he held up his arm with the plastic tubing hanging off it. “So, tell me. What has my son done that’s got your back up?”

“He’s an idiot,” Elizabeth replied. She made some marks on his chart. “He finally got Robin to go out with him and then she sees him with Carly the next day. I’m just saying–it doesn’t show a lot of character on his part but maybe that’s okay with him. Maybe it really was all about the challenge. But if that’s true, he should have left her alone.” Elizabeth closed his chart. “Because she’s got enough to deal with without being tossed over for a blonde again. I know how she feels.”

“Again.” Noah leaned back against his pillow. “Robin’s got history with this Carly, then.”

“The same kind of history we have with the Indians,” Elizabeth said sourly. “Carly destroyed her life, Jason’s life, Michael’s life…and somehow managed to walk away with everything she ever wanted. And all Robin got was a kick in the ass as she left town. I can’t imagine why it would upset her that Patrick pursued her and then went after Carly.” She shook her head. “Dr. Jones is the attending on call. He’ll be in to talk about what tests you’ll need.”


Carly snorted. “Robin doesn’t like me because she’s knows I’m better than her.” She shrugged. “Jason chose me over the pasty princess and she decided to get back at the both of us by ruining our lives and my son’s life. She’s a vindictive bitter bitch who’ll get what’s coming to her one day–”

“Oh, giving Patrick your life story?” Elizabeth asked, stepping into the nurse’s station. “Noah’s set up and Tony Jones will be his primary doctor if you want to talk to him.”

“Oh, if it isn’t the other damsel in distress. It doesn’t surprise me that you back Robin up.” Carly stepped towards her old nemesis. “You’re both little weaklings that couldn’t survive in my life–”

“No, we’re just women who didn’t exactly appreciate the grip you have on Jason’s…” Elizabeth coughed delicately, “…life.” She looked at Patrick. “If you deal with Carly, then you deserve what you get.”

“I am out of here. There is just too many of you little angels running around. It’s making me nauseous.” Carly stormed towards the elevators and jammed at the buttons.

Patrick looked to Elizabeth. “So you’re another of Jason’s women, then?”

“And someone else that Carly drove out of his life.” Elizabeth’s smile was bitter. “Don’t believe a word she says because she always makes herself out to be better. She came to this town to destroy her mother and along the way, she drove AJ Quartermaine to his death, Tony Jones to a breakdown, destroyed Robin and Jason and nearly destroyed her son and that’s only some of the casualties Hurricane Carly has left behind. She’s nothing more than trash in classy clothing.” She jerked a shoulder. “Noah’s in Room 226.”

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