Chapter 7

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the North Star

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

— Bless the Broken Road, Rascal Flatts

Elizabeth was leaning up against the wall, staring at nothing at all. Her son lay on his back in the small crib, howling. She’d exhausted tears long ago and was now praying for relief.

Patrick entered. “Robin was worried,” he remarked. He went to Cameron’s side and studied the toddler’s chart for a long moment before doing something with the IV line.

“What are you doing?” Elizabeth asked dully.

“Giving him a sedative so that he’ll sleep through the worst of it,” Patrick said. “The respirator has helped but his throat is inflamed and the screaming is only making it worse so this will be better for him.”

Elizabeth sat up straight and rubbed her eyes, smiling faintly as Cameron’s cries faded until he slipped into sleep. “Is Robin…is she any closer?”

“She’s been trying to isolate the virus but its slow going. There was something about studying Luke’s blood but I’ve been checking on patients so I wasn’t in that meeting.”

“Luke?” Elizabeth asked. “Is he sick too? I’m sorry–but I haven’t left this room since Cameron was admitted. I should have gone to isolation but…” she shrugged helplessly. “He’s my baby.”

Patrick nodded. “Well, apparently Luke brought the virus back from his vacation somehow and has been fighting it off so we’ll see. Children and the elderly will get whatever treatment we have first, okay?”

“I know…it’s just…” Elizabeth shook her head. “It’s just hard to listen to him crying and not be able to fix it.” She rubbed her hands together. “Robin–I wanted to check on her–I heard about her father and–is she okay?”

“She’s in the denial stage right now,” Patrick studied Cameron’s chart for another moment before frowning down at the small body. “I think she’s trying to avoid it while this crisis is going on. It seems to be going method of dealing.”

“There are only two good things about this entire situation,” Elizabeth said. “Lucky wasn’t around Luke or Cameron before we were quarantined and well…” she smirked. “Carly wasn’t in the hospital either. I already had to live across the hall from her once–being quarantined with her would be my own personal hell.”

Noah struggled from his bed and started for the door only to be waylaid by his son.

“Get back in there,” Patrick took his father’s elbow and steered him back. “You insisted on staying here to recover, then recover.”

“I’d be more help out there,” Noah argued but he didn’t have the energy to push past his son. “I can’t sit in here for days while chaos reigns out there.”

“Well, you’re going to have to,” Patrick helped him back into bed before pulling Noah’s chart from the foot of bed. “Your vitals were strong the last time Elizabeth checked you–”

“I heard about her son,” Noah cut in, “is he okay?”

“He’s not doing well,” Patrick sighed. He replaced the chart. “This strain is hard on the young, but most illnesses are. We form some sort of treatment, he’ll have a shot. Otherwise…” he shook his head. “I’m glad I don’t have kids and seeing Elizabeth Spencer upstairs in that room just makes me all that more certain that I don’t want them.”

“They’re a pain in the ass, but they’re generally worth it,” Noah said. “You’ll change your mind.”

“No, I won’t.” Patrick started for the door.

“You don’t have to have children to be vulnerable to loss, Patrick,” Noah called after him. His son turned, his hand on the door. “We both know that better than anyone.” Noah paused. “How’s Robin? Bobbie told me about her father.”

“She was dealing with it before this all began, now she’s avoiding it.” Patrick shrugged. “She’s stronger than she looks.” He looked away. “Get some sleep.”

When the door shut behind him, Noah leaned back against his pillows.

“How could I live with myself if my selfishness cost me my son?”

“And how will Patrick be able to live with himself when you die and he could have saved you?”

Mac found Patrick examining Lulu Spencer. He waited for the doctor to exit the room. “They told me at Admitting that you’re Cameron Webber’s doctor on record.”

“One of them,” Patrick started down the hall and Mac fell into step next to him. “How do you know him?”

“Elizabeth’s husband is one of my officers and they won’t let him in. He wanted an update straight from you, Elizabeth won’t give him any straight answers.” Mac stepped in front of Patrick. “He’s bad, isn’t he?”

Patrick sighed. “Yeah–along with Lulu Spencer, Dillon Quartermaine and Morgan Corinthos, all four of them are in the worse condition. They’re young and their bodies can’t find the disease as well. They don’t have enough antibodies. If we don’t come up with some sort of treatment…”

“Robin’s working on that, isn’t she?” Mac cast a long look down the hall where he knew the labs were located. “I wish she were anywhere but here.”

“She’s not working near the patients,” Patrick assured him. “She wanted to check on them but I convinced her not to.”

Mac frowned. “I didn’t realize you had that sort of influence over my niece. She’s as stubborn as the rest of the Scorpios.” Filing that information away for later, he shook his head. “If anyone can find a treatment, Robin can.”

Robin finished loading the syringe with liquid and exhaled slowly. “Well–it’s start.”

She tucked the syringe into her lab coat pocket and stood. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she was struck with a wave of vertigo. “No…” Robin shook her head resolutely. For the past hour, she’d felt warm and a little dizzy but she’d worked through it, determined to get this formula created and to one of the patients to test.

She’d come too far to fail now.

Robin took a deep breath and started for the door.

She never made it.


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