Chapter 17

"You want to explain yourself?" Grace huffed as Chris dragged her to the GH parking garage.


"Have you heard from Harmon lately?" he asked as he continued to direct the unyielding nurse in the direction of his car.


"No, Iím not one of his favorite people right now. Why?"


"I saw Burgess with his files a while ago. She was pretty anxious to get rid of me, and when I asked if there was a problem with one of her patients she wouldnít answer," he explained.


"As if she would anyway?" Grace said jerking her arm from his grasp. "What are you getting at Chris?"


"She didnít know I saw Mattís files, but she didnít correct me when I asked if there was a problem with a patient. Something is going on. Burgess came here, locked herself in her office with Mattís files and later I saw a lab tech go in there. Hereís the interesting thing, moments after the tech left she rushed out of her office, went to the drug cabinet, then tore outta here like the place was on fire. So Iím following her. Iím betting sheís on her way to see Harmon."


"Mattís out of town," she reminded him.


"Maybe heís back now."


"So what if he is. Why would Ellen be taking drugs to him?"

"Thatís what Iím going to find out. Since I know how taken you are with the guy I thought youíd be interested in what was going on." Watching intently as Ellenís car pulled out of the garage. "We donít have time to waste. I donít want to lose her," Chris said scurrying to his car.


"Why do you want me to come?"


"I told you why. I thought youíd be interested in knowing what was going on with Harmon."


"The real reason Chris," Grace returned suspiciously, folding her arms across her chest.


"Iím pretty sure Burgess is going to Mattís, but if thatís not where sheís going, thatís still where weíre going. I want to take a look around and Iíll need a lookout."


"Why should I help you?"


"Because you want Harmon as much as I want to win the Quartermaine. We could help each other. If Harmon is sick, you can be there for him."


"And how will Matt being sick help you?"


"His being sick wouldnít, but the guy has too many secrets. What do we know about him besides he went to med school at Columbia? Nothing, thatís what. You two dated, did he ever tell you anything about his family."


"No," she replied sullenly. "He never told me anything personal about his life."


"You didnít find that strange?"


"Some people donít like talking about their personal life. Mattís a private person."


"Well, I say enough with the privacy. Are you in or not?" Chris asked as he opened the driver side door of his car.


"Yeah, Iím in," she answered as she slid into the passenger side.


**~~~**~~~**

Mike quickly ushered Ellen into the apartment when she arrived. "So, are the test results back?" he asked as she brushed past him and over to Mattís bedside.


"Yes they are back, and his condition is much worse than I thought. He needs to go to the hospital and he needs to go now," she sternly informed him as she proceeded to give Matt a dosage of the antibiotic she had.


Mike was wearing an extremely pained expression. He was torn. If Ellen said Matt needed to be in the hospital, thatís where he should be, but he promised him he wouldnít take him. "Youíre giving him medicine now, you canít treat him here?"


Taking her eyes off Matt for just a moment, "This is just an antibiotic, something to help ward off the infection thatís running rampant in his body. This is not a cure, itís like a Band-Aid," she explained.

Still not comfortable with taking Matt to the hospital, "Ellen IÖ" Mike began.


She holds out her hand to stop whatever he was about to say. "Mike this is not up for discussion. I donít know whatís going on, or what you know or donít know, however, what I do know is that Matt needs to be in the hospital."


"I promised him no hospital. Ellen I canítÖ"


Ellen shook her head, alerting Mike that she wasnít interested in what he was saying. "I canít watch him die," she said glancing at the ailing man as he rested fitfully, "and thatís exactly whatís going to happen if he doesnít get the help he needs. Mike something terrible is happening here, and has happened to Matt. You may have promised not to take him to the hospital, but I didnít."


"I canít let you do that."


"You canít stop me. I had hoped you wouldnít stand in my way, but in the off chance that you did," she took a deep breath before proceeding, "I called for ambulance before I got here."


Mike was aghast. "Ellen you didnít?"


"Didnít I?" she returned unflinchingly.


He couldnít read her expression, but he had to believe that she didnít do what she said. Raking his hand through his curly blond locks, Mike began to pace the floor. "You didnít do that Ellen," he said with all the confidence he could muster.


"How can you be so sure?" she returned.


Her façade was slipping, at that moment Mike knew she hadnít called an ambulance and his expression said as much.

She confirmed his suspicion. "Alright, I didnít call an ambulance." She sighed deeply. "Mike, I have no idea whatís going on here, but Iím not blowing smoke when I tell you if Matt doesnít get to the hospital heís going to die. Is that what you want?"


"You know better than that."


"Then why are we talking, you should be helping me get him to the hospital."


"Ellen itís not that simple."


Her fingers gently brushed against Mattís hair. "I donít doubt that. It appears you know whatís going on here, while I only have a few frightening facts," tears filled her eyes as she remembered what she discovered from Mattís files. Taking a moment, she squeezed her eyes shut to hold back the tears. "I know somebody hurt him, and I know heís deathly ill. You may have made him a promise, but you canít in good conscious keep that promise if you know itís going to kill him. You know you canít do that Mike, and even more than that, I canít let you."

Mike didnít even have time to wonder where Ellen acquired her knowledge of Mattís situation; he just knew she was telling the truth. His allowing Ellen to get as involved in the situation as she was was bad enough, but when Matt wakes up in the hospital, heíll be fit to be tied. Mike looked at the bright side, heíd be upset, but at least Matt would still be, and that was the important thing. They would just have to figure everything else out later.


"Alright, he can go to the hospital," Mike agreed. "Iíll call an ambulance."

"Itís the right thing to do Mike," Ellen said as she bundled Matt for transport to the hospital.

Five minutes later Frank Scanlon and his partner, a twenty-something African American male, arrived.

"What happened to him?" Frank asked upon seeing the haggard man and checking his vitals. "I was surprised when I got the call and realized it was Mattís address."

Mike glanced at Ellen for a moment before sharing a story with Frank. "He told me he was in a garage helping a friend with a car problem when a can of turpentine exploded."

"I think Iím gonna stay out of garages from now on," Frankís partner groaned.

After loading Matt onto the stretcher the EMTs headed out the door with Ellen who was riding with them, and Mike. Mike was just about to close the door to the apartment when Grace approached.

"What happened to Matt?" she asked, coming to a stop before Ellen and Mike.

Ellen didnít like the feeling that overcame her upon seeing Grace. Her head was spinning. She had her concern for Matt and then there was everything else. She had discovered a lot about Matt, and he had said a lot of things to her over the past twenty-four hours, all of which she was now second-guessing. What was true? What wasnít? Where did she fit into his life, and where did Grace? Now was not the time to even try to figure that all out, what was important at this moment was getting Matt well. "Thereís no time to explain," Ellen answered. "I have to get to the hospital. You coming Mike?"

"Iím right behind you," he replied, his focus floating to the other woman that was present.

Sensing he wanted a moment with Grace, Ellen nodded her head and departed for the ambulance.

Giving the nurse a sideways glance, "Is there something you wanted Grace?" he asked.

She broke the hard stare she had on Ellen upon being dismissed so cavalierly before turning to Mike. "I was checking to see if Matt was back in town. He looks terrible, what happened to him?"

"He had a run in with an exploding can of turpentine. He didnít think he was hurt too badly, but it appears he was wrong. Look, I wish I could explain in more detail, but I really need to be getting to the hospital."

"Yeah, uh, the battery in my cell phone died and I need to make a call. Is it okay if I use Mattís phone?"

Mike was getting an uneasy feeling, but Grace wasnít a threat to Mattís physical life, just an obstacle in the personal life he wanted with Ellen. "Yeah, itís fine, just close the door when youíre done, itís already locked."

"No problem. I will only be a couple of minutes. Iíll see you at GH."

He was feeling a little hesitant still but he really wanted to get to the hospital. "Okay."

When Mike finally left, Grace went to the previously locked door and unlocked it before pulling it closed. Something was terribly wrong and while she was at the hospital trying to figure out what that was, Chris would have ample opportunity to find out what he could at Mattís. Heading over to the Recovery Room where Chris waited, she explained what was happening and that she left the door unlocked for him, before walking the short distance to the hospital. She really didnít care what Chris did, Matt was sick, he would need her, and she had every intention of being by his side the entire time. To hell with Ellen and what Matt thought he felt for her. When all was said and done, he would see that she was the woman for him, not Ellen Burgess.

Moments after Grace left, Chris went to the back alley of the restaurant and entered Mattís apartment. Scoping the space Matt called home, Chris began his work. "Okay Harmon, there are secrets here, and I plan to find out exactly what they are."