Splintering Hearts Chapter 11

That airplane could not land fast enough for Ellen. As soon as the plane touched down in Port Charles she made her way over to Mattís. Ellenís heart was pounding in her chest; she could not shake the feeling that something very wrong was going on with him as she burst through the door of the Recovery Room and barreled towards Mattís apartment. Her closed hand was about to knock on his door when she heard Mikeís voice behind her.

"Heís not back yet," Mattís good friend and landlord disclosed.

Ellen sighed her disappointment evident as she glanced upward to the heavens. "Mike have you heard from him?" she asked turning her gaze to the older gentleman.
"No, not a word," he replied. You?"

"Uh-uh," she answered shaking her head. "I was worried about him before but Mike I have this feeling that something is very, very wrong with him now."

Placing a concerned arm on her shoulder, "You know Mattís a smart guy Ellen, he can take care of himself. Like I told you, those guys I saw him leave with didnít seem dangerous to me and they didnít force Matt to leave with them."

"I know Mike but you also said they didnít seem like friends. Itís not like Matt to just up and leave like this. That excuse for needing time off never really seemed right to me and this dread Iím feelingÖIím afraid for him."

Mike leads Ellen to a table in the restaurant and pours her a glass of water before joining her at the table. "Ellen Iím concerned about Matt too, but I donít think heíd want us to worry about him. Besides worrying is useless. Itís a perfectly good waste of emotion on a situation you donít even know exists. Whatís the old adage, Ďno news is good newsí?"

"Unless the person the news is about canít get to a phone," Ellen said appreciating what Mike was trying to do but acutely aware that it was not working. "Matt didnít tell you anything?"

"No, he didnít even tell me he was going out of town I just saw him leaving with some guys. Mike makes an attempt to shift the conversation away from Matt and her concern for him and onto something else. "He did mention that your mother had been hospitalized and was recently released."
"Yes she was," Ellen commented taking a sip of the water. His mentioning of her mother causing her to tense up.

"I wasnít aware that you even had family in Port Charles, you never mentioned that."

"Thatís because I didnít know she was here. Itís a long story Mike but my mother and I have been estranged for a lot of years."

"Her having been ill hasnít prompted you to want to try and make things better?"

"Not really but Matt has suggested I try, as a matter of fact I was planning to visit her today."
"Was planning?" Mike asked. "Something changed your mind?"

"Yes, this inexplicable fear I got for Matt. I had something to do in New York today and as I was flying back I fell asleep on the plane and thatís when this feeling that Matt was in trouble just washed over me and thatís why I came here." Looking at the door of Mattís apartment, her internal fear being mirrored in her eyes, "I know something is wrong."

"Iím sorry youíre so worried Ellen especially since I can see thereís nothing I can do to alleviate that fear for you, but I have to say your having this big concern for Matt makes me happy."
"What?" Ellen muttered not understanding what he meant as her gaze left Mattís door and focused on Mike.

"Matt has not made it a secret to me that he would like to be seen as more than just an Ďinterní to you. With the way youíre reacting right now with your interest in his welfare Iím deducing that there might be a chance his fondest wish might possibly become a reality."

"I donít know," she admitted taking another drink of water. "I guess anything is possible," she shared.

"Thatís non-committal, but since itís not a flat out Ďno wayí Iíll choose to be optimistic," Mike smiled. "I think you should be too. Think positive thoughts, I have a feeling weíll be hearing from Matt soon, okay."

"Yeah, I guess," Ellen feebly agreed with a subtle nod of her head still not being able to shake the bad vibes she was feeling.

"Can I make a suggestion?" Taking her silence as consent he continued. "Why donít you go talk to your mother. You were planning to anyway right?"
"I have too much on my mind to deal with my mother right now," Ellen said finishing the glass of water, the thought of visiting her mother not seeming like such a good idea anymore.

"You said Matt thought you should talk to her, Iím sure if he were here heíd be telling you to go. I think you should see her."
Shaking her head, "Mike you just donít understand."

"Maybe not the specific details, but I do know what itís like to be estranged from a family member," a few silent moments pass as he thought of his son and the emotional turmoil he was going through in trying to establish a relationship with him. "I donít need details to know you should go talk to her. There was something you wanted to say to her today and I think you should do it. I mean it would be one less thing on your mind."

Making note of her reluctance to leave as her focus once again went to Mattís door.

"Look I canít tell you not to worry because I know it will do no good, but I promise as soon as I hear anything Iíll give you a call."

"The minute you hear anything?" Ellen reiterated.

"The very next second, you have my word."

"All right, Iíll go," Ellen said standing from the table.

"Good luck with your mother," Mike offered as he walked her to the door.

"Thanks," she returned, "but with my mother luck is not what I need," she said before leaving the establishment and heading to her car.

~~~~***~~~~

 

Matt awakened to find himself surrounded by the sterile walls of a hospital. After blinking his eyes a few times the image of a suited blonde man, one of the half dozen marshals heíd been exposed to over the last few days came into view.

"Youíre awake now, thatís good," U.S Marshal Ray Cochran remarked with a blank expression.

"I donít need you to tell me that," Matt replied weakly as he shifted on the bed, grimacing in agony as the slight movement caused the upper chest wound he had incurred in the blast to become aggravated.

"Iíll get the doctor in here, he needs to take another look at you," Cochran said sensing Mattís discomfort.

"That can wait," Matt said angrily through gritted teeth as he placed his hand over the aching wound. "Somebody sent a bomb to that hotel room. What happened to the two marshals guarding me?"

"They were both killed in the explosion," he replied his facial expression remaining blank.

"If I had come out of that bathroom a moment sooner Iíd be dead too. How the hell did they find me?"

"I donít know."

"Well I do know!" Matt shouted wincing in pain. "You people screwed up, you screwed up big time."

"We were trying to protect you," the marshal explained matter-of-factly.

"A bomb being sent to me is protecting me?" Matt muttered incredulously. "Sorry, but I donít want that kind of protection. You can go now."
"I canítÖ"

"You canít stay!" Matt stated unequivocally the wound continuing in its aching throb. "I want you people to stay far away from me you understand? I wonít be killed like those marshals were. I wonít let it happen."
The two men were still staring daggers at one another when the doctor came in to check on Matt.

"Good, youíre awake now, so how is the patient?" the doctor said cheerfully trying to ease the obvious tension in the room.

Breaking eye contact with his newest shadow, "A little sore, but Iíll be fine as soon as I get home," Matt answered.
"Iím afraid you wonít be going home anytime soon. The injury you sustained from the flying shrapnel caused extensive damage to your chest, youíre very lucky to be alive," the doctor explained.

"I understand that more than you know," Matt replied his eyes darting over to the marshal.
"If thatís so, you must know that injuries of this sort are extremely susceptible to infection if not taken care of and treated properly. If the wound were to become infected it would be a most unfortunate occurrence."

"I am a doctor, doctor and Iím quite capable of taking care of myself. So Iím leaving."

"I strongly recommend you change your mind, you need to stay here for at least a few days. You were in that explosion only a few hours ago. You might think youíre fine now but injuries of this nature can become life threatening on the turn of a dime."

"I understand that, but Iím still leaving. You canít make me stay, and Iím not staying. From now on Iím going to be taking care of myself.