Chapter 8
Later that day Matt was heading down the hall when he saw Ellen approaching from the other direction. As much as he sought out her attention Matt had no desire to listen to her grill him about an X-ray he didnít want to have so he quickly turned back the other way but it was too late, she had spotted him.

"Dr. Harmon I hope the hurry youíre in is to get the results from that X-ray I told you to have hours ago," Ellen spoke authoritatively stopping his progression down the hall.

Turning to face her, "Would you drop that X-ray thing? Iím fine; itís a pulled muscle. I donít need an X-ray to tell me that."

"But I do. Your shift is over in five minutes, if you havenít had that X-ray yet I advise you to go down to radiology as soon as you sign out and have one done. I want to know the results of that X-ray before you leave the hospital is that clear?"

"Youíre really going to pull me from rotation if I donít do this?"

"You got it. You know it is beyond me why I have to twist your arm to get you to have a test you know you need. If you were some couch potato or a person who couldnít care less I wouldnít bother, but youíre a doctor consumed with healthy living which is why this makes no sense."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah Iíve heard this all before. As much as I like healthy living I also hate being wasteful and this X-ray is wasteful. I know what a pulled muscle feels like."

"Well when the X-ray proves you right Iíll give you the pleasure of telling me I was wrong. Iím sure youíll love that."

Iíd love something else more Matt thought. "Fine Iíll have the X-ray, with all the power you wield I have very little choice in this matter."

"Iím glad you know that. Donít let me keep you go down to radiology."

"Can I ask that we keep this between us. I donít see the point in an X-ray being broadcast."

"No problem, I wonít tell a soul."

"Thanks." Before turning to leave he felt the need to ask, "Why are you still here? Your shift ended hours ago."

"I want to make sure your back is really okay, if itís not Iíll have to change the schedule so Iím waiting."

"You sure youíre not checking up on me to insure I have the X-ray. Iím having it okay, I can call you with the results."

"No need, I have some paperwork to catch up on anyway so Iíll be here for a while. Come to my office when you know something. Now you should be on your way, and doctor donít try to pull a fast one because Iím going to call to make sure you arrived there."

"So you are checking up on me?"

"Youíre wasting time doctor. Iíll see you in a bit." That said Ellen proceeded to her office as Matt went to radiology.

After demanding complete discretion with his films and results Matt had the X-ray then went to Ellenís office to await the results.

Outside Ellenís office Matt knocks three times on the door.

"Enter," Ellen replied.

Matt makes his way into the office closing the door behind him as Ellen turns away from her files to see who her visitor was. "Dr. Harmon, that was pretty quick. Whatís the word?"

"I donít have it yet. I should know something in about fifteen minutes I told the radiologist I could be reached here. Since you want to be alerted of the findings ASAP I decided to wait it out with my fearless leader," he offered with a smile.

"Thatís fine, wait away," Ellen said turning back to her charts.

"You want to finish laying into me from before in the OCR?" Matt asked after several quiet minutes have passed.

"Donít make me regret saying you could stay," Ellen answered with tempered hostility not looking from the papers before her.

Making his way to the desk where she sat, "You were giving me a huge piece of your mind when the call from Dr. Jones came in I just want you to finish what you were saying but just so youíll know I do have a rebuttal," absently toying with the pens and pencils in the cup on her desk.

Removing her writing utensil cup to the other side of the desk before turning to look at him, "Do you get some sort of perverse pleasure out of riling me up?"

"Depends on the situation. I donít like when you yell at me but it shows me your passionate side of which Iíve seen in bits and pieces. The only problem is I donít get enough of the passionate side that I like and I plan to keep riling you up until I get the passionate side that I do like all the time."

"What is it with you? What part of ĎIím your supervisor and thereís never going to be anything between usí donít you understand?"

"That last part. The part where you keep insisting there will never be anything between us. Because you see Ellen thereís already something there. You choose to avoid it or ignore it altogether, I donít. But weíll get back to us in a minute I want to talk about your mother first."

"What makes you think I want to discuss my mother or this phantom relationship you think exists between us?"

"Nothing gives me the impression, I just want to talk about it and knowing you as I do I figure youíll eventually start talking back. So, when are you going to pay your mother a visit?" he asked crossing his arms across his chest as he settled back in his chair.

"I have no plans on paying her a visit anytime in the near future. She needs to recover and I really have nothing to say to her."

"Sure you do. You both have lots of unspoken things to say to each other and I think itís crucial that you clear the air sooner rather than later."

"Are you a family counselor now? If Iím not mistaken you have family problems of your own I donít see where youíre in any position to give me advice on how to handle mine."

"Those are two totally different situations. My family neither has nor will make any effort to smooth things over with me while your mother seems to be bending over backward to make amends with you."

"I know my mother and what sheís doing is trying to clear her conscience. I refuse to make it easier for her when I donít see her making any real effort. And how can you be so sure that your family wonít reach out to you they just might surprise you."

"With the way my family reaches out the last thing I want is them surprising me. How do you always manage to sway the conversation to my family when Iím talking about yours? This is not about me."

"Itís never about you. You keep telling me about this Ďthingí between us, but how can there be anything between us when I know nothing about you."

"You know everything you need to know about me Ellen. My family has nothing to do with me and who I am, the life that I have, or the way that I feel about you." Taking her hand in his and relishing in the warmth and softness he always found there. "But you already know this. Youíre asking questions about my family because youíre curious."

"I donít have a reason to be?" she questioned her speech slow with the reaction his touch always stirred in her.

"I guess you do but itís nothing you need to know so letís not talk about my family, letís talk about this," bringing her hand to his lips.

Her heart pounded as his eyes peered upward to hers. She was losing herself in him; in his eyes, in his touch, in the soothing sultry sound of his voice. "Ellen get a grip," she silently urged herself wanting to pull her hand away and run as fast as her legs would take her but not being able to do any of those things as his free hand reached upward and gently stroked her cheek. Cupping the side of her face he slowly eased her closer to him moistening his lips with the tip of his tongue in anticipation of the kiss he knew was coming. Their lips were barely a breath away from touching when the phone rang.

"Damn," Matt muttered irritably not believing the bad timing. Ellen however was grateful for the reprieve things were getting a little too close for her comfort and her ability to fight Mattís charms had all but disappeared at this point.

"That's probably the results from your X-ray," she said picking up the phone. "Dr. Burgess. Yes heís here, one second." Handing Matt the phone, "Itís the radiologist."

Matt takes the phone, "This is Dr. Harmon whatís the verdict? Okay, yeah alright, thanks," after ending the exchange he placed the handset of the phone back in its cradle.

"Well?" Ellen asked not able to read his reaction.

"Well Iím not the excellent diagnostician youíre always heralding me as for nothing."

"So it is a pulled muscle."

"Yes and slightly pulled at that so you wonít have to change the schedule, in fact I feel better already. Maybe thatís the effect you have on me," he smiled once again taking possession of her hand.

Slipping her hand away and walking to the other side of the room her back turned to him, "Matt we canít do this."

"Yes we can Ellen. We have something good here, itís deep and real and true and itís also bigger than the both of us. I already told you Iím tired of fighting it and Iím starting to see that you are too."

"Discussing this is pointless," Ellen said facing him.

"No whatís pointless is fighting it because itís a battle weíll both lose." Placing his arms around her waist and bringing her closer to him, "So why donít we just admit defeat and give in to the passion." His eyes now smoldering with desire for her.

"I wonít allow myself to give in to a physical attraction," she expressed to him and demanded of herself.

"Ellen what we have is more that just a physical attraction thatís only a part of it. I have very strong feelings for you and Iíll never hurt you, I just want you to give me a chance to prove it. Allow yourself to recognize that these feelings do exist for you and they are very real. I donít want to take Samís place; I could never do that anyway. What I want is to take residence in the place youíve already made for me. This can happen Ellen but first you have to forgive yourself for daring to move on with your life without Sam, I truly believe heíd want you to be happy."

Unshed tears filling her eyes, "I canít talk about this right now."

Noting the apprehension in her voice, "Fine Iím not going to push you, but this conversation is far from over. Iíll leave you alone now. On another note I have to say I really think you should talk to your mother."

Ellen sighs exasperatedly.

"Iím not suggesting that this will fix all the problems that you both have in your relationship, but if you say to her whatís really in your heart and not hold back no matter how painful and listen to what sheís saying to you with not just your ears and head but with your heart Iím certain you two can find a way to make some positive steps in the right direction."

Ellen was about to offer her ĎI donít want a relationship with my motherí speech when Matt stopped her.

"Before you start donít bother with denying that you want this because I know that you do. Goodnight and sleep well Ellen, Iíll see you in the morning." That said Matt left her office feeling more positive about a relationship with her than he had before. Rather cognizant of it or not she had admitted to being attracted to him and that was a major plus. She had opened the door to her heart just a bit and he would use every resource at his disposal to keep that door pried open long enough to take his rightful place in her heart.

Ellen watched him as he left her office and she continued to stare at the door from whence he departed for a long while after he was gone. Heíd put a lot on her mind and in her heart and it left her with no doubt that sleep would not be something sheíd be getting this night.

Matt however slept peacefully through the night as Ellenís beautiful face haunted his dreams. He arose from his sleep with a smile on his face certain that his fondest wish of a life with Ellen was on the threshold of becoming a reality. After foregoing his morning exercise so as not to aggravate his pulled muscle Matt grabbed a shower and a quick bite to eat before venturing off to the hospital. He was reaching for the doorknob when his phone rang. Backing up to the table that housed the phone he answered it. "Hello," he said chipper tone. The happy smile he had been wearing from the moment he woke up suddenly dissipated upon hearing the voice on the other end of the line while the features of his handsome face became clouded with dismay. "Youíre kidding?" he said with a shaky voice. "But I didnít have any warning, I thoughtÖwhen? I know alright, I know," he repeated again. Placing the cordless phone on the charger after ending the call Matt pondered the amazingly quick turn his life had managed to take in the span of ten minutes. "Why the hell was this happening now?" he wondered aloud. "Why now?"