To Boldly Go...

~How bold one gets when one is sure of being loved. Freud~

The evening so far had been exquisite: dinner at a little ‘Mom and Pop’ restaurant on the outskirts of Port Charles, a shared slice of bananas foster cheesecake for dessert and a leisurely ride back into town.

Doctor Ellen Burgess sneaked a glance at the dinner companion who’d made the evening so enjoyable.  Kevin Collins was a long-time colleague and friend.  Only recently had they begun to explore the edges of the attraction that sprang up so unexpectedly between them.

“It will only take a minute to grab the files I need,” Kevin apologized.  “Then we can go and have a cup of coffee at the Port Charles Hotel.”

“The Port Charles Hotel?”

Ellen winced.  The seemingly innocent question was posed by Nurse Amy Vining, who had apparently overheard only the last few words of Kevin’s statement.  Amy was General Hospital’s resident gossip, a title she took great pride in.  “We’re going there for some coffee,” Ellen turned and replied pointedly.

“You and Dr. Collins?”  Amy glanced slyly back and forth between Ellen and Kevin.  “Then it’s true!  You are dating!”

There was no response she could give, Ellen realized, that would put an end to Amy’s curiosity.  To her relief, Kevin saved her the trouble of trying.  “Amy,” he held the young woman’s gaze, “shouldn’t you be paying attention to the desk behind you?”

“Oh, of course, Dr. Collins.”  Amy turned her focus back onto her work.  But not before Ellen and Kevin saw the gleam of excitement in Amy’s eyes.

“This could become awkward.”

“It probably will.”  Ellen was certain that Amy was already burning up the phone lines with misleading gossip about Ellen’s supposed intention to end the night at the Port Charles Hotel with Doctor Kevin Collins.

“How do you feel about knowing that we are about to be the latest hospital topic?”

Ellen paused in her tracks and gave her companion a suspicious glare.  “It was just a question,” Kevin reassured her, biting back a smile.  “No analysis intended.”  The psychiatrist placed a hand against the small of Ellen’s back and started her moving down the hospital corridor.  “Did  you ever hear the joke about the two psychiatrists that pass one another in a hallway one morning?  The first one says ‘Hello’.  The second psychiatrist says ‘I wonder what he meant by that?’”

“I am being paranoid,” Ellen conceded her companion’s point.

Kevin laughed softly.  “A little. Yes.”  The couple arrived at Kevin’s office.  “You aren’t my patient, Ellen.  You are my friend.  And in time, I hope so much more.”

Well, it was finally out there.  One of them had taken the plunge and vocalized what they were both thinking.  “That’s what I want, too,” Ellen replied.  She returned Kevin’s honesty with a bit of her own.  “I was beginning to think I had misread your signals.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, we have been spending quite a bit of time together.  And you haven’t kissed me once.”

“Then please,” Kevin cupped Ellen’s chin in his hand and tilted her mouth up to his, “allow me to correct that.”  His kiss was sweet and tender.  Kevin’s tongue engaged in a slow exploration of Ellen’s mouth that made her press closer to him.  “Apology accepted?” he asked, once they came up for air.

“I don’t know,” Ellen murmured against his lips.  “I have been really upset.”


~ Across Town, Two Days Later (Monday) ~