GENERAL HOSPITAL - THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR
Fred Rutherford walked down the hallway, not quite sure where he was going or
what he was doing. Instead of focusing on his afternoon rounds, his mind
was consumed with thoughts about the mysterious envelope that he'd received
earlier. An envelope, incidentally, that revealed that a
long-thought-destroyed file on him still existed and that someone was using that
file to blackmail him. But who?
As he walked, he nervously looked at each
person he passed. Could it be someone in the hospital? Did one of
them know things about him and wanted to use that knowledge to their advantage
now that he was married to Leticia Stokes and had access to the Stokes
fortune? He shook his head. No, that didn't make
sense. How would one of them know anything? Furthermore, how could
one of them have gotten their hands on that file? After all, it had been
destroyed by Sammy Benedict -- or so Fred had thought.
Maybe that's who'd sent the envelope. Maybe he'd lied that he'd destroyed
it and had actually kept it, planning on using it later. That would explain
why Sammy had been so willing to disregard Stephen
Lake's orders to have him
killed -- an action that Fred had found curious at the time, but hadn't been
about to question. Maybe....
"And you're not even going to say
'hello'?" Nurse Donna Allison asked as she stood in front of him, her
clipboard held in her arms, tightly pressed to her chest.
"Oh...um...hello," he stammered,
startled out of his consuming thoughts. "I'm sorry. I...didn't
"Obviously," she laughed.
When he seemed reluctant to continue the conversation further, she eyed him
carefully. "Are you all right? You seem...preoccupied with
"Oh, no, I'm fine," he covered
quickly, putting on a bright smile in hopes of hiding the worries that he was
experiencing. "Just thinking about a patient."
"Ah, I see." She paused, even
though she still wasn't sure that was all it was, and took a deep breath.
"Well, aren't you going to congratulate me?"
"Congratulate you? For what?"
head nurse moved me up here to the third floor," she explained with a sly
smile. "Now, my station is right down the hall from your
"How convenient." The smug
grin on his face told her that he was as pleased with that development as she
was. However, it quickly faded when he glanced down at his watch.
"Look, can we continue this conversation later? In private?"
"I've got to get caught up on my
rounds," he muttered, pulling a file out from underneath his arm.
"I feel like I've been behind today since I walked in the door."
"I understand. I'll...talk to you
As Fred hurried on down the hallway,
determined to finish his rounds and keep his mind focused only on work, Donna's
thoughts became just as filled with thoughts as Fred's was. However, her
thoughts were about Fred's odd behavior when she first saw him. Something
was definitely wrong. Despite what he'd told her, she was sure of it and
she was determined to find out exactly what it was.