Dave Lowrey needs a miracle so that his son can walk again. When he finds it at a San Francisco hospital, he realizes he must contend with a woman he dated in college and dumped, to get it. All come to fruition when he accepts a job at the hospital. Being on staff will give him an in for getting Colin on the list for the surgery, even if he has to take Ellyn Morrison to bed to do it
Ellyn Morrison only allowed one man to get close to her and when Dave Lowrey transfers to a top position at her hospital, she's not certain how to handle the situation. Things only get worse when he becomes her doctor. It isn't until she learns that his son is a paraplegic that she softens.
Can the lover and needs of a child bring the two of them together? Colin certainly hopes so.
"Dr. Morrison, Dr. Ellyn Morrison," the PA blared Ellyn's name as she left the doctor's lounge. She took mental note of the telephone extension and went back to the lounge to place the call. The phone rang only once on the other end before someone answered. In the background, she could hear the buzz of conversation.
"Ellyn," Karl Waite, Chief of Staff, greeted her. "Where are you?"
"The doctors' lounge. I just got out of surgery. What's so..." she stopped mid-sentence. The reason for Karl's page flashed in her mind with the realization she promised to attend the reception for the new head of ER. She paid little attention to the announcement during the staff meeting this morning. "Let me guess," she finally said, "the reception for the head of ER, in the Bay Room. I'm sorry, Karl, I'll be right there."
"You stay put," Karl said, his voice stern. "I'll come up and get you. I want to be certain you come. This is important."
"Calm down, Karl," she said, unable to keep from laughing at his tone. "The reception will only last another fifteen minutes. By the time you get up here, I can be there. I promise, I won't skip out on you this time."
Ellyn hung up the phone without giving Karl a chance to answer. He certainly pegged her right. She didn't like attending receptions for the department heads. They all considered her little more than a staff doctor, hardly worth their attention. Even when she and Justin perfected the procedure for juvenile spinal cord repair, her name had only been added as a postscript. The Good Old Boys like Phil Hadley certainly didn't want to acknowledge her accomplishments. Besides, the new procedure was done only a few times a year due to the cost and the amount of time it took to screen the applicants. The rest of the time was spent doing more routine surgeries like gall bladders, appendices and all the other surgeries that keep her practice going.
In a way, she liked the lack of attention from her colleagues. She would rather they left her alone to do her job in her own way.
She hurried out of the lounge and took the elevator to the first floor. When the door opened, Karl stood waiting for her.
"You didn't trust me, did you?" she asked, unable to keep from smiling.
"I've learned not to believe you over the years, especially when it comes to attending cocktail parties and receptions." Karl's expression didn't change. She knew he had good reason to be annoyed with her.
Ellyn tried to laugh off Karl's comment. "So what makes this one so special? You usually don't demand my presence at these things."
"It's not just the reception. I need to talk to you and you've been avoiding me all week," Karl replied.
"I've been avoiding you because I know why you want to see me. You're concerned because I look tired. Well I am tired. I spent all last week in one of the dorm rooms because I was on call. It looks like I should have done the same thing this week. I've been called in more on Frank's week of rotation than on my own. Believe me, I'm looking forward to the weekend when I can sleep late and not have to answer the phone."
"Well," Karl said, "rest is something I can guarantee. I've made arrangements for you to check into the hospital tomorrow for a complete physical. There's more behind this than exhaustion. You've lost weight and your color is bad. I checked your file. Somehow you've managed to cancel your last two physicals."
Ellyn wanted to protest, but since they entered the Bay Room she held her tongue. Venting her frustration and anger in front of her colleagues would do her more harm than good.
"Ellyn," Gordon Kapling, the retiring head of ER said, taking her hand. "I'd started to think you were going to duck out on this reception, the way you have in the past."
"To be honest, Gordon, I got tied up with a complicated procedure and almost forgot. Luckily, Karl caught me before I went down to the recovery room to check on my patient."
"Well, whatever powers got you here have my undying gratitude. Ellyn Morrison, this is my replacement, David Lowry."
Ellyn could feel her eyes widen, her jaw drop. For the first time, she looked past Gordon to see the man this reception was meant to honor. If anyone had mentioned Dave's name earlier she certainly would have set up and taken notice. For some reason, either it hadn't been given or she hadn't heard it.
"Dave," she gasped, as he reached for her hand.
"You look lovely, Ellyn," Dave said, holding her hand a bit longer than was necessary.
Ten years of old hurts erupted to the surface and Ellyn began to steam.