“Just initials?”

“Right. The woman with only initials…” She pauses before telling me the rest. “Somehow… someway, she got hold of a bottle of antifreeze.”

“What the hell?”

“She tried to kill herself. She drank the entire thing and needed an emergency transfusion. Every ounce of her blood had to be drained for her not to die.”

“How could that have even happened? That’s impossible.” She shakes her head only ever so slightly, but her expression holds a different answer. My hands tremble as I walk toward her. I can’t believe it. “When did this happen?”

“Three days ago.”

“How the hell did it happen?” I walk closer to her, unable to contain the horror and shock that a patient in our facility was able to obtain a means to end it.

“That’s the thing,” she says and looks me dead in the eyes. “There is no investigation.”

Chills flow down my arms. All my concerns seem so meaningless in comparison. I’ve never been so grateful for a tragedy.

“She had to have dialysis, the antifreeze did so much damage. We were waiting to hear what kind of inquiries would be made. What paperwork and interviews we needed to prepare for… but Aiden told us that it never happened. To act like there was no incident and not to speak a word of it. So you… you better not tell him I told you.”

“How can there be no investigation?” The question leaves me slowly, barely able to form itself.

“Whoever is paying for her to be there paid for the antidote, the dialysis… all of it with cash and they don’t want any attention brought to it.”

I drop into the seat next to her, processing it all and unable to shake the cold sensation that’s taken over.

“Whoever it is, they want her there and they don’t want anyone to know about it.”

“Did they give her the antifreeze?” I dare to question.

“No. Aiden’s the only one on her charts. After he told us, I followed him to his office.” She swallows thickly. “I think it was an accident. He’s on her charts, bringing her items she asked for. I think he made a mistake. But I don’t understand why he’s not fired. He should have checked it.”

“Aiden? No.” I can’t believe that. Aiden’s better at his job than that.

“I think he fucked up. She’s smart and wants to die. Really wants to die.” She licks her lower lip and then tells me, “But whoever’s paying for all of this? They want her alive.”

A cheerful series of dings in different octaves fills the room, forcing her knuckles to turn white as she grips the chair and then cusses beneath her breath.

“Your doorbell is going to give you a heart attack,” I comment and then look to the large cobalt door. “Who is that?”

She doesn’t look back at me as she stands and tells me, “The person I called.”

There are little moments when you know someone’s screwed you over before they show their cards.

It’s in the way they talk; the way they look at you. Even the way Laura walks right now. Unlocking the deadbolt and opening the door without speaking, without checking to see who it is.

All the while I sit there, denying this feeling of betrayal as if it’s not really happening.

Even when Seth walks through the door, tall, handsome and demanding Seth, I still want to deny it.

“I’m tired of being the last to know,” is all I can mutter, leaning back and hating that the last person I had in my corner denied me a chance to get out of this mess. “I suppose it’s my problem to deal with, isn’t it?”

I can hear her apologies, her pleas for me to understand all the while Seth is saying something, but it’s all white noise. I’m not interested in hearing what her excuse is. She of all people should know I need to get away. She lives in solace. She preaches it to me constantly.

“So, Seth?” I finally speak up although my ass is still firm in the chair. “Seth’s who you called? Or did you go straight to Jase?”

They both speak at the same time.

“You have to forgive me, Bethany – I didn’t have a choice.”

“Jase doesn’t have to know you were thinking about leaving him.”

The chair pushes back against the wall; it would have tipped over if the wall hadn’t been there to block its path because I stood so quickly.

“First off, you always have a choice,” I push the words through clenched teeth at Laura and then turn to Seth. “Secondly, I wasn’t leaving him. I wasn’t running, so fucking tell him for all I care!” I don’t mean to scream.

I don’t mean to lose control. Who the fuck am I kidding? What control did I ever have?

“Beth, please,” Laura says as she reaches out for me and I snatch my arm away.

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