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Mike and Carrie Saga
by Bradygirl
Part 31

"Hey, Sport," said Roman as Eric bounded into the room.

"Hey, dad." Eric pulled up a chair closer to his father's bedside and sat down. Right off, he noticed a peach flush replacing the ruddy pallor that had so often greeted him the last few weeks. It was a relief to finally see a healthier disposition inhabit his father's being. "How are you feeling?"

"Last night, I swear death was only moments away and now... I have a renewed faith that this cure is the answer we've all been searching for." Roman patted his son on the shoulder. "What did Mike say? How am I really doing?"

Eric filled in Roman explaining everything in exact detail. Marlena watched from the doorway as father embraced son. She could see tears stream down Eric's face. Her son's compassion reached across the room unconsciously pulling her toward them to join in on their tender moment. Tears streamed down her own face as her arms encircled both men.

"Everything is going to be alright now, dad." Eric's muffled words spoke to Marlena's heart. She wiped the tears away that were coming faster now with a quick flick across her face. Then she rested her cheek on Eric's hair.

"Yes," she said. "Everything is going to be alright."

After the tearful reunion, Marlena and Eric left the room to let Roman rest. Carrie past them in the hallway. Marlena noted her far-off expression, and Eric eyed her curiously. She passed them without a word.

"What's up with her?" said Eric

"She says she's in love." Marlena observed Carrie as she sat by her father's bedside and held his hand while he slept.

"You know, mom. I may have only been back for a few weeks, but I thought Carrie was in love with Austin."

"Me, too. Mike's been so supportive of Carrie these last few months. It was only a matter of time before he fell in love with her. You could see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice every time she'd talk about Austin. But I never, for one minute, thought your sister would fall in love with Mike." Eric gave Marlena an odd look. "Not that he's isn't a great man, he is. He's just not right for Carrie, that's all."

For some reason Eric felt compelled to stand up for Mike and his sister. "Oh, and Austin is? He's the one who never believed what she said. He's the one who never had time for her. He's the one who fell for every one of Sami's schemes. And we all still believe Sami is faking her amnesia while Austin doesn't. You ask me... he deserves what he gets. Carrie's too good for him."

"Eric! I've never heard you speak that way about a person before."

"Well, it's about time somebody did. I don't want my sister to waste her life on someone like Austin. Not when a good man like Mike loves her."

Marlena stared intently at Carrie while Eric expressed his concern about Austin and how unfit he was. She watched as she fidgeted with a small object around her wrist that fell to the floor with a silent thud. As she reached down to retrieve it, Marlena recalled the episode with Dr. Barnes. She remembered how strangely he'd been acting especially when she'd retrieved the hypodermic needle he had accidentally dropped. She could see it still lying in the trash can next to the door.

___________

Mike walked through the garden for another few minutes but Angela had definitely disappeared. She had a nasty habit of doing that, thought Mike. It was one thing he distinctly remembered about her. If something was about to happen, Angela would invariably vanish into thin air just like she'd done today. At least now, he knew she wasn't running away from anything.

As the biting autumn wind crept through the thin fabric of his shirt, Mike rubbed his hands together and dug them deep into the pockets of his white lab coat. Quickening his pace, he strode toward the mansion thankful when the warm air inside enveloped him. Mike inwardly smiled. Roman was going to be ok and things with Carrie were more promising than ever now that Sami no longer had reason to interfere in her sister's life.

The thought of Carrie's sister reminded him of the call he'd just placed to Dr. Harris' office. This was news Marlena, Eric and Carrie needed to know. He raced upstairs to tell them the bad news.

________

"Hope," yelled John. He called out a few more times but she must not have heard him. She didn't flinch. It was almost as if she didn't recognize her own name. He watched as Hope disappeared into Dr. Harris' office. John was only seconds behind her. When he entered Harry's outer office, it was empty. How was that possible? He was certain he'd seen her walk in here. Harry's assistant was probably at lunch, and he was still anxious to know what Harry had meant when he said it was too late. Convinced that he must have been seeing things, John turned and strode out of the room.

Angela couldn't believe how clumsy she'd gotten in her old age. She looked down at the mess she'd made not a second after walking in the door. Pencils, pens and paper clips covered the floor behind the secretary's desk. Angela tried to quickly and quietly pick them up before anyone returned. She felt like a complete idiot. And when someone had stepped into the office earlier, she didn't reveal her position. She heaved a sigh of relief when the man left. At least, no one had seen her make a total fool of herself. She practically had everything back in place when the secretary walked in and found Angela crouched behind her desk. Angela smiled sweetly at her.

"Sorry, I had a little accident." Dr. Harris' assistant gave her an icy glare. It sent shivers down Angle's spine.

"If you're Angela, you're twenty minutes late," snapped the small elderly woman.

Nice to meet you too, she thought still forcing a fake smile.

_________

"Now Austin, calm down. Head injuries are very delicate. She could wake up in minutes, hours or days." Austin fidgeted from foot to foot watching Sami as the doctor talked. He understood everything he was saying, but it was so hard to focus on the positive when Sami looked so helpless. The woman he loved lay before him and there was nothing he could do. He felt as helpless as she was.

"What can I do, doctor?" Austin sat down next to Sami and held her hand.

"Do exactly what you've been doing. And I'll come in and check on her later."

"Thank you, doctor." Harry snapped the silver clipboard closed and swung the curtain around them for privacy. Austin continued stroking Sami's hair.

"Come on, Sami. You have to wake up. I love you. Wake up for me and Will."

__________

"Mom?" Eric noticed the change in his mother's expression.

"What?" Marlena was startled by Eric's sudden question. "Oh, I'm sorry dear. What were you saying?"

"It wasn't important. What were you thinking just then?" Marlena explained to Eric about Dr. Barnes' odd behavior.

"It was that night your father became so ill."

Eric thought back to his conversation with Lexie and a strange idea crept into his mind. Kristen and Stefano had brought back his dad to break up John and his mother's wedding. That much he knew. Could this virus be Stefano's handiwork? And if so, what did Dr. Barnes have to do with it all? He needed to talk to Mike. He was the resident medical expert. Just as the thought crossed his mind, Mike rounded the corner with a look of concern across his face.

"Mike is everything ok? Is it Roman?" said Marlena as Mike deeply exhaled.

"No, it's not Roman." Mike paused to take another breath. "It's Sami" Marlena and Eric stood in shock as Mike relayed the news to them.

___________

Sami was having the most wonderful dream. Austin was telling her he loved her. She could hear it so clearly that she opened her eyes to see if it was real. And amazingly, there was Austin sitting right next to her.

"Ah, you're awake. Everything's going to be alright now that you've come back to me." Austin kissed Sami directly on the lips. She was too confused and startled to enjoy the sensation.

"Austin?" questioned Sami. Had she awakened to an alternate reality where Austin loved her and everything went her way? If this was indeed and alternate universe, she never wanted to wake up. "What happened?"

"You were in a car accident."

Sami ignored his response. She was more intent on knowing if what she'd heard was real. "Did you say, you love me?" Austin gave Sami a perplexed expression.

"Sami, I've loved you for what seems my whole life, you know that. We're married and have a son. Will. Remember Will?" Sami nodded. Either Austin had completely lost his mind or her every wish was coming true.

________

Hope finally found Dr. Harris as he exited Sami's hospital room. She explained Lucas' condition as they made their way back to where Alice was watching over him like a mother bird. Lucas looked like a crumpled rag doll. Pain marred his handsome face as he grimaced when the doctor had him sit up for the examination.

"Lucas, I'm going recommend a good chiropractor and a prescription for some pain medication." Harry scribbled nonsense onto a small pad of paper. "Take it easy for a few days and you should be just fine." The beeper in his pocket vibrated. Harry checked the display and hurried off toward the nurses' station.

Wiley Thompson, head of the hospital's administrative staff, stood at the edge of the nurses station tapping his foot and fidgeting nervously. He took off his black horn-rimmed glasses and checked the lenses for spots. Pulling an immaculately clean handkerchief from his pocket, he rubbed each lens exactly three times in a circular motion. Wiley checked his watch again. Two minutes ago he'd paged both Dr. Harris and Dr. Horton. Neither were responding. What was wrong with them? This was a hospital and it needed to be run efficiently. The entire staff had to be on their toes especially this week when the inspection team came to evaluate the hospital. Harry and Mike each had one more minute before they both were going on notice.

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