Ethan came out of the bathroom to find Lisa working on her laptop.
“You brought work with you? We talked about this, Lisa!” Ethan said.
“I know; I’m sorry but I couldn’t resist the temptation. I promise I’ll be done soon,” Lisa apologized, blinking profusely. Ethan sighed and turned back to the bathroom. Lisa went straight to work when the door closed behind him. She clicked ‘send’ on an e-mail to Sue and closed her computer shut. She got off the bed and entered the bathroom.
“I’m done now.” Ethan didn’t respond.
“Oh come on, don’t tell me you’re angry because my laptop followed us here.”
She made him look at her.
“I’m here with you…my mind might wander away for a few minutes but my heart will always be thinking of you.” Ethan couldn’t help but smile. He held her and kissed her. He carried her. She gasped.
“Where do you think?”
“But you’ve taken your shower already.”
“You can never be too clean, can you?” Lisa giggled.
After breakfast, they went to the poolside. Lisa settled down whiles Ethan went ahead to get them drinks. A cute middle-aged man approached Lisa.
“Hi pretty lady. Are you here alone?” Lisa took off her dark shades slowly and gave him a charming smile.
“Oh, excuse my manners. I’m Mark. You are?” He asked softly.
“She’s Lisa, my wife,” Ethan answered. Mark turned to see him next to Lisa. He glanced at Lisa who was trying to stifle a giggle.
“Oh I’m sorry; I was just trying to make small talk.”
“Thanks for keeping her company,” Ethan said.
“Sure; have fun. See you around,” he said and walked away. Lisa burst out laughing.
“Why wouldn’t you let me enjoy this moment? I miss my single days. They were fun,” Lisa remarked.
“Uh huh, when the guys used to flock around you every time?” He gave her a glass.
“Thank you.” She sipped and moaned.
“How is it?” Ethan asked as he sat down beside her.
“Perfect; just the way I like it. Thanks, honey.”
“Yeah, yeah; I leave you for a few minutes and you managed to get a guy’s attention already?”
“What is your problem, mister? I can’t help it that I’m charmingly beautiful but I’m wearing your ring, Richards. I’m a woman, deal with it.”
“Awww…you’re so cute when you act jealous,” she teased as she played with his cheeks. He blushed as he sipped his cocktail.
“Oh you’re blushing, Ethan! That’s so sweet!”
“I’m going to take a dip. You want to join me?” He asked.
“Nah; you go. I’ll watch you flexing your muscles,” she replied with a wink. He chuckled.
“Please don’t go flirting,” he pleaded sweetly.
“I’ll try my best not to.” He kissed her forehead and walked toward the pool. Lisa put her shades back on and laid her head down.
After some time, Ethan came out of the pool and walked to where Lisa lay. He took the shades off her face.
“Are you sleeping?” She shook her head.
“I was only thinking.”
“Thinking of what?”
“Of what is waiting for us back at home.”
“And I forbid you to do that also, Lisa. All that matters is that we’re together now. We’ll deal with that when we get there…together.” She smiled. “Sure.”
“Join me…please?” He offered her his hand. She took it. He helped her up. He put her dark shades down. Lisa sat down at the edge of the pool and played with the water on her feet to get accustomed to it while Ethan swam about a bit. After a few moments, he swam to her and held her legs.
“Ready now?” Lisa shook her head girlishly.
“I don’t know; I think I’m okay like this.”
“Oh come on, it’s more fun being in the water.” He held her waist with expectation in his eyes.
“No, Ethan; I’m not ready.”
“Okay; I’m waiting.” Lisa breathed out. Before she could say a word, he had pulled her into the pool. She screamed; Ethan hugged her.
“Don’t worry; you’re here with me.” They swam and played for a while. They went to lie down and they both slept. When they woke up, Ethan ordered lunch.
“Want to watch a movie?” Ethan asked as they ate.
“Not a bad idea; I’m just concerned about what kind of movie you’re going to choose.”
“Then you’ll choose the movie.”
“I will? Awww….I feel like we’re on our honeymoon all over again!” Lisa said excitedly.
Ethan smiled contently as he sipped his juice.
In the night, they changed clothes and went to the movie theatre suite. They snuggled beside each other and watched “Hangover”. They laughed like teens. They had a wonderful time together.
The next day after breakfast, Lisa asked Ethan about the plan for the day.
“Well, we could take each other shopping.”
“I don’t get it.”
“I’ll take you to a boutique of your choice but I choose the clothes for you and you do the same for me. What do you say?”
“Why can’t we choose our own clothes?” Lisa asked.
“Because that’s one fantasy I’ve been dying to fulfill. Buying what I want you to wear.”
“Hmm…that sounds naughty.”
“It is naughty; so are you in?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“I guess you don’t.” Lisa picked up her phone.
“Should I call in to check up on Jeremy?” she asked.
“You called more than three times yesterday, honey; I think you should give your mum a break,” Ethan advised. Lisa put the phone back down.
“And who pays for the clothes?”
“The one choosing the clothes, of course. I hope you have a lot of cash on you.”
“I don’t,” Lisa said.
“Well, you have your credit card on you, right?” He said with a wink and entered the bathroom. Lisa chuckled.
The experience renewed their love for each other. They felt more connected and drawn to each other. It seemed like the world and all its problems didn’t exist anymore. At the moment, all that mattered was them.
As they retired to bed, Lisa asked, “One day more in paradise before we head back to reality.”
“Then I guess we should make each minute count then,” Ethan said and sighed.
“So what can we do?” Lisa asked excitedly. Ethan’s phone rang.
“Excuse me,” he said as he took the phone. “Hi Mike, what’s up?”
“I’m well, I guess. How are you doing?”
“Not bad at all; I’m glad I took the break.”
“When are you coming back?”
“Saturday night; why, what’s up?”
“Something has come up at the hospital and you’re needed here urgently.”
“Why, is it a surgery?”
“No…it’s administrative. There’s a lawsuit against you and the hospital, Ethan.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Apparently, the family of your last patient was informed that their relative passed away by your negligence and that you were distracted.”
“What? Who could have done that?”
“We are still looking into that but you need to be back here tomorrow, Ethan. The chief isn’t too pleased about this.”
“Yeah, I can imagine. Sure, I’ll be. Thanks for calling, man. I’ll see you then. Bye,” he said and cut the line.
“Is anything wrong?” Lisa asked. Ethan sighed.
“Yeah; I’m being sued for negligence concerning my last patient.”
“I don’t know…someone might have given them that information.”
“I don’t know, Lisa. I need to be there tomorrow.”
“Sure; I’ll go and get the bags ready now,” Lisa said and got up.
The drive back home was quiet. Ethan was lost in deep thought. He kept wondering who could have fed the affected family such information. The first name that popped in his head was Betty but he quickly brushed it aside.
“Mummy!” Jeremy screamed in joy when he saw his mother enter his grandmother’s house.
“My darling!” Lisa said excitedly as Jer run into her arms for a big hug.
“Welcome, dear. Hope you had a good time whiles you were away,” Annie said.
“Thanks, mum; yeah I did but we had to come immediately. Something came up at the hospital,” Lisa informed her.
“Is something wrong?”
“Not really; it’ll sort itself out. I hope little Jer didn’t make your life a living hell.”
“He tried, I must say but we got along just well, isn’t that so, Jeremy?”
“You look tired,” Lisa’s mum remarked.
“I am; I wanted to come get Jer and then go and get some rest.”
“Sure; let me get his things ready,” Annie said and left the room.
“How was it living with granny, dear? Did you like it?”
Jer nodded and hugged his mother.
“Hmm…you’re indeed Ethan’s son; your hug is so warm, darling.” Annie came in with a small duffel bag.
“Thanks mum; I wish I could stay a little longer…”
“I know…you go and take a good rest. We can talk later.”
“Thanks, mum. I really appreciate you taking care of Jeremy.”
“Oh, he’s my grandson too, Lisa. It’s my pleasure.” Lisa smiled gratefully.
Lisa settled Jeremy safely at the back seat and sat down. She started the engine and waved her mother goodbye. The car sped away.
“How did this happen, Mike?” Ethan asked.
“I’ve been wondering about this myself, Ethan. I thought the family had accepted the death of their relative but it seems someone went to fan the flames.”
“Do you think it could be an inside job?” Ethan asked quietly. Mike glanced at him suspiciously.
“What do you mean? You think someone on the staff must have whispered something into the family’s ears?”
“It’s possible; someone who was with me in the operating room that day could be responsible,” Ethan pointed out.
“Okay; I’ll look into it.”
“Thanks, buddy. So what do I do now?”
“You sit tight; I’ll let you know when something comes up.”
“Okay.” Mike stopped at the door and turned.
“I believe Betty was inquiring about you.”
“I’ve no idea.”
“I don’t think I want to see her.”
Ethan had his head on his wife’s lap as they lay in bed.
“So Mike said he’d look into the case to see if a staff gave the family such information,” Ethan informed his wife.
“Okay; but who would you suspect to do such a thing?”
“I…I have no idea. Will you go to work tomorrow?”
“Yeah I have to.”
“What about her?” Lisa asked back.
“I know you’re mad about her going behind your back to make you lose the case but I made her do it, Liz.”
“Well, she works for me, not you so she had no right to do that.”
“Please…just do it for me. I promise not to interfere in your work ever again.”
“Why are you vouching for her anyway?”
“Because she’s been very loyal to you and when I checked up on her today, she’s still at home so I thought…” Lisa chuckled.
“I sent her a mail when we were away; that’s what I was doing when you caught me working on my laptop,” Lisa said.
“So you’re going to take her back?” Ethan asked excitedly.
“She’s already been at work ever since we were away.”
“Oh thanks, honey!” He kissed her tummy. She giggled. Ethan’s phone rang. He took it and clicked on ‘ignore.’
“Why won’t you answer it? It could be from the hospital,” Lisa said.
“Don’t worry about it; it’s not important.”
“Are you sure? You’ve been ignoring your calls for some time now. Is there something I should know?” Lisa inquired.
“No…everything’s fine, Lisa. You’ve nothing to worry about,” he said reassuringly, touching her cheek.
“Anyway, if the need comes, I’d love to represent you in court,” Lisa offered.
“As my attorney? That’s so cool than having the hospital’s lawyer,” he said happily as he kissed her cheek. She smiled.
Lisa was dressing up for work the next morning when Ethan’s phone beeped. She looked at the bathroom door expecting Ethan to open it. When he didn’t, she picked it up. It was a voicemail alert. She listened to it and gasped in shock. She dropped the phone on the bed and started to breathe heavily. Ethan opened the door and entered humming.
Lisa turned slowly to look at him. Ethan stopped in his tracks, alarmed.
“What is it, love?”
“I seem to have forgotten the general story; what exactly happened in the operating room the last time you were there?” she asked cautiously.
“What do you mean? I told you what happened.”
“Did you? I never stopped to think whether this charge against actually had a tiny dot of truth hidden in it. Were you distracted?”
“What, Lisa? Did someone call you?” Ethan asked, his heart beating faster than he could ever imagine it to be. Lisa only stared at him with folded arms.
“Was it Mike or our Director?”
“Ugh…ugh, try again. This time, start with a name beginning with ‘B’”. His eyes widened.
“Why didn’t you tell me she was with you in the O.R.?”
“Because…it doesn’t change anything.”
“Oh, it changes everything!” Lisa shouted as she walked towards him.
“Did she distract you in there? Tell me, Ethan!” Ethan sighed in resignation.
“It was just a second…” he said softly.
“A second? A whole family entrusted their beloved to your care and it took you just a second to separate them forever? Why, what did she do, did she blow you a kiss or did she flash her boobs at you?”
“No, it was nothing like that.”
“So what happened?”
“She might have whispered in my ear.”
“And I turned to rebuke her.” Lisa turned as she ran her fingers through her hair.
“I personally don’t know when everything went wrong, Lisa.”
“You knew she was into you and obviously so were you; if not, you wouldn’t have allowed her into your O.R. because of her past depravities.”
“Oh no I’m not.”
“Then why would you let her get to you?”
“She’s a woman, Lisa!” Lisa froze at that remark.
“What? She’s not even that pretty. Seriously, Ethan?”
“That’s true but she is an expert at seduction, Liz.”
“She is, huh? Did you react to her seduction?”
“Did you or did you not, Ethan?”
“What do you want me to say, Lisa?” Lisa shook her head, tears forming in her eyes. She picked up her handbag.
“I can’t do this anymore,” she said.
“I’m going to give you a heads-up on this one, Ethan. I’ll come back home with the papers,” she said and turned to leave.
“Oh, you know what papers I’m talking about.”
“Lisa, wait!” The door slammed behind her. Ethan sighed as he threw himself on the bed.
“Now, I’ve really messed things up,” he said regretfully.
Ethan downed another glass of scotch and landed the glass heavily on the table.
“Hey, I know you’re upset about the suspension but that doesn’t allow you to drink yourself to oblivion.”
“The suspension is the least of my worries right now, Mike,” Ethan said. He glanced at his good friend. “Lisa wants a divorce.”
“What? Why, because a surgery went south? Come on, everyone knows one cannot save everybody on the operating table.”
“No, not that. She knows it was Betty who distracted me in the O.R. that fateful day.” He gulped down another shot. Mike was stunned.
“Are you admitting that you were distracted?” He asked cautiously.
He nodded with shame.
“Seriously, Ethan? How did that happen?”
“She whispered in my ear and that caught me off guard. I knew she scrubbing in on the surgery was a terrible idea.”
“I can’t believe she succeeded in breaking you two apart.”
“She hasn’t! I won’t allow it.”
“And how do you plan to do that, by drinking the entire bar? You should be on your knees before Lisa before this gets out of hand.”
“I know…the timing is bad. How could I be suspended and threatened with divorce papers at the same time?”
“There’s nothing you can do about the suspension but it’s not too late to work things out with Lisa. Remember she’s a lawyer so getting full custody of Jeremy would be a piece of cake for her and gaining whatever valuable possession you own will be just the icing. So you better get your act together, buddy.” Mike tapped his back. Ethan nodded.
Lisa stood still looking through a window of her mother’s home as tears ran down her face.
“What happened, Liz? What could he have done to you? Joe seems to really love you,” Annie said.
“It’s not Joe, mum; it’s Ethan!” Lisa said in despair. Annie looked confused.
“Who the hell is Ethan? You told me only 3 days ago that your new man was called Joe.”
“That was like 8 years ago, mum! I’m married now!” She held her head in her palms and sobbed. She turned to see her mum looking at her sadly.
“I’m so sorry, mum; I know you don’t remember.” She went to her and hugged her.
“It’s just so frustrating that I can’t talk to you about what I’m going through. I miss you so much.”
“I’m here for you here, baby,” Annie consoled her, brushing her palm across her back.
“Mum?” Jeremy called. Lisa looked down at him. She let go of her mum and wiped her face.
“Yes honey,” she responded as she went down on her knees in front of him.
Jeremy reached out and touched his mother’s face, wiping a tear drop from her eyes. Lisa forced a smile.
“Yes I am, darling. I’m fine now.” She hugged him. Annie and Jer shared a glance.