If I Had You

Chapter 1

"Your force me to keep on going…to keep on breathing because without you by my side…without you inside my mind I'd surely stop," Tara whispered

"I love you too, Tara," Aaron said

"Don't ever let me stop,"

"I won't, I promise."

"You are my light, my every thought, my every wish, my every want, you, Aaron, are my every need." Tara whispered softly into Shutt's ear.

At that moment Aaron pulled Tara close into a passionate embrace. Holding her close for a moment then whispering softly into her ear.

"Trust me." Aaron whispered as he kissed her passionately pulling her closer, letting her in, showing her more passion than he had ever shown Camille in their full seventeen years of marriage.

Just as Aaron and Tara fell onto her bed lost in each other; Tara awoke to find herself on the couch of her office. Dr Tara Rosenberg was the newly-appointed Chief of Psychology at the hospital she always dreamed of working at, Chicago Hope. She had interned under Aaron Shutt, before he returned to Neurology, it was at this point during her first year when she fell in love with him. Aside from the fact he was older, she found him fascinating and his eyes, the gateway to his soul, were a beautiful chocolate brown and his luscious black hair. These small, insignificant, superficial details made her quiver; they made her weak at the knees to the point of nausea. She suddenly noticed what had woken her up: her pager dancing along the desk beeping incessantly. She answered the page dropping the phone after she heard the voice at the other end – Phillip Watters. Tara took the service elevator to Phillip's office. As quick as she got there Phillip called her in. In Phillip's office were Phillip and her "knight in shining armour" Aaron Shutt. At that moment her legs gave way; Phillip and Aaron ran forward and hoisted her up and helped her into the Chesterfield chair in front of Phillip's mahogany antique desk.

"Are you okay, Tara?" Phillip and Aaron asked in unison

"Yes thank you Phillip, Aaron" Tara replied, giving a slight pause before mentioning Aaron's name.

"I paged you because I have a favour to ask you Tara"

"Yes Phillip?"

"Well, I was hoping you'd agree to work with Aaron on a project to do with neurosurgery and the positive contributions it has made towards treating those with extreme mental disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Schizophrenia. Aaron has agreed to co-write the article which would feature in the Chicago Medical Journal. What do you say? We would pay for you to take time off if needed and as a temporary measure meeting room two will be yours and Aaron's for comparing notes and drawing up templates - " at that moment Phillip broke off,

"Erm…sure I'll do it as long as Aaron is okay about putting up with me" Tara replied flashing a cheeky grin at Aaron, flirting slightly.

"Yes, that's fine by me, and anyway you're probably not that bad" Aaron smirked jokingly as he said this Tara felt herself blushing so she pretended to fan herself to detract Phillip and Aaron's attention. It didn't work.

"Are you feeling warm Tara?" Aaron asked with a concerned look on his face.

"Yes a little bit" Tara smiled innocently

Phillip opened a window to let the air circulate in the office which was beginning to feel more claustrophobic the longer she sat there with the feeling that Aaron was watching her. She felt as though he couldn't take his eyes off her, although in that sense she was deluding herself because he would never look at her twice, in the past five years he had not noticed her and he was not about to start looking now. She had this on good authority from the only person who knew about her feelings for Aaron – the infamous Jeffery Geiger.

Jeffery Geiger was Aaron's best friend and Tara's confidante so it had seemed perfectly natural to tell Geiger about her feelings for Aaron; Jeffery although completely mad would never tell Aaron, he valued his friends too much…they were his family, he loved his friends more than anything, except maybe Alicia, she was really the only woman in his life; ever since his ex-wife had married Gilbert he focused all his attention on Alicia. Tara had met Geiger during her first year as an intern and they had been together ever since. She loved Geiger, but only as a friend, he was attractive she had to admit, she couldn't deny that when they had first met she wasn't intrigued by him but she was more attracted to Aaron. She first told Geiger about her feelings towards Aaron in her second year at Chicago Hope. He was shocked, first of all by the honesty she showed and the trust she put in Jeffery, but mainly because he understood women found Aaron attractive but he couldn't see anyone but Camille being with Aaron, maybe that was Jeffery's problem – he just could not look forward and be happy for Aaron's new lease on life. Jeffery was ashamed of this fact, he should be happy for Aaron but he just couldn't, he just couldn't move on. It was almost as if he was admitting the past was a mistake and to him, he just couldn't do it, it was too much for him to handle, too much for his already fragile mind to take. Tara felt that by telling Jeffery she was compromising Jeffery and Aaron's friendship but then she would be compromising their friendship if she didn't tell Jeffery. It seemed like a dilemma but to those on the outside it would appear to be the indecisiveness of a hormonal teenager. At only twenty-eight years old Tara Rosenberg was the youngest Chief of Psychology in Chicago Hope's history. That fact she was extremely proud about. She hadn't come from the 'silver spoon' side of town and she'd scrimped and saved and pushed herself to get where she was now and it was all worth it – because one man was always behind her, encouraging her, making her feel like she was worth something like she had the ability to walk on water if she truly believed she could.

Tara trundled back to her office and slumped into her couch though she promised herself that she wouldn't fall asleep again. Suddenly Aaron poked his head round the door. Tara shot up from the couch and began straightening her hair and other attire. There was no way she was letting him see her like this, he would never be able to keep a straight face around her if she didn't tidy herself up.

"Hey, was just wondering if you're feeling better, and I also want to say Happy Birthday to you" Aaron smiled

"But how did you -" Tara was cut off

"Jeffery"

"Ah yes, Jeffery, he never leaves well alone does he, any excuse for fun and a party" Tara smiled to herself, was she so wrapped up in her work not to even realise that it was her birthday today, she was twenty-nine, only twenty-nine and already a week into the job as Chief of Psychology. Oh how life had flown past, the time seemingly being stolen from her.

"I meant to ask you something Tara."

"Yes?" Tara replied, intrigued.

"Well this may appear awkward but I was wondering if we could catch dinner sometime?"

Tara hesitated

"It's just since you're now Chief I've always made a point of taking the new Chief of departments out to dinner."

"Yes, yes of course, love to" Tara smiled, slightly disheartened that it was business rather than pleasure, but on the plus side it was quality time they could spend together, maybe even get to know Aaron better. This cheeky thought made her smile slyly to herself.

"Well great, how about tonight, pick you up at eight we can go to this new Chinese place which just opened or the sushi bar on the corner of 8th and 42nd Street?"

"Whatever you want I love both Chinese and sushi so whatever you fancy" Tara replied meekly

"You don't seem so enthusiastic, have I done something, said something to upset you?"

"No I'm just working flat out right now, feeling burnt out"

"We can make it another night?"

"No tonight's good I need time to relax, get my head together, who knows I think it may make the project more fun if we're friends first. What do you think?"

"Yes that would probably make communicating easier than if we're essentially mentor and protégé" Aaron laughed as he said this.

"Eight o'clock?"

"Eight o'clock Aaron" Tara smiled.

"Well see you at eight then, I'll pick you up here, sorry do not know where your apartment is" Aaron flushed.

"Its fine I'm crashing here not really found a place yet, Phillip cleared it, my stuff is still in storage apart from the essentials" Tara smiled although she seemed to feel as though she was inferior to Aaron in this sense.

"Well, seeing as how that is the case why don't you see if Kate can put you up I do know she has a spare room or even Camille."

There it was again that thought niggling at the back of her mind 'Aaron still loves Camille you have no chance'. She ignored this thought and re-focused on Aaron, oh how beautiful his eyes were and his voice was as smooth as silk…

"Yes, I'll try Kate thanks Aaron for the information"

"No problem, eight?"

"Eight."

~ End Of Chapter 1 ~