Victor noticed that Maggie leaned on the furniture more as she came to bed. He wondered if he should mention it or not. The look in her eyes answered his question.

"Rough day, sweetheart?" Victor asked, rubbing Maggie's back.

"Mmm-mmm. Could you just keep doing that?" Maggie sighed.

"Of course. Did you remember to take your drugs?"

Maggie glanced up with annoyed look. "Of course, I did. I've been dealing with MG for over twenty years. I remember to take my drugs."

"I was just checking. No need to bite my head off," Victor said, hurt.

"I'm sorry. One of my chefs quit and half the wait staff is sick. And Doug and Julie's 20th is two weeks from Saturday. I'm just stressed," Maggie said.

"I know you're stressed. What can I do to help you?" Victor asked.

"Just keep rubbing. Could you do my hip?"

"Of course. Roll on your side and I'll grab the massage oil," Victor said.

"Can you imagine twenty years of marriage?" Maggie asked as Victor massaged her hip.

"Not in a valid marriage," Victor said.

"That's right. You've never had a valid marriage or one that hasn't been annulled," Maggie laughed.

" At least, I didn't marry the same person three times. How long was your marriage to Mickey?" Victor retorted.

"Adding the three together, I was married to Mickey for-" Maggie paused for a moment, " for 23 years."

"The fact you had to think about it is reassuring, honey," Victor said. "How long do you give us?"

"Well, if we count the past 14 months, I think we could do 15 years," Maggie said, turning her head for a kiss.

"I'll hold you to that, Horton. Without the divorces and remarriages?" Victor gently teased Maggie.

"I was still married to Mickey for longer than any of your committed relationships," Maggie retorted.

"Touche. Do you feel better?" Victor asked.

"Yeah. I just want to relax and go to sleep," Maggie yawned and snuggled closer to Victor. Victor held his fiancée.

"Maggie, you would tell me if you were relapsing, right?" Victor whispered.

He didn't get an answer.


"Mmmm…." Maggie burrowed under the covers the next morning.

"Hey, don't you have that meeting today with the supplier?" Victor asked, as he came from the shower.

"Mmm-mmm."

"So why aren't you up yet?" Victor nudged Maggie when he sat down next to her.

"I don't feel good," Maggie mumbled.

"Ah." Victor felt panic rising in his chest. "How don't you feel good? Like you caught the bug from work? Or…."

"I don't know if I can stand on my own," Maggie said softly.

Victor looked at Maggie, his own panic mirrored in his lover's eyes.

"O.k. We need to call the doctor, now," Victor said, forcing himself to be calm. Maggie shook her head.

"No, not yet. I probably slept weird," Maggie said.

"Maggie-" Victor wanted to argue but knew better, "Why don't you take nice warm bath? Then we can decide what to do."

"I need to call work," Maggie said.

"O.k. Why don't you do that and I'll run a bath?" Victor said, kissing her head.

"O.k. Just give me five minutes."

"I got you," Victor carried Maggie to the bathroom.

"I'm sorry. You have work and shouldn't have to deal with this," Maggie said.

"Hey, I love you. This is just part of life," Victor said, helping Maggie undressed.

"It's just that I don't want to be sick," Maggie said pitifully.

"I know, sweetie. But the sooner we get you to the doctor , the sooner you can go into remission," Victor pointed out.

"Are we assuming that this is a relapse?" Maggie asked.

"I noticed you've been having problems with your hands for a week now," Victor said.

"I'm fine, just tired. It's the party," Maggie said.

"I know. But Julie and Doug would understand if you're sick," Victor started to wash Maggie's back.

"Victor, I'm scared. If this is a relapse, I might not come out of it," Maggie said.

"I love you and I'm not leaving you. Mickey had 23 years with you. I should get at least half of that, o.k.? You owe me more 11 years, Maggie Horton. And I'm going to hold you to that," Victor promised.

"O.k. Why don't you call Dr. Terable and see if I can get in today?" Maggie asked.

"Are you o.k. to be alone?" Victor heistanted.

"Yeah, for a few minutes," Maggie smiled.

"O.k. I'll be right back," Victor said, kissing Maggie.

"O.k." Maggie smiled, before the tears came.