Hello everyone! I'd like to apologize for the long delay between the last chapter and this one. My attention was absolutely required at home and I was unable to concentrate on writing at all. I'm still getting back into the groove of things so please don't expect weekly updates like before. God willing, I won't go for months without updating. I can guarantee that I will finish all of my stories and I have more to post as soon as they are completed. Going forward, I'll only post a maximum of two stories at once though. An important lesson I learned in my time off is that sometimes life brings in unexpected events which can only make us stronger. Thank you all for the encouraging messages, reviews, and especially for your patience. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. Without further ado, I present to you chapter 5 of Fate's Hand At Play.

If this story is ever removed, it can also be found on JBNP. I will be posting it on TWCS and Tricky Raven soon as well.

This story is AU/OOC

All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.

Mature readers 18+ only.

By Tuesday morning, Seth was back in Massachusetts. He had made the decision to move to Manhattan after falling in love with the city while touring it with Bella. He loved the hustle and bustle and the unique mix of people crowding the city.

Seth never liked La Push. He always felt stifled there and his pack brothers, sister, and family made things worse for him. They were pushy, to say the least, and they could never understand why anyone would want to live anywhere else. His parents always felt that Seth needed to remain in La Push, it was actually Charlie that encouraged him to reach out for his dreams. He recalled his stepfather's words, "Son, if you want to be a doctor then go for it. Don't let anyone—not your mother, your sister, the pack, or the tribal council hold you back. In the end, you'll be the one that has to live with regrets, not them. If you want to be a doctor then I'll make sure that it happens. Come hell or high water, you will become Dr. Clearwater."

And Charlie was true to his word. He sold his house so that Seth could attend college and medical school. Sure, he still had to take out a student loan, but compared to some of his colleagues—it was minimal.

Seth thought about Bella. The entire time she was in college, she was running from a deranged vampire that was after her blood. She had to drop everything while still in high school and run just to keep everyone she loved safe. How she made it through high school, college, and medical school with that sort of stress looming over her shoulders, he had no idea. He could understand why she was an emergency room physician, after spending her time running and hiding, she probably felt comfortable with the adrenalin rush that was ever present in the emergency room.

It was the end of the day and Seth was searching through job listings in New York City. There were a few job listings for family practitioners, but most seemed to be in the inner city. The pay was significantly lower than what he was earning now. He didn't mind, of course, the wage was still above average and he wouldn't have rent to pay if he moved in with Bella. He wasn't sure if he wanted to work in the inner city at a public health clinic though.

He sighed and continued to peruse the listing when his cell phone buzzed.

"Hi, Seth," Bella's sweet voice came through.

"Hey, baby. I miss you. I was just looking through job listings."

"Oh, good. That's exactly what I'm calling about. I have a lead for you."

"You do?"

"Yep, what are the chances of you calling in sick on Friday?"

"I don't get sick, Bella. I'm a wolf."

"Then don't you think it's about time you had a sick day?"

"It depends, tell me about this job."

"Do you remember how I did my internship at the hospital in Alaska?"

"Yes."

"Alright, one of the physicians there, Dr. Akna, apparently moved to Manhattan roughly a year ago and opened up his own private practice. It's taken off like a storm because he's one of the few private practices that also accepts the insurance provided by the Indian Health Services. He works in conjunction with the American Indian Community House and the Urban Indian Health Program which is overseen by Indian Health Services. Anyway, he's looking to hire another physician, but he'd prefer to hire one of Native American descent. When I mentioned that my boyfriend was a hundred percent pure Quileute plus a certified family practitioner, he practically started salivating at the mouth. He asked me to call you right away to see if you were available on Friday at ten am."

Seth couldn't believe his luck. This might be the type of job he was looking for. He didn't want to work in a public health clinic, but this job was at a private practice that also accepted public health insurance. It was the best of both worlds.

"Can you write me a doctor's note for Friday?" he joked.

"So, you'll be here?" Bella asked.

"I'll be there on Thursday night, baby. Be ready for me—naked."

"I can't wait."

"I'll drive down when I get off of work. Just make sure that you have one of those pastrami sandwiches ready to go for me. I'll be hungry when I get there."

"I'll stop at Katz's on the way home from work. Oh my God! I get to see you in two more nights, I'm so excited."

"You know, you're going to have to take care of me all weekend since I'm going to be sick." Seth thought about it. "Naked," he added.

"I can do that for you, Dr. Clearwater."

"I love you, Bella."

"I love you, Seth. Damn it, I have to go. I'm being paged."

"Alright, go and save a life. I can't wait to see you."

After more whispered 'I love you's' he ended the call then immediately started working on his resume.

XOXO

On Thursday just before noon, Seth started acting as if he were lethargic and had a pounding headache. He even coughed a couple of times just for show. One of the nurses put her hand on his forehead and informed the lead doctor that he had a raging fever. He was ordered to go home, take Friday off, and get some rest. Seth nearly bounced out of the office unable to believe his luck and congratulated himself on his stellar acting skills. He hopped into the Porsche he had borrowed from Bella and blazed straight to New York City, he made it in a timely manner because it wasn't rush hour yet. He parked the Porsche in the stall in the garage at Bella's apartment, used his key to drop his bag off at the penthouse, and took the subway to the hospital where Bella worked.

He walked inside of the emergency department and stood in line behind a man who looked like he was in distress. He was waiting for the person in front of him to finish with the receptionist. Suddenly, the man collapsed onto the hospital floor.

Seth flew into medical mode and dove onto the man and ripped his shirt open. Buttons went flying all over the hospital floor. After doing a quick check, he started administering CPR. "I need a gurney and a bag of TPA set up in surgery stat!" he yelled. A gurney was brought immediately and the man placed on it while Seth hopped on top and continued to administer CPR while the orderlies wheeled him into the busy, restricted area of the emergency department.

A stunned Bella handed her clipboard off to the intern upon seeing Seth on a gurney administering chest compressions.

"What happened?"

"This man was standing in line in front of me and suffered a stroke. I need a drip of TPA stat!" he ordered. "I asked for it to be ready immediately!"

"What the hell are you doing lolly gagging around, Beth, get the TPA now!" Bella commanded.

"Yes, Dr. Swan, we weren't sure who he was and..."

"Get the TPA now! No time for explanations."

While the nurse was setting up the drip, Bella had brought the defibrillator out. Seth hopped off of the gurney and as soon as he saw that Bella had the paddles ready, he released his hands from the patient's chest so Bella could shock him. He went back to administering CPR again when he saw that the monitors indicated a flat line still. When the defibrillator was ready again, Bella shocked the man. This time, there was a steady rhythm going on the monitor.

Seth inserted the now ready drip and Bella took over the patient's care from there. He stuck around near Bella, helping where he could until her shift was over. With his easy personality, he immediately won over the entire staff who, within minutes, were bringing him coffee and donuts in an effort to get to know the elusive Dr. Swan's new boyfriend.

As soon as they left the hospital, Bella wrapped her arms around Seth's neck and kissed him soundly on the lips.

"I missed you," she sighed. "What are you doing in town so early? I wasn't expecting you until ten or eleven at least."

"I got sent home sick," he pouted, then let out a fake cough.

"Well, thank God you did because that man who collapsed in front of you wouldn't be alive without your quick actions."

"I know, I'm glad I was there too." His stomach started growling. "I'm starving, let's get some dinner."

The couple went to Chinatown where Seth ate a mountain of food and, for the first time ever, Bella left without any leftovers. On the way back, Seth stopped at Astor Street Barber's to get a quick haircut so he could look presentable for tomorrow's job interview before finally going home. As soon as Bella stepped into the penthouse and stripped her clothes off, Seth knew that there was no way in hell that he was going to get any rest the entire long weekend.

On Friday, Bella surprised Seth by stating that she had worked a double shift on Wednesday so that she could spend the long weekend with him. She helped him steam his suit and iron his shirt for the interview and even dropped him off at the physician's office.

"I'll be sitting in the coffee shop across the street. Let me know how it goes," she told him before giving him a kiss for luck.

Seth strode into the office and handed his card to the receptionist. He was immediately shown into the doctor's office.

"Hello, Dr. Akna, I'm Seth Clearwater." He extended his hand to shake.

"You're rather warm. Are you feeling okay?"

"It's a genetic thing, my temperature has always run very high. My sister is the same way and so was my father before he passed away."

"Ah." Like many, Dr. Akna believed him right away and didn't question him at all. "So, tell me about yourself, Seth."

Seth started on his spiel about how it had always been his dream to be a physician. He added that his mother and sister were registered nurses in Forks and that the field of medicine ran strong in his family.

"I see on your resume that you chose to do your residency at a big city hospital rather than at a hospital that caters towards Native Americans. Why is that?"

"I spent my entire life growing up on a reservation, I thought it would be wise to broaden my horizons a bit."

"And it's a good thing that you did because you are exactly the candidate I'm looking for. I don't want someone that's closed minded. After reviewing your resume and speaking to you, I can tell that you are an open minded fellow who can handle the broad patient base that this practice caters to. We have everyone from high-income socialites to low-income patients on public assistance come to this practice. I need someone with an open mind to work with me. Now, Dr. Swan also tells me that you volunteer at the tribal clinic at your home reservation whenever you go home. Why is that?"

"They don't have a full-time physician on staff and the nurse practitioners tend to become overwhelmed. I think I owe it to my reservation to help when I am able."

"Well, that's all I need to hear. Welcome aboard, Dr. Clearwater. I suspect that you have to give adequate notice to your current practice. How does three weeks sound to you?"

"That sounds fabulous."

"Excellent, now let's discuss your salary. I'm prepared to offer you one hundred seventy-six thousand dollars per annum with bonuses, profit sharing, and three weeks paid vacation plus 401K, health insurance, and other benefits."

Seth gulped. He tried very hard not to let his jaw drop at the surprisingly high salary. He had to keep himself planted in the chair. It wouldn't do if he started hyperventilating in front of his new boss. Currently, he was pulling in roughly a hundred twenty thousand dollars per year. When he didn't answer right away, Dr. Akna stated, "Why don't we make it an even one hundred eighty thousand dollars per annum?"

Did he just get a four thousand dollar raise simply by sitting there looking like an idiot? "That would be satisfactory," Seth replied, trying not to croak out his response. He was in complete shock.

"Good, then I'll see you in three weeks. Do you have a place to reside or do you need help finding an apartment? I know that the American Indian Community House have some apartment listings posted."

"No, no, I'm fine. I'll be moving in with my...girl...fiancee," he abruptly switched from girlfriend to fiancee because it sounded better. He figured he was going to marry Bella anyway.

"Ah, so wedding bells are finally on the horizon for Dr. Swan. It's about time. She went through her entire residency without any sort of social life. She worked, worked, worked, and worked some more without ever requesting time off. I'd never met a more focused and dedicated physician in my life."

"She is one of a kind," Seth replied proudly.

They shook hands, once again, and Seth left the office and sprinted to the coffee shop as soon as he got outside.

"Bells! I got the job!"

"Oh, wonderful!" she cheered.

He excitedly told Bella about his salary. "That's about average for a family practitioner at a private practice in New York City, isn't it? The profit sharing is going to bump you up higher."

"Average? How much do you make?"

"I made three-hundred twenty-nine thousand last year when all was said and done."

"Bella, do you realize that once we get married, our combined income is going to be over half a million dollars per year?"

"Yes, I know. We're going to have to find some tax shelters otherwise we'll be paying Uncle Sam up the yazoo in taxes."

"So, you're going to marry me?"

"Huh?" Bella asked, completely thrown off kilter.

"Great, let's go and pick out an engagement ring. Come on, Bella."

"I...uh...yes! Yes! I will marry you!" she squealed.

"Oh, good, cause I already told Dr. Akna that you were my fiancee."

Bella started chuckling. "You know, you have a way with just assuming that I'll accept everything you decide."

"I like to take chances. Life is more exciting that way."

"It certainly is, Dr. Clearwater."

Are you happy that Seth is moving to New York? Pretty impressive how he saved a life, don't you think? Do you think he'll fit in well with Dr. Akna? What did you think of the sly way he proposed to Bella? Let me know your thoughts and I'll get back to you. Thank you for reading and reviewing. XOXO mama4dukes