Beta'd by the lovely and talented ladies: texasbella & MidNight Cougar... you two are the best!

Rated MA for Language and Fucking... just sayin'


Prologue

Edward barely manages to stifle a yawn as he opens his office door, relieved that clinic is finally over for the day. With two of the other doctors out, one on maternity leave and the other having had back surgery only last week, Edward's patient load has nearly doubled. He sinks down into his comfy chair with a sigh, loosening his tie and tilting his head side to side to relieve some of the day's tension.

It's just after six and he's been at the hospital since seven that morning and wants nothing more than to go home, but he still has a couple of dictations to do and knows he should really start writing the new protocol he's been thinking about if he wants it done before the next NIH grant deadline.

It's days like today that he curses his decision to pursue an academic position instead of going into private practice or working at a non-university hospital.

He's logging back onto his computer when he spots the small pile of mail that one of the schedulers or assistants must have brought in, among the chaos that is his desk.

He quickly scans through it. The latest catalog from Boston Scientific, a couple of letters from pharmaceutical companies, a brochure for an upcoming conference that he'll most likely go to but doesn't actually want to, and—a letter with no return address. Strange.

Edward stares at the envelope, besides his name and work address on the front—written by a hand he doesn't recognize—there are no other marks. He's intrigued and quickly opens it.

There's only a single piece of paper. Edward unfolds it quickly and begins to read.

A minute later, he's left staring, unseeing, at the cabinet on the far wall, the sheet of paper falling to the floor from his slack fingers… his life, the plans that he made, all as good as tossed out the window.


See you soon!

-Jess