One Shot/Future Take for Fandom for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: A Prescription for Love Outtake...
Title: A Healing Touch
Banner by: m81170
Pairing: Bella and Edward
Rating/Disclaimer: M/NC-17. None of this is mine. I'm only borrowing the characters that were created by Stephenie Meyer and make the do pervy things like have sex, swear, and have REAL flaws. Also, thank you to Elaine for the idea! I was at a total loss as to what to write. You rock, girlie! In addition to that, I'm not a doctor. All of my information I obtained from WebMD and the Mayo Clinic. Thanks to Bridget for beta-ing this bad boy for me! Hugs and kisses, to ya Mav!
Summary: Roughly six months after Bella and Edward meet at Cook County Hospital, their relationship is moving along and life couldn't be better. However, one frightened child, two parents, one doctor and one nurse are presented with an illness that baffles them all. What will happen and will our favorite doctor and nurse be able to figure out the medical mystery before it's too late?
Dear God, I had the sexiest girlfriend on the planet. In the universe. Hell, in the freaking galaxy! Do you get the point? And she didn't even have to try.
As I lay next to her, I looked over the perfection that was Bella Swan, the most wonderful woman in my life. My true love. Also, my favorite nurse at work. Her silky brown hair cascaded over her bare shoulder as she slumbered in my bed. She deserved it. The rest, that is. We were up late last night making love. It was seriously my new favorite past time. Each time we made love it was just like our first time…magical and perfect.
Who knew that my girl was so bendy?
I certainly didn't.
I wondered if she was up for a repeat performance this morning before we headed into work today? We were both on the three to midnight shift and it was some time before we had to be up. My cock was definitely up for a repeat performance. He was twitching against my girl's ass, begging for some smexy times.
I ran my finger along her spine, reveling in the smoothness of her alabaster skin. Gooseflesh erupted along her back as I continued to trace her back. I ran my fingertip along her skin and spelled out our names together on her back. Isabella Cullen. Nice ring, hmmm? Heh, a guy can dream.
"Hmmm, feels good," she cooed with her raspy voice. She turned her head to look at me, giving me a lazy and satisfied smile. "How is it that you can touch me and I feel like my body's on fire?"
"Because I know what kind of touches turn you on, sweet girl," I answered as I leaned down to press soft kisses along her back, following the same pattern as my fingers. Her scent was a natural aphrodisiac for me. The addition of my scent on her skin caused my arousal to become painful, begging for some sort of action. "I want you, Bella," I growled against her silky skin. My hand moved down her back as I massaged her voluptuous ass. She moaned and wiggled against my hand as I continued to massage her butt. "Do you want me, Bella?"
"See for yourself, Dr. Cullen," she replied with a mischievous twinkle in her chocolate brown orbs. Her legs parted and I moved my fingers down to the apex of her creamy thighs. My fingers were greeted with her sweet wetness. I groaned loudly. Bella giggled as she rolled over to face me. Her curvy body was so incredibly gorgeous to me, but my Bella had been taunted for her weight by her peers, co-workers and father most of her life. I loved her curves and I told her as often as I could. There were still days that my girl reverted back to the shy, insecure girl I met back in December, but every day, Bella grew as a nurse, as a woman and as my soul mate. I love her so much.
"So beautiful," I murmured as I lowered the sheet that covered her gorgeous body. My mouth watered as I hungrily and openly stared at her.
"You're the beautiful one, Edward," she whispered reverently. "Inside and out." Her fingers moved to my hair, gently scratching my scalp which caused me to groan quietly. I loved when she did that. I could feel it from my hair all the way down to my very prominent erection. He twitched excitedly at the prospect of being buried in her body. My mind reeled with visions of all I wanted to do to her with my mouth, fingers and tongue.
I blushed as I pulled her closer to me, cupping her face. I smiled crookedly at her. Dipping my head, I pressed my lips to hers. Surely kissing Bella was the closest to thing to heaven on earth. Her lips molded to mine perfectly. My hand moved from her face down to cup her breast. Her soft mound filled my palm and her nipple pressed against my hand. She moaned, arching her back to push her breast further into my palm. I smiled against her mouth as I pinched her erect nipple.
"Edward," she sighed breathily as her hands tightened in my hair. "Feels unbelievable, baby."
My smiled widened against her mouth. I loved it when she called me baby. It was a small gesture but it meant so much to me even though she was my baby. "I'm going to make you feel so amazing, sweet girl. There is no part of your body that will be ignored by my mouth or my loving," I growled as I moved my mouth from hers. Her responding sigh spurred me on. I kissed down her neck to her perfect breasts. Wrapping my lips around her dusty rose-colored nipple, I flicked it with my tongue. As I looked up at her, Bella's head was thrown back in pleasure. My mouth moved from one breast to the other, repeating the actions of flicking her nipple. Her skin tasted so good: sweet and salty.
I reached my hand down, gliding my fingers along her belly to her leg. She spread her legs, giving me more room to play. And I was definitely going to play. My fingers moved to her core. Her arousal was spilling out of her, coating my fingers.
I looked up at her. Bella was watching me intently as I gently fondled her clit. Her eyes were black as onyx with desire and lust. Grinning crookedly, I eased my middle finger inside of her tight pussy. Bella's hips bucked and she moaned loudly. I'm just getting started, beautiful. You will be screaming my name. Crashing my lips against hers, I curled my finger inside of her slick, hot sex. "I want you to scream my name, like you did last night, when you come, Isabella," I purred. She whimpered against my mouth, but I didn't stay up there long. I slithered down her curvy body as I continued to finger fuck her. I kissed, licked and nipped at her smooth, porcelain skin. Once I settled between her thighs, I spread her legs so I could see her perfect, pink and glistening pussy.
I let out a feral grow as I descended my mouth on her clit. I devoured her sex like it was my last meal. Never in my life had I ever had a woman taste as good as my Bella. Her skin was sweet and salty. Her sex was pure ecstasy. The most succulent nectar. Her very essence. My tongue circled around her clit and I curled my fingers inside of her hot, wet pussy, feeling her g-spot. Bella's guttural moans were what I needed to encourage me to make her come. That and how she looked after she had her orgasm. Every inch of her skin was flushed pink, and she breathed heavily, causing her breasts to heave wonderfully over her body.
I watched her as she became unraveled. Her hips moved in conjunction with my tongue that flicked along her clit. Her arousal coated my lips. With my free hand, I reached up and laced my fingers with hers as I licked her to orgasm. Her other hand was holding my head firmly between her legs. Not that I was going anywhere. I wanted to taste her come. I wanted to drink up her gushing arousal as it soaked my face. I wanted all of it with her.
"Edward," she moaned. "So close. I want you. Inside of me. NOW!"
What my girl wants, my girl gets.
With one more open mouthed kiss on her sex, I pulled away and crawled up her body. She was very close to climax and I knew that once I pushed inside of her, she would clench around me. "Are you sure, baby?" I cooed.
"Yes," she begged. Her legs moved to wrap around my hips and pulled me closer to her pussy, which was dripping down her legs and onto my sheets. I loved my juicy girl. "Fuck me, Edward."
"I don't want to fuck you, sweet girl," I said as I positioned my cock at her entrance. I slipped it just inside of her. "I want to make love to you until you scream my name and coat my cock with everything you have." My voice grew darker and more commanding. It caused Bella to whimper and her eyes to glaze over. Slowly, I inched my length into her impossibly tight pussy. Holy mother fuck. THIS is heaven on earth. "So fucking good," I breathed. "I'll never, EVER tire of this, my Bella."
"More, Edward. I need to feel you," she begged. I pulled out and moved back inside of her. Her muscles clenched around me, hugging me with her wet, silken walls. I leaned down and kissed her pouty lips, massaging her tongue with mine as I began thrusting slowly and rhythmically inside of my girl.
"Bella," I breathed against her sweaty skin. "I love you, baby. So much."
"I love you more, Edward," she cooed. Our eyes were trained on each other as I smoothly moved in and out of her body. Her hips moved with mine and I could feel my cock reach deeper inside of her warmth. I slid my hand down her body and hitched her right leg over my shoulder. I pushed further into my love. It felt incredible to feel her hugging my cock with her pussy. The love pouring from her was palpable as I pounded inside of her. Her breasts bounced with each thrust. God, I loved her breasts. I loved everything about her. "Shit, right there, Edward. So good…harder!"
I smirked and sat up on my haunches. I increased my speed and put more force behind my thrusts. She grunted with each movement and gripped the headboard of my bed. Her head was thrown back in pleasure. I had to lean forward and kiss her neck. I kept up my relentless thrusting, filling her with my cock. She was fucking made for me. Her body was a perfect mold for mine. "Bella, baby, I'm close," I forced out. "I have to feel you come, love."
With a smirk, Bella removed her hand from the headboard and slid it down her belly. Her fingers circled around her clit and fuck me, I nearly exploded when I saw my very shy and sexually inexperienced girlfriend begin to masturbate with me pounding in and out of her. "Fuck me," I groaned as I felt her fingers graze my cock with each pass over her swollen nub. "That's so fucking hot, Bella." I wanted to kiss the shit out of her but that would mean that her fingers would stop moving on her body. I just watched as I pushed in and out, feeling her pads of her fingers on my cock. Bella let out a throaty moan and her one leg pushed her hips up. I followed her easily and felt her muscles flutter around me. Her fingertips were moving faster and her hips were grinding against my pelvis, moving closer and closer to orgasm.
Bella's hand moved abruptly from her clit and she screamed, loudly. "EDWARD!" My thrusts increased in speed, and I kept moving as she had a very powerful and wet orgasm, coating my cock with her release. Her climax triggered mine, and I spilled inside of her body. Thank goodness for birth control. Slowly, I kept thrusting until my cock deflated enough to where it slid out of her. Her leg fell from my shoulder, and she was breathing heavily. I slumped, resting my head on her naked chest and listened to her heart. It was thumping madly against her ribs. She wrapped her arms around me and gently played with my hair. "No words, Dr. Sexward…"
"Stop calling me that," I teased as I blew a raspberry on her left breast.
"How about Dr. Tattward?" she giggled. I looked up at her, and I saw the most beautiful sight: my girl completely sexually satisfied and totally in love with me. The love in her eyes was as plain as day even though she was teasing me. "I love you, baby."
"I love you, so much, my Bella," I smiled.
She sat up and I hovered over her while we kissed languidly. "I think we need to change your sheets, Edward." She was blushing when she said this and got up from the bed. Beneath where we lay was a damp spot from both of our respective releases. I was oddly proud at seeing that spot, but knew that I did have to change the sheets. In a few hours that damp spot would be not so pleasant to be around. Bella slipped on one of my shirts and began stripping the bed, with me still in it.
"Hey! At least let me get my pale, naked ass out of the bed before you take off the sheets, Swan," I quipped.
"Quit admiring your handiwork, Edward," she giggled. "Get up!" I rolled my eyes and hopped out of the bed. Together we removed the sheets and tossed them into the hallway. I then grabbed Bella by the waist and dragged her into the bathroom. We took a shower, playfully kissing and touching each other as we washed our bodies of our lovemaking. We dressed for work and I put the sheets into the washing machine while Bella made some breakfast for us. We fed each other the eggs and bacon, just enjoying the quiet time together. I nipped against her ears as I cupped her breast, standing behind her while we ate. "Four times last night and once the morning? Aren't you tired, Dr. Sexward?" she laughed.
"Never. I'm always ready for you, Isabella," I smiled against her neck. "I love feeling you around me, sweet girl. Besides, we have yet to christen my kitchen."
"We christened my kitchen," she replied breathily. "Angela was not happy walking in and seeing your naked ass thrusting into me on the kitchen counter."
"Really? When I talked to Ang she said that my ass was hot," I smirked.
"Your ass is incredibly hot, Dr. Cullen, but she was not happy in seeing us getting it on the kitchen counter," she laughed. "Angela bought out the shelf of Clorox wipes and Clorox Clean-up. She made me scour the kitchen twice before she would even think about cooking in there."
"Sex is completely natural," I said.
"Edward, I share that apartment with Angela," she deadpanned. "It was very inconsiderate. I think the 'public' smexing should be happening here. Not at my place."
"So, can we christen the kitchen?" I asked eagerly, thrusting my arousal into her back.
"Not right now. We have to be at work in an hour," she said rationally, turning around to cup my straining erection. "We can play tonight."
"You're staying again?" I asked, kissing her neck. I wanted her to stay forever but she was still hesitant. A lot of it was due to her still very real issues with trust. Another part was her roommate. She didn't want leave Angela in a lurch without a roommate.
"Your place is closer to the hospital, and I have to be back at nine tomorrow morning. That means we can have some smexy times but not an all-night marathon like last night," she said as she began to put the dishes into the dishwasher. We worked together and cleaned up the kitchen. I flipped the sheets to the dryer. I grabbed some clean sheets from my closet. Before we left for the hospital, we put the new sheets on and made the bed. I immediately wanted to mess it up but Bella's arched brow told me otherwise. "Insatiable, Dr. Sexward!"
"Stop calling me that!" I laughed.
"I'm surprised that I'm not walking funny, Edward. I mean really. Doesn't he ever rest?"
"Not when I'm around you, Bella," I purred. I crossed over to her and crashed my lips against hers. I slid my tongue between her lips when my cell phone began blaring on my hip. It was the hospital calling based off the ringtone. Growling, I pulled away and picked up. "Dr. Cullen."
"Sorry to disturb you, Dr. Cullen," came the voice of the nursing manager, Carmen. "However, Dr. Sanchez has fallen ill and we need you to come in as soon as possible. Also, we have a child here that is displaying some rather troubling symptoms. The parents are asking for the best doctor in the ER and well, Dr. Sanchez said that you'd handle the child's care."
"I'm on my way, Carmen," I said. "Be there in like fifteen minutes, okay?"
"Great! Thank you, Dr. Cullen." She hung up the phone and I put my cell phone back in my pocket. "We have to go, sweet girl."
"Kind of gathered that," she said. She grabbed her messenger bag and pulled her long brown hair into a ponytail. I swiped my wallet, ID, and car keys before we walked out to the Volvo. I drove us to the hospital. At the entrance, we went our separate ways with a chaste kiss. I went into my office and put on my white lab coat, slipping my stethoscope around my neck and clipping my ID badge to my pocket. I made sure that my prescription pad was in my pocket before heading to Eleazar's office. I knocked on the door and saw him sitting at his desk.
He looked awful. "Eleazar?"
"Hi, Edward," he said tiredly. "Thank you for coming so quickly."
"I was already dressed," I said as I sat down across from him. "What's wrong? Carmen said that you were sick."
He sighed and rubbed his face, which looked sunken in. "I've tried for as long as I could. I have cancer, Edward; colon cancer specifically. I was diagnosed shortly after Easter. I thought I could continue working but I've started chemo therapy and I'm exhausted, nauseous, and not on my 'A' game. I'm meeting with Dr. Volturi after I speak with you. I need to take a medical leave. I need to get better and I can't do so if I'm here working. While I'm gone, you'll be taking over as the head of emergency medicine, Edward. You're the best doctor for the job. The nurses respect you and the doctors, except Newton, think you're amazing."
"Newton has every right to hate me. Why haven't we fired him yet?" I quipped. "Sorry…what stage is your cancer?"
"Stage I. They caught it early, but I still have at least a year of treatments, surgeries, and recuperation," he answered. "Dr. Volturi will make the announcement regarding your promotion."
"Wait, is this permanent?" I asked, surprised.
"Edward, when you were hired, I was thinking of retiring," Eleazar explained. "This is kind of really forcing me to rethink my priorities. I want to spend time with my wife, my children, my grandchildren…"
"You don't look old enough to have grandchildren," I said, giving him a smile.
"They're young," he chuckled. "A baby, six months old, and a two year old." He handed me a picture of two children. They were adorable and smiling. "The baby, her name is Julianna, and the boy, he's Jose. Anyhow, I may come back after my medical leave, but I'm thinking that I'm not. I'm leaving the ER in your capable hands, Edward."
"Eleazar…it won't be the same without you," I frowned.
"I know. But, I also know that you will do amazingly well. One word to the wise, though. Get someone to be your associate head of the ER. It's invaluable," he smirked. "And hire some good doctors."
"Get rid of Newton and Crowley?" I snorted.
"They're up for review," he said cryptically. "Anyhow, before I go, I have to give you a case. This little girl, Maggie, is displaying some unusual symptoms. Unfortunately, they are not local and needed to come to the ER. I tried to encourage them to see their regular pediatrician, but they are from Ireland and I don't think that Maggie will survive the flight."
"Let me see her chart," I said. I quickly read the notes on the chart and saw that she was running a fever, had some bone pain and was riddled with bruises. "I'll take care of this, Eleazar. You get home and get better."
"I will. Thank you, Edward," he said, giving me a relieved smile. We shook hands and I left his office. I walked to the break room to see if Bella was in there. She would be the perfect nurse for this case. Maggie was nine years old and on vacation with her parents, Liam and Siobhan from Dublin. In the break room, Bella was chatting with Carmen.
"Bella, can you come with me?" I asked.
"Sure. Let me clock in first," she said. She typed in her ID number in the computer in the break room and we left, walking to trauma room one. Lying on the gurney was a small red-headed girl with bright blue eyes. Standing next to her was a large woman with the same colored hair and green eyes and a short man with the same eyes as his daughter.
"Hello," I said. "I'm Dr. Cullen and I'll be taking over your care. Dr. Sanchez had to leave due to illness. This is Nurse Swan. She'll be assisting me in your care, okay?" The little girl nodded. "What's your name, sweetie?"
"Maggie," she answered, her voice sounding tired and strained. "You have pretty eyes, Dr. Cullen."
"So do you, Maggie," I smiled as I sat down on the stool next to her bed.
"I'm Siobhan O'Hara and this is my husband, Liam," she said tersely. She arched a brow at me. "You're awfully young, Dr. Cullen."
"Mrs. O'Hara, I know I'm younger, but I'm a board certified physician in emergency medicine and pediatric emergency medicine," I said. "I'm also a trauma surgeon. I will do everything in my power to find out what's wrong with Maggie."
"Dr. Sanchez was the head of the ER," Liam said. "We want him to be our doctor."
"Well, Mr. O'Hara, you can't. Dr. Sanchez is beginning a medical leave and he just informed me that I'm the new head of the ER. So you traded one head for another," I said, trying to keep my temper in check. Apparently, they saw power as knowledge. Bella gasped behind me. I turned and winked at her. "Maggie can be checked by a specialist, but we have to determine what's wrong with her first. Okay?"
"Momma, I like Dr. Cullen," Maggie said softly. "And Nurse Swan." I smiled at Maggie and held out my fist. She giggled and pounded it. "He seems nice. And friendly, too."
"Okay, Margaret," Siobhan sighed.
"Now, Miss Maggie, what's wrong, sweetie?" I asked as I pulled out the chart to make notes. Bella began scuttling around Maggie to take her vitals.
"I'm tired all of the time. Momma says I have a fever. I'm covered with bruises. I hurt everywhere and I have these red spots everywhere," she frowned.
"Fever is 101.2," Bella said as she brushed Maggie's hair back over her neck. "Bruising all along her arms and some on her back, too."
"Do you bump into things easily, Maggie?" I asked.
"Not usually. I'm a gymnast and I'm here looking for a coach," she said. "I have my share of falls but I always bounced back. Until like February."
"Is that when all of this started, Maggie?" Bella questioned. Maggie turned and nodded. "Do you want me to get some blood, Dr. Cullen?"
"Yeah. A full trauma panel and check all of the levels of the blood cells," I said. "I'm sorry, Maggie, but Nurse Swan is going to have to stick you."
"But, I'm the quickest draw in the hospital," Bella said as she gathered her supplies. "Do want me to start an IV, too?" I nodded. "Maggie, this will be virtually painless. Just keep staring at Dr. Cullen's eyes. They'll mesmerize you. They've been known to have healing qualities."
"Really?" Maggie asked, turning to me. She stared at me and smiled softly. "They are the color of the grass in Ireland. Right, Momma?"
"I've never seen eyes greener," Siobhan chuckled.
"My mom used to tease me all of the time saying that I was part leprechaun. Out all of my family, I'm the only quasi red-head. The rest of my family are blondes," I chuckled. "My dad is Irish and my mom is English and Welsh. I get the hair from his side of the family. I apparently look like my great-grandfather Cullen."
"I've seen pictures," Bella chirped as she finished the blood draw and readied the IV. "The resemblance is striking."
"Are you Irish, Nurse Swan?" Liam asked.
"I'm kind of a mutt," she chuckled. "My birth father was a bit of everything: Polish, English, American Indian, French…My mom, though, was very Italian. That's why I have dark hair and dark eyes."
"Birth father?" Siobhan asked, arching a brow.
"Well, it's a long story. Let's just say that I do not talk to my dad," Bella said curtly. She finished with the IV and smiled at Maggie. "Did Dr. Cullen's healing eyes help?"
"I didn't feel anything," she said.
"Good. I'm going to run these to lab," Bella said as she left the trauma room. I watched her like a hawk, amazed at her ease in distracting Maggie from her blood draw and IV placement.
"Okay, I need to do my examination. Let me know if anything hurts or if you're uncomfortable," I said as I began feeling around her lymph nodes. The ones around her throat were slightly swollen. I made note of it on her chart. I moved my examination to her abdomen to see if her spleen was enlarged. The bruising on her stomach was quite gruesome and looked painful. "Does either one of you have a history of leukemia in your family?"
"My older sister had it," Liam said sadly. "She passed away when I was a child from the disease. It wasn't caught in time."
"How old were you?"
"Around five," Liam replied. "My sister was Maggie's age. You don't think that Maggie has leukemia, do you?"
"I'm not sure, but it could be a distinct possibility since your sister passed from the disease. Do you know what kind of leukemia she had?" Liam shook his head and frowned deeply.
"Is this bad, Dr. Cullen?" Maggie asked in a tiny voice.
"It's not good, Maggie. Nurse Swan and I are going to run some tests to see if you have what your aunt had," I said as I tried to calm her. Tears were spilling down her cheeks. "Shhhh, don't cry. You are such a brave little girl and I know that you will be okay. Do you want to know why?"
"Because you're going to get ice cream for lunch with chocolate sprinkles and cookies for dessert," I smiled crookedly. "How does that sound?"
"Yummy," she said, giving me a half smile.
"What kind of ice cream, though? That's the most important question," I said as I took her frail hand into mine.
"Chocolate chip cookie dough," Maggie said, a twinkle coming back to her eyes. "But that won't go well with cookies for dessert."
"Then you'll have to have cake," I said. "Trust me and I'll get you the best meal you've ever had. Mom, Dad, can I speak with you in the hallway?" They grasped hands and followed me out into the hallway, watching their little girl. "I can't say this with any kind of assurance, but based off her symptoms, she may have leukemia. What are her other symptoms and when did they start?"
"Since February, she's been constantly tired and running a fever. The fever was hovering around 99 and going as high as around 101, or so. Originally, we thought it was the flu, but it just wouldn't go away. Then, the aches came. She said her bones hurt. I attributed that to her gymnastic training. She does a lot of tricks, spins and flips. Of course she's going to be in pain," Siobhan muttered. "Finally, the bruising and the random red spots appeared while we were here."
"She's also losing weight, Dr. Cullen. She exercises a lot. She eats a ton of food but looks like a skeleton," Liam said.
"Okay," I said thoughtfully. "I can tell a lot by the blood test but I want to run a bone marrow test. However, I'll wait until I get the blood test results back. If there is an increased amount of white blood cells or platelets, I will schedule a bone marrow test."
"What's that?" Siobhan asked, lacing her fingers with her husband's.
"A bone marrow test is where I take a small needle and insert it into Maggie's hip bone. I'll remove a small portion of her marrow so it can be tested for leukemia," I said.
"Will she be awake?" Liam questioned.
"We'll give her a sedative. Plus, we may give her a clotting agent to reduce the bruising on her hip," I said. "Is Maggie taking any medications?"
"No. No medications," Siobhan said woodenly.
"We did give her some ibuprofen this morning because she was hurting," Liam said.
"That shouldn't pose a problem. What I'm concerned about is if she's taking a blood thinner that can cause her to bleed out," I said.
"Not that," Liam sighed.
"When will we know if she has it? Leukemia?" Siobhan whimpered. Liam hugged his wife and stared at me expectantly.
"Hopefully, she doesn't and she just is anemic," I prayed. "Results typically take about a day, at the longest a week. But, I'll put a rush on it and have our best pathologist work on her case. You can leave with her after the procedure."
"She won't be admitted in the hospital?" Liam asked.
"No. The best place for her right now is home but since that's not an option, with you, in your hotel, is the next best place. Her immune system is compromised and there's a ton of infections that can make Maggie sick. I'll call you with the results as soon as they come in. I promise," I said as I put my hand on Liam's shoulder.
"Dr. Cullen, I have Maggie's blood test results," Bella said. I nodded and excused myself from the O'Haras. "It doesn't look good, Edward." Bella's eyes were filled with tears as she handed me the paperwork with Maggie's blood test results.
"Shit," I hissed as I saw the results. Her white blood cell count was through the roof. I pinched my nose and stared at the very upset couple near the door of the trauma room. "Can you prepare a consent form for a bone marrow test? Also, get a hematology and oncology consult on standby," I sighed. "I need to run and get that little girl some chocolate cookie dough ice cream."
"Does the family have a history of leukemia, Edward?" Bella asked, touching my arm, massaging it lightly.
"Dad's sister died when he was five of the disease," I answered. "She was Maggie's age when she was diagnosed. I mean, the technology has improved since then, but still it's…"
"I know, Edward," she murmured, cupping the back of my neck. She stood on her toes and gently kissed my lips. "Go get her some ice cream. I'll prepare the consent form and make the calls up to hematology and oncology."
"Love you, sweet girl," I said as I hugged her briefly.
"Love you, too," she said as she pushed me toward the door. I rolled my eyes and darted out of the ER and into the warm, early June afternoon. I walked quickly to a Baskin Robbins around the corner from the hospital, next to the Perkalator. I picked up a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a can of whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, plus a cherry. On my way back, I stopped at the bakery and got a large cupcake for Maggie along with some treats for her parents. I was gone for about fifteen minutes. I saw Alice and grabbed her. Together, we readied Maggie's meal and carried it to the trauma room. Maggie's blue eyes widened when she saw that I followed through with my promise of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and cake. She eagerly began eating her meal as I talked to her parents.
I explained to them that Maggie's white blood cell count was elevated. Siobhan began crying and Liam was in shock. In the chart, I saw that Bella had placed the consent form for the bone marrow test. She also placed the on-call doctors in hematology and oncology in the notes of the chart. Fuck, she's so good.
"Do you need to do that bone marrow test?" Siobhan asked, tears filling her eyes.
"Yes. I do," I said as we watched Bella and Maggie in the trauma room. Bella was reading with Maggie after she ate what she could of the ice cream. "The procedure will take about twenty minutes after I give her the sedative. Maggie needs to lie very still as I get the sample."
"Can't she be asleep for the test? I mean, won't it hurt?" Liam whimpered. "She's just nine years old."
"I can give her enough to make her sleepy and in a 'twilight' state of mind. She'll be awake but not truly aware," I said.
"Can we be in there with her?" Siobhan asked, pleading with me.
"No. I need to have a sterile field to prevent infection. Nurse Swan is building a rapport with your daughter and she will be with your baby girl," I said, smiling slightly as I watched Bella with Maggie. In my mind, I imagined her talking to our daughter. Reading to her. I sighed and turned back to the O'Haras. "Anyhow, once she's awake, you can take her with you. I'll give you after care instructions for the test site. If she's in a great deal of pain, I can admit her for pain management on the pediatric floor."
"If she goes up there, will you still be her doctor?" Liam asked.
"No. She'll be given a pediatrician who will be privy to all medical tests that I ordered," I said. "When the results come in, though, I can be there with your pediatrician. I'm also going to call up to the hematology department to have a doctor discuss with you the possibilities of what Maggie has. Our best hematologist, Dr. Fang, is on call today and I'm going to call him after I speak with you. He'll probably have questions for you, Mr. O'Hara, regarding your sister. It can help diagnose what Maggie has."
"I'll call my parents and see if they still have her medical files. Is there a fax machine here?"
"Of course," I said. I reached into my pocket and gave him my card. I circled the fax number to my office and he scuttled off to make his phone call. "Do you consent for Maggie having the test?"
"What happens if we wait?" Siobhan asked me, still staring at her daughter.
"It could be detrimental to Maggie," I said. "There are four types of leukemia: acute lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia. The most common type of leukemia in children is the first one I mentioned, acute lymphocytic leukemia."
"What does 'acute' mean?" Siobhan questioned, her brow furrowed.
"Acute leukemia is where the abnormal blood cells are immature. We call them blasts. These cells can't do their job plus they multiply rapidly. The disease worsens quickly and this is why we need to do the bone marrow test today. Not when you get home or a month from now. It could be too late."
"Do you think that Maggie has acute lymphocytic leukemia?"
"I can't say with certainty. That's why we need to run the test," I said. "I can only imagine what you're going through."
"You don't have children, Dr. Cullen?"
"No, Mrs. O'Hara," I said, "but, no one likes to see a child sick, especially a child as precocious and sweet as Maggie." I held out the consent form and handed her the pen. She took it and signed the paperwork as I described the procedure in more detail. I also told her the risks and what to look for after Maggie was released from the hospital. When I finished with Siobhan, Liam had returned with a grim smile on his face. It turns out that his parents threw out his sister's medical records, but he did say that she had acute lymphocytic leukemia. I thanked him and told them to spend time with Maggie. I wanted to get the bone marrow test done in the next few hours so they could go home.
I dialed up Dr. Fang and asked him if he could come down as I performed the bone marrow test. He asked if I wanted assistance, but I assured him that I was fine. I briefly discussed the case with Dr. Fang, and he said that he'd be down shortly after five. He had office hours today and was there until then. I knew my time frame and readied what I needed for the test.
Around four thirty, Bella gave a prescribed sedative to Maggie. I changed out of my clothes and into a pair of clean scrubs. I explained to Maggie's parents, again, what I was going to do. Liam was a nervous wreck, and I was fearful that I was going to have to sedate him, too. Siobhan gently calmed her husband as I walked them to the family conference room where Dr. Fang was going to meet with them. I answered all their questions before I left, promising that I'd take care of their baby.
With a reassuring smile, I left the conference room and went back toward the trauma room. This test wasn't surgery but with Maggie's compromised immune system, I treated it as such. I covered my hair with a surgical cap and scrubbed down my hands. Bella followed suit and we walked into the trauma room. Before I performed the test, I checked on Maggie.
"How are you doing, little one?" I asked as I brushed back her red hair from her face. Her eyes were wide and terrified.
"I'm scared, Dr. Cullen," she cried.
"Do you want another round of sedatives?" Bella asked. I looked up at her and nodded.
"I know you're scared, Maggie. But this test is going to tell us what's wrong with you. You are such a brave girl and I'm proud of you," I said, smiling at the tiny, wisp of a girl. "Bella is going to be here while I perform the test."
"Nurse Swan," I answered.
"That's a pretty name," Maggie murmured. "What's your first name, Dr. Cullen?"
"Edward," I chuckled. "Kind of old fashioned, huh?"
"No. I think it's nice," Maggie said tiredly. "You're like that prince guy. Or that vampire from the movie…"
"Vampire?" I laughed. I looked down at Maggie and she was dozing. I shook my head. "Vampire? There's a vampire named Edward? It's such a weak name. Vampires need to be named Vlad or Romano or something."
"I think Edward is a wonderful name," Bella smirked as she took my spot next to Maggie's head. "And it's not weak. It's strong and regal. Vlad is a gay name. Besides, you're pale enough to be a vampire." Bella winked and helped me roll Maggie onto her stomach. Bella watched Maggie's vitals as I prepared the test site.
I cleaned the site with the required solution. Next, I numbed the site using a local anesthetic. Bella monitored Maggie's reaction for any allergies or problems. Once we were happy that she was okay with the anesthetic, I picked up the needle to perform the test. Using my strength, I pushed the needle into Maggie's leg. I grimaced slightly when I heard the crunch as the needled penetrated the bone, but still kept pushing. I gathered the sample, removing the needle carefully. Bella helped me stem the bleeding from Maggie's wound and placed a bandage over the top of it. Maggie was snoring quietly, indicating that she had slept throughout the entire procedure. That was a good thing since it was not the most pleasant feeling to get a bone marrow test.
"I'll stay with Maggie and you can get the parents," Bella said as she removed her surgical cap and gloves. She brushed her fingers through Maggie's hair.
"I'm going to drop off the sample to the lab, first. I need to make sure that this gets put through immediately. Time is of the essence," I said as I picked up her bone marrow sample. Walking to the lab, I discussed it with the pathologist, asking her to rush this since the family is here from out of town. She nodded since I used my good looks to convince her. I broke out the panty dropper smile. She assured me that the results would be in by tomorrow morning at the earliest, tomorrow evening by the very latest.
After I stopped at the lab, I checked on the O'Haras in the conference room. They were still talking with Dr. Fang. Liam looked shell-shocked while Siobhan was in tears. Dr. Fang saw me and gently informed them that I was there. Siobhan asked how Maggie was and I told her that she was fine. Sleeping soundly with Nurse Swan. She hugged me and sobbed against my scrub top. I led the family to the trauma room where Bella was doting on little Maggie. After talking briefly with the family, we left them to care for her.
I desperately wanted to drag Bella back to my office and hold her tightly. However, she had to attend some patients that she acquired while I was readying the procedure for Maggie. I talked with Dr. Fang, who looked at the blood test and said that I made the right call in getting a bone marrow sample. Dr. Fang also said that the family seemed to really trust me and wanted me to be the primary physician to deliver the news. I nodded and thanked him for his expertise. He left my office, and I spent an hour or so researching all I could on childhood leukemia, focusing most of my attention on acute lymphocytic leukemia or acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The disease invaded the blood and could spread to other parts of the body. The most common locations that it could spread to were the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. It could spread very quickly, and, if not treated in a timely manner, could be fatal.
My cell phone vibrated from my pocket and I saw a text from Bella. Maggie is awake and in a great deal of pain. Can you talk to the parents? – B
On my way, sweet girl – E
I walked to the trauma room and found Maggie crying, with her mother cradling her gently. I checked her vitals and her test site. It appeared to look normal, but it was causing her some discomfort. I ordered some pain medication and if it didn't improve, I'd have her admitted.
The O'Haras were on edge. Understandably so. The waiting game sucked. You wanted to know what was wrong but, waiting for the answers was almost worse than the disease. Then, when you got the answers, it could be ten times worse than the waiting. A hundred times.
After a few more hours of Maggie being in pain, I had her admitted to the pediatric floor. The family left the ER and into a private room on the fifth floor of the hospital. The rest of the shift passed by uneventfully. I handled some easier cases but I could not stop thinking about Maggie. It weighed heavily on Bella, too. She wasn't her usual 'chipper' self. By the end of our shift, Bella and I headed up to the peds floor to check on Maggie. I looked at her chart while Bella chatted with the O'Haras, who were eating some nasty food. Maggie had been administered some heavier pain medications up here and was resting comfortably. Her fever was still high, though.
As a physician, you were trained to be compassionate, but you needed to maintain that wall. You needed to separate your feelings from the patient. I had such a hard time doing that with Maggie. With any child. However, Maggie was so sweet and adorable. I hated that she was about to fight the battle of her life and she wasn't even ten.
Don't think about that yet, Edward. The results aren't in yet. She could just have some ongoing infection.
But in my mind, I knew. I knew that she had leukemia. I just prayed that we caught it in time and that her prognosis was good.
After speaking with Maggie's parents for a few more minutes, Bella and I left the hospital. I drove us back to my brownstone where we made love quietly. It was almost healing, a soothing balm to our souls from this emotionally taxing day. I fell asleep, holding Bella to my chest, praying to God for Maggie and thanking Him for the beautiful woman who was curled on my torso.
The next morning, Bella left to go to work at eight. I was scheduled to go in later. I did some light housework until my cell phone rang. Pathology. I picked up the phone, anxious to hear the results of Maggie's bone marrow test. "This is Dr. Cullen," I said.
"Dr. Cullen, we have the results for Maggie O'Hara," the woman said.
"There is indication of some abnormalities in the cells," she said professionally. "We are running further tests to see the full extent of the abnormalities."
"Is it leukemia?" I asked.
"Early indicators point to acute lymphocytic leukemia, Dr. Cullen," she said sadly. "I'm sorry."
"Thank you." I hung up the phone and flew up the stairs. I showered quickly and dressed in the first set of clothes I put my hands on. I drove to the hospital and logged into my computer, printing out the test results for Maggie. I read them over and cried for a moment as I read. Pulling myself together, I dialed Dr. Fang and told him the results. He figured as such and said that he wanted to be there when I delivered the news to the family. I found Bella working with Dr. Denali in suturing a cut on a man's head. I found an available nurse to cover for Bella and took her up with me to the pediatric floor where Maggie was still being held. I didn't say anything to Bella. I just held her hand tightly, and she must have known. She leaned her head against my shoulder, rubbing soothing circles on my hand.
Up on the pediatric floor, we walked to Maggie's room. She was watching television and nibbling on what appeared to be Salisbury steak. Liam and Siobhan looked a little worse for wear, comforting each other on the small couch in her room. Dr. Fang came in shortly after us and stood next to me. Bella sat down next to Maggie and took her hand. "You have the results?" Liam asked.
"Yes," I said as I stared into his eyes. "The test results indicated that Maggie does have acute lymphocytic leukemia. The pathologists are running further tests to see how far along she is in the disease. Those results won't be in for few more days, though. I'm so sorry, Mr. O'Hara. I wish I had better news."
Siobhan, with tears streaming down her face, looked at me. "What do we do now?"
"I'm going to defer that answer to Dr. Fang. He's the expert," I said.
"But we trust you, Dr. Cullen," Liam said shortly. "No offense, Dr. Fang."
"None taken," Dr. Fang said with a sympathetic grin.
"Let's listen to Dr. Fang," Siobhan chided. "But, Dr. Cullen, can you stay? You too, Nurse Swan." We both nodded as we listened to Dr. Fang describe what needed to be done for Maggie. As he spoke, I stared at the little girl who was clutching onto Bella tightly. Bella was hugging her. After Dr. Fang was done, Siobhan moved to Maggie and picked her up. Maggie sobbed brokenly against her mother while Liam stared blankly in complete shock.
Once the news settled in, the O'Haras began asking if it was safe to travel with Maggie. Could they return to Ireland for treatment? Dr. Fang said that he'd like them to wait until we get the full results of Maggie's biopsy. They agreed and made an appointment with Dr. Fang to get those results in two days. Before we left the room, I handed Maggie my card and told her to email me or contact me if she ever needed to talk. I did the same for the parents. Sometimes you'd get conflicting information from doctors and need another opinion. I'd gladly be that opinion.
Bella added her email address to the card and said that if they wanted to chat, she'd be more than willing. With a hug, we left the room and headed down to the ER. Another day there was waiting for us.
xx APFL:AHT xx
Maggie and her family left they received the results from the biopsy. We had caught the leukemia early enough but she was still in for a battle. We maintained contact with Maggie and Siobhan for a few months. However, it was in February when I got a troublesome email from Liam.
To: Dr. Edward Cullen
From: Liam O'Hara
Re: Set back
Dear Dr. Cullen,
I bet you're wondering why we haven't contacted you recently. Unfortunately, Maggie's hit a wall in her treatments. She needs a bone marrow transplant and we have yet to find a donor. She's so sick, Dr. Cullen. The chemotherapy treatments ravage her system and she's constantly sick. It's so hard to see her like this. It brings back unpleasant memories of my sister, Sarah.
I'm not sure if you're a praying man, but we could use all of the prayers that we can get.
I hope to contact you with some better news.
Once I got that email, I had the pathologist pull up Maggie's results and entered into the bone marrow registry for a match. I also encouraged my staff to get their marrow tested to see if they matched Maggie's type. To my surprise, Bella was a match and in early March, we flew to Dublin. We wanted to fly out sooner, but Bella's lack of passport posed a problem. I pulled every string I could and this was the earliest we could get her passport. It also gave the doctors in Dublin time to ready for the transplant.
The transplant went off without a hitch, and Bella and I got a brief vacation out of the deal. We stayed for a few more days to see if the transplant grafted. Maggie didn't show signs of rejection and we flew back to Chicago.
We maintained contact with Maggie as she progressed and healed. She was finally pronounced cancer free a week before Christmas after the bone marrow transplant. Our emails faded away after that but Bella and I never forgot the little girl who captured our hearts.
Until one evening.
It had been seven years since Maggie was first admitted the ER. Bella and I were watching some television, the Olympics, specifically. It was the woman's gymnastics team competition and Ireland's favorite to win gold was Maggie O'Hara. The small red-head smiled as she was being interviewed after she had just finished her floor routine, the final event for the evening.
"Now, Maggie, your road here hasn't been easy has it?" the interviewer asked.
"No, it hasn't. Seven years ago I was looking for a coach in Chicago and I was admitted to the hospital. I was diagnosed with leukemia, and I battled the disease for two years before I was completely cancer free. Anyhow, I'll never forget the kindness of the doctor and nurse who helped me all those years ago. It was their dedication and compassion that helped me be where I am today. In fact, the nurse donated her bone marrow to save my life," she said in her light brogue. She looked directly into the camera, smiling impishly. "Dr. Edward Cullen and Nurse Bella Swan, now Cullen, you are both angels and I love you both so much. Without you, I wouldn't have been able to be here. God bless both of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."