ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL -
how is my darling husband today?" Corinne Campbell asked as she breezed
into the office.
"What are you doing here, Corinne?" Dr.
Talbot Campbell asked as he momentarily looked up from the files that he was
working on. "It's the middle of the day."
"I had an auxiliary meeting this
morning," she explained, rather annoyed by his less than glowing reception
of her arrival. "Since I was here in the hospital, I thought that we
could go out to lunch together."
"I've already eaten. I grabbed a quick
bite in the cafeteria."
Corinne stood across the room and folded her arms
across her chest as she eyed her husband intently. "Talbot, I'm
"Oh, yes, dear," he muttered with
realization and quickly rose from his seat to walk over to her and give her a
warm kiss on the cheek. "I was just...caught up in some work."
"Ah, now that's much better," she
smiled warmly, but then her expressed grew dark again. "So, you're
saying that you won't have lunch with me?"
"I told you that I've already eaten."
"Talbot, darling, you spend way too much
time stuck in this hospital," she cooed softly as she stroked his
cheek. "You never seem to be home anymore. Darling, I need
you. Eliza needs you."
you knew that this position would require long hours when I took it," he
reminded as he took a step away from her, putting some distance between
them. "I told you that it would mean that we wouldn't have as much
time as a family, but you insisted that the promotion would be beneficial to us
and our family. What were the exact words that you used? Um...the
security and prominence of the chief of staff position will make us one of the
most important and respected families in town?"
"And I was right!" she said
firmly. "You are highly respected in this community and I get
invited to participate in all of the grandest functions. I don't see why
you're trying to risk all of that with your silly, juvenile behavior."
"Excuse me?" His jaw dropped
slightly in response to what she'd said. "What in the devil are you
talking about? What 'juvenile' behavior?"
"I mean this...this thing you have going
Linford," she replied in a hushed tone as if she were
frightened that the walls would overhear. "To do this to me is one
thing, but do you have to parade it around in front of the entire
hospital? I would think that you'd want to protect your reputation!
How could you do this to me?"
"Now, see here, Corinne. I thought
explained to you that there is nothing going on between me and Judith. She
was my patient and we're just friends. This irrational jealousy of yours
is getting entirely out of hand!"
"Would you keep your voice down?" she
said as she swiftly grabbed his arm and led him away from the door.
"It's bad enough what you're doing to me, but do you have to announce it to
the entire world?"
"I'm not doing anything to you!"
you trying to deny that you were seen in this hospital with Judith
Linford wrapped in your arms?" Corinne glared at him
incredulously. "People saw you! People saw you being...inappropriate
with her. Is that how you treat your patients? I believe
that's taking professional concern a bit far."
"W-what?" he stammered, not sure of
what she was talking about. "When did this supposedly happen?
Who says that they saw me being inappropriate with Judith? If they did,
it's a damn lie!"
"I'm talking about the night of that
accident out on Andersonville Rd.," she explained calmly, "the night
that Judith ran her car off of the road."
"Well, if you know so much about what
happens here at the hospital, than surely you know that her father was killed in
that accident!" he countered. "In fact, Judith had just been
told about her father's death and she was nearly hysterical. The only
thing that I was trying to do was provide some comfort and sympathy for
her. It's what any good doctor and friend would do."
"From what I hear, that kind of
comfort should have come from her husband."
"But he wasn't here!" he
snapped. "Or didn't your sources bother mentioning that? The
rest of her family was as devastated by Nelson Stokes' death as she was and were
in no condition to give her the comfort and support that she needed."
"And you so graciously offered to fill that
void, didn't you?"
"Corinne, I'm not going to stand here and
let you make these wild and unfounded accusations against me," Talbot said
before quickly turning and heading for the door. "Do yourself a favor
and go home and stay out of my professional business!"
As Talbot walked out of the room, he nearly ran
into Nurse Fay Rutledge who was bringing him a stack of patient records to
review. Without saying a word, he merely glared at her before storming off
down the hallway leaving the nurse's jaw hanging open with surprise. Once
she'd recovered, she quickly noticed an emotional Corinne still inside his
dear, are you all right?" Fay asked as she hurried in, closing the door
behind her. "What happened? You two didn't have another fight,
"Y-yes," Corinne nodded as she
struggled to fight back her tears. "Oh, Fay, he's having an affair
with that woman. I know he is! Sure, he's denying it, but I'm not
stupid. He defends her too strongly for there to be nothing going on
"How could he?" Fay sighed with a shake
of her head. "After everything that you've done for him, how could he
do this to you?"
"I...keep asking myself that same
question," Corinne muttered and then sunk down into a chair. "I
just can't stand by while he foolishly throws away everything that we've worked
for---our lives...our family...his career---just for that horrible woman."
"Is there...anything that I can do?"
Corinne paused and took a deep breath as she
looked up at Fay. "Yes, dear. Yes, there is. I need you
to continue to keep a close eye on my husband for me. I want you to tell
me every move that he makes. If he even sneezes in Judith Linford's
direction I want to know about."
"Of course, Corinne, I'll do anything that I
can do to help."
"Apparently one husband isn't enough for
that shrew," Corinne seethed. "She has to have mine, too!
Well, I'm not going to let that happen. If she thinks that she can steal
my husband without a fight, she's sadly mistaken. I'll do whatever it
takes to save my marriage---even if it means ruining her and her entire