HOME - LIVING ROOM
are you sure you're all right?" Dr. Talbot Campbell asked as he handed her
a cup of coffee. "You look like there's something troubling
"I...well..." Judith Linford winced slightly and looked away. "I've never been able
to hide anything from you, have I, Dr. Campbell. What gave me away?"
"Well, let's see,"
he said softly as he sat down next to her on the sofa, "you showing up on
my doorstep, for one. In the entire time that you've been my patient,
you've never been to my home. What's so urgent that you couldn't come to
"Judith, we're not in the
office. This isn't a professional visit, is it?"
"N-no, it's not."
"Then, please, call me
Talbot." He reached over and took her trembling hand into his.
"These past few months, I've grown to see you not just as a patient.
Judith, I've grown to care about you as a friend." Talbot paused for
a moment and his tone grew more concerned. "Now, why don't you tell
me what's troubling you?"
Her voice trailed off and she quickly looked away. She just couldn't bear
to tell him the complete truth about her past with Burt Lamont and the true
paternity of the child she had carried. "I guess I'm still upset
about the baby. I know I'm being foolish, but..."
"No, you're not being
foolish at all," Talbot smiled. "It's natural for a woman in
your situation to still be plagued by fears and concerns. Does this have
anything to do with wanting to try to have another child? You do know that
trying to have another baby won't mean that you loved the child you lost any
less. It might, however, help to lessen the emotional pain you've been
"I know, that, Talbot,
Corinne Campbell spoke up sternly as she came through the front door.
"I see you've started bringing you work home with you now, Talbot."
"Corinne, darling, it's
not exactly like that." He quickly rose from the sofa and went to
greet his wife. "Mrs. Linford was a little upset and needed to
talk. She's been under a great deal of emotional strain lately
"Last time I checked,
when a doctor made house calls, you went to their house, not the other way
around." Corinne stood with her hands on her hips and inspected
Judith closely. She was quick to note the other woman's sophisticated
style and cool beauty that showed despite her shaken and emotional demeanor.
"Y-you're wife is right,
Tal...Dr. Campbell," Judith muttered awkwardly. "I really
shouldn't have bothered you at home."
"It was really no
bother," Talbot sighed with a slight shake of his head before turning to
shoot Corinne an angry glance. "If something's troubling you and you
need to talk, you know that you can call me anytime. I'm your
doctor! I'm supposed to care about what happens to you."
"I know that,"
Judith sighed and then quickly glanced up at Corinne who was glaring at her
angrily, "but I...well...I shouldn't have bothered you at home. I
really...should be going." She quickly rose to leave and headed for
"I'm sure that my husband
will be available to see you tomorrow at his office," Corinne said
bluntly. "Call and make an appointment."
As the door closed behind
Judith, Talbot snapped his head around and shot his wife an angry look
"How could you act that
way towards her? Couldn't you see that she was very upset about
"The only thing I saw was
another woman in my own home with my husband!"
Talbot sighed and shook his head in disbelief, "Mrs. Stokes is a
patient. Why in the world are you acting like this?"
"Do you think I don't have
ears? Don't you think I know who that woman is?" She pulled off
her winter coat and hung it in the closet by the front door before walking over
to the cocktail bar to pour herself a glass of sherry. "One of the
ladies from the auxiliary has a sister who lives in New York. She's very
familiar with Judith Linford! Oh, the stories that she's told me!
You just wouldn't believe..."
"You bet I won't believe
them," Talbot snapped. "I don't know why you insist on attending
those ladies auxiliary meetings, anyway. All that group is is an excuse
for a bunch of vipers to get together and see who can out lie each other."
"I beg your
pardon?" Corinne's eyes grew wide with shock. "I would
think that you, of all people, would support the auxiliary! After all, you
are the hospital's chief of staff. The ladies auxiliary does a lot of
wonderful things. Why, just last month we held that big benefit for the
children's ward and..."
"All right, all
right," he sighed before taking a deep breath. "I admit that the
auxiliary does some good work for the hospital, but even you have to admit that
those good deeds are nothing more than an excuse for a bunch of women with
nothing better to do to sit around and gossip."
"I know no such
Talbot sighed again and closed
his eyes as he tried to fight off a strong headache that was starting to
appear. There would be no winning this difference of opinion with his
wife. That fact was certain.
"Okay, okay," he
relented as he threw up his hands in hopes of calming her down.
"Let's not do this. Let's not argue anymore." He paused
for a moment and took a deep breath. "In fact, I've got quite a bit
of paperwork to do in my study," he muttered before starting to walk out
of the room. "Just call me when dinner's ready."
Left alone, Corinne took
another sip of her drink and began to quietly seethe. Judith Linford
better be nothing more than a patient. From all of the gossip that she'd
heard from her friend in the auxiliary, she knew what a man-stealing viper that
Judith could be. As Corinne's jaw tightened, she silently vowed that she
wouldn't be like Francis
Callison. There was no way that she was going to
let some harpy ruin her marriage and steal her husband. No way in hell.