“We have to believe this man can help you. Strange things happen all the time, miracles.”
“Then you pray for a miracle, Kyle.”
“I will. For you, I will.” This time, he wasn’t even going to ask God for himself. That was his mistake before. This wasn’t about him, it was about Emily. “Please, Lord. Heal her so she can have a better life. And if that life’s with me…. Thank you.”
The nurse came to the door motioning to him. “I need to go now, Em. I’ll be back tomorrow.” He kissed her forehead.
“Doctor West wants to speak to you, Mr. Scott,” the nurse murmured.
“Thank you.” He walked down the hall to the door she indicated, tapping softly.
“Enter,” a booming voice called to him.
The doctor was a huge, dark skinned man. Kyle recognized him as the man Carmelita was talking to earlier that day. He wasn’t smiling when he motioned Kyle to sit.
“How well do you know Emily Geraci?”
“I met her our first night out. She was sitting at our table.”
“I see. So you’ve had no prior contact with her?”
“No, sir. What’s this about? Do you always pull in complete strangers and grill them?”
The other man’s face softened. “I apologize. After her divorce, we are all naturally very protective of Emily.”
“Okay…. What’s that got to do with me?”
“You were seen kissing her just before her collapse.”
“Before that, you were at the dance class. And you were dancing late the night before.”
Kyle waited, not responding in any way. Something was going on he didn’t understand.
“You’ve never heard of Emily Geraci before this trip?”
“She said she’s an artist. More than that, I don’t know. Except that she’s got cancer.” Like my late wife, and she’s probably dying of it. “I repeat, Doctor West. What’s this about?”
“You really don’t know?” He looked shocked. “I apologize yet again, Mr. Scott.”
“What for this time? Did you take my children hostage? Have you given me an incurable disease?”
The doctor smiled, laughing softly. “Nothing like that. I made a snap judgement based on a series of misunderstandings and assumptions.”
“Yes. Does that worry you?”
“Perhaps not.” West sighed, closing his eyes. Kyle saw decision in his face when he opened them once more. “Emily Geraci is the heir of Edward Geraci. Have you heard of him?”
“Sure. Fortune 500, one of the richest men in the world. When Edward Geraci speaks, people listen…. Oh. You thought?” He stood, laughing quietly. “Oh, my God! Does this explain the vibe I’ve been getting from everyone, including Emily. You thought I was a con man or something, trying to worm my way into Emily’s life. Marry the dying cancer patient, inherit the multimillion estate.”
Kyle gulped, sitting back down as his legs gave out. “Jesus, Doc. I just thought she was some fun, quirky, eccentric artist on vacation after cancer treatments. We all got upgrades on our cabins, I thought she had too.”
“You really didn’t know?”
He handed Kyle a picture in a heavy silver frame. A group of laughing people in tuxedos, evening dresses and loads of diamonds smiled at him from under the glass. There was a distinguished looking older gentlemen in the middle. He was surrounded by other distinguished men with pretty women on their arms. On his arm was a raven haired woman whose smile he recognized despite the ravages to her looks. She was beautiful. His Emily glowed, this one was radiant. Her skin was full and ripe with lush good health instead of lying over her bones like damp tissue paper. The banner behind them was “Happy 65th Birthday, Daddy!”
“Edward Geraci died shortly after that in a car accident. It could never be proven, but it was thought that Emily’s ex-husband had something to do with it. That was shortly before her diagnosis.”
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