"I could definitely get used to this," Carter sighed, stretching out on the king-size bed in one of the luxurious rooms of the Port Charles Hotel. The rest of the group was spread out through the adjoining rooms, examining the expensive furniture and trying to decide who would have the misfortune of rooming with Dave.
"How about it, Deb?" Dave flashed Jing-Mei a smile and patted the bed next to him. She rolled her eyes in disgust. Mark and Luka were hovered over a room-service menu briefly before Romano snatched it away.
"No room service. I don’t want Dr. Quartermaine to think we’re taking advantage of the situation," Romano tossed the menu aside.
"For purely selfish reasons I’m sure. It’s definitely not like you to not take advantage of a situation like this," Elizabeth shot back at him.
"Think what you will, Lizzie, think what you will. But I want all of you to be on your best behavior. People in small towns all have a way of knowing about each other," he pointed at all of them.
"Because otherwise we would run amok," Carter laughed.
"They’re not children, Robert. I think they can behave themselves," Kerry told him.
"Tell that to the person who threw the McDonald’s bag at my head," he replied with an air of superiority. Everyone turned their eyes on Dave.
"What?" he asked, uncomfortable.
"Well, I for one am starving. It’s almost lunch-time and we didn’t even have breakfast," Jing-Mei complained, rubbing her growling stomach. Romano left the room now that the attention was away from him. The rest of the group agreed that they were famished and set out to find a place to eat lunch.
"There sure are some whack-jobs in this town," Dave told everyone as he joined them at Kelly’s, the only diner they could seem to find. "Some old lady over on the docks kept waving a diamond at me and telling me to ‘protect my queen’," he continued, picking up a menu.
"Tell me about it," Cleo told him. "Some guy kept asking me if I was the new Face of Deception. What the hell is a Face of Deception?" she continued. Dave shrugged.
"Definitely weird," he said.
"Sorry I’m late, Tammy," A thin young woman entered, making her way behind the counter.
"I’m gonna go see if I can order over there," Dave pointed behind him and stood up. His real reason was obvious as he casually strolled over to the counter, and sat down on one of the stools.
"Have any bagels back there?" Dave asked the girl, unable to come up with a line.
"No, I’m sorry," she answered, her heavily-glossed lips formed in a thoughtful expression.
"But…" she began, reaching beneath the counter. "Muffin?" she offered brightly, pulling out a bran muffin.
"Uh, sure," he took it from her.
Mark and Elizabeth sat quietly at one of the other tables. Elizabeth chewed her lip thoughtfully, concentrating on the pattern of the tablecloth.
"You’re awfully quiet today," Mark broke in. Elizabeth raised her head, her expression changed to show worry.
"I was thinking of Ella. We’ve never been separated from her for this long," she confessed.
"I’m sure she’s fine with your mother," Mark tried to assure her.
"It was only supposed to be a couple of days, not a week. I’ve never even been alone with my mother for a week!" she exclaimed. Mark laughed, but quickly stopped when he realized she wasn’t joking.
"I’ll go call home and make sure everything’s ok, alright? There’s a phone right over there," he offered and stood up.
"I should really call, Mark, after all she is my mother," Elizabeth protested. Mark waved away her argument and headed over to the counter. Elizabeth smiled. Sometimes Mark could be so sweet.
"He’s really got her going, huh?" Mark told his friends as he passed by, gesturing to Dave at the other end of the counter. The waitress was giggling incessantly.
"Oh, you’re so funny!" she exclaimed, placing her hand on Dave’s.
"Elizabeth!" the waitress winced at the voice calling her name. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: Elizabeth Webber not Corday)
"Lucky….it’s not what it looks like!" she tried to explain. Dave turned in his seat to face the broad-jawed young man with blonde-hair. He wore a navy blue jacket.
‘Why does everyone wear long sleeves when it’s so warm out?’ Dave thought in spite of himself.
"Is this your boyfriend?" Dave asked Elizabeth, coming back to reality.
"Fiance," she replied shortly.
"Well, I know what it looks like!" Lucky yelled, causing everyone’s eyes to turn on them.
"Lucky, it’s Helena’s programming…It’s making you think…" she tried telling him.
"I’m thinking clearly, and I see what’s going on," he protested.
"But that’s what you thought before," the girl whimpered.
"You’re right…it is Helena…." Lucky’s face crinkled as if he were about to cry, and he ran off into the kitchen. Elizabeth leaned forward a little closer to Dave.
"Works every time," she whispered. Dave nodded as if he had any clue to what she was talking about. She looked up as she saw Lucky now heading towards the door.
"I’d better go," she told Dave quickly and maneuvered around the counter past Mark, who was still receiving a busy signal.
"Excuse me, miss…" Luka began, trying to stop her before she left.
"Sorry, I’m on my way out!" she called as she rushed out the door.
"Didn’t she just get here?" Luka asked the others.
"Uh-huh," an older blonde waitress told him as she walked by.
Mark began to turn around to motion at Elizabeth that he wasn’t having any luck on the phone, but his eyes stopped at the doorway. The blonde nurse from the hospital had just entered. Something was familiar about her, even more so now than earlier. She smiled at Mark as she approached. Then it clicked.
"Melissa Bedford…you were a nurse at County General in Chicago for awhile," he told her.
"I wasn’t sure you would remember. You didn’t seem to recognize me earlier," she smiled, sitting down next to him. Dave eyed them from the other end of the counter, as did the doctors at their table nearby.
"Isn’t that the nurse from GH we met earlier?" Carter asked.
Peter nodded. "Uh-huh. That’s Melissa Bedford. She used to work at County awhile back," he explained.
"I don’t remember her ever being at County," Carter told him, shaking his head.
"No, you wouldn’t. It was awhile before you came, Mark was about third-year himself," Peter said matter-of-factly.
"Well, why didn’t Mark mention anything at the hospital?" Cleo wondered.
Peter shrugged. "Probably didn’t want to say anything in front of Elizabeth."
"Why?" Jing-Mei asked enthusiastically, leaning forward. Elizabeth broke her concentration away from her husband and the nurse when she heard her name. Peter kept his mouth shut, not being one to spread gossip.
"So were they pretty hot-and-heavy or what?" Abby jumped into the conversation.
"What’s ‘hot-and-heavy’" Luka asked slowly.
"I’ll tell you later," Abby told him, waiting for Peter to answer.
"You could say that," he finally answered, choosing his words carefully.
"She did say that," Jing-Mei added, trying to squeeze out some more information.
"Say what?" Elizabeth broke in, sitting in Dave’s empty chair. Everyone veered their eyes away from her.
"What?" she repeated.
"Peter was just telling us that Melissa used to work at County," Jing-Mei explained.
"Oh….well I trust Mark," Elizabeth said quickly, sensing that there was more.
"Of course, I mean….it’s Mark," Abby reassured her.
"Well, there was that one time he tried to date three women at once…" Carter laughed, remembering when Doug Ross had given Mark dating tips. Abby kicked him hard from under the table.
"Oww!" he yelled, rubbing his ankle. Elizabeth gazed over at her husband, who was chatting away. He could be such a flirt.
Dave looked over towards his friends, wondering if they were talking about what just happened with the waitress.
"Hello?" a woman’s voice distracted him. Dave turned to see a young, expensively dressed red-head pointing at his feet.
"I dropped my purse," she told him shortly. Dave leaned over to pick up the leather handbag. He grinned as he handed it to her.
"Dave Malucci, Dr. Dave Malucci," he extended his hand.
"Ohh.." her expression became friendlier as she took his hand. "Skye Chandler," she introduced herself.
"Are you engaged?" he asked her cautiously.
"Uh, no," she answered, somewhat confused.
"Then sit down," he gestured, smiling again.
"Dave, are you coming?" Jing-Mei called to him. They had given up the prospect of ever being waited on. Dave waved at them to leave, and continued trying to charm Skye.