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Luka interrupted Dave, "Actually, I was just about to tell her who my 'bride
to be' is."

Dave looked puzzled but didn't say anything.

Luka put his arm around Dave and turned to Carol saying, "Carol; I would
like you to meet Dave Malucci...my betrothed."

Carol's eyes widened, and her mouth opened and closed without saying


About half an hour later, Carol was sitting in the lounge; still thinking
about what Luka had told her. She could hardly believe it...Luka and Dave
Malucci...of all the people he could have gotten involved with. Before she
had a chance to really talk to him however, a trauma had come in that had
required his immediate attention, so she had made her way to the lounge.


Looking up at the sound of her name, she forced a smile onto her face at the
sight of Kerry limping in.

"Hello Kerry, I was visiting my mother and I thought I'd call in and see how
everyone was doing."

"Yes, Luka told me you were here. I suppose you've heard his big news?"
Kerry watched as a flicker of annoyance crossed Carol's face, before the
features rearranged themselves into a carefully neutral expression.

"Yes I heard," said Carol. "I still can hardly believe it. I mean, talk
about opposites attracting. Luka's so mature...so sensitive. And
Dave...well, he's just Dave. I'd have never believed they were a couple."

Kerry tried to hide her irritation. "Well, of course you haven't seen them
together the past year like the rest of us have. Luka has been a very
steadying influence on Dave, and there's been a noticeable difference in

Carol raised an eyebrow. "We are talking about the same guy who spends more
time playing wheelchair hockey than seeing patients? Next thing you'll be
telling me he's been made Chief Resident."

"No," said Kerry, "He's not applying until he finishes his fourth year, but
between you and me, he's way ahead of the competition." She saw the look of
shock on Carol's face and made a mental note to speak to Dave about the
subject of Chief Resident. Although she had only made the comment to see
its effect on Carol, the idea was quite a reasonable one. Dave's work and
attitude to it had improved immensely over the past year and if he wanted
the position he would be a strong candidate for it. "We've all changed a
lot in the past year Carol. Some of us more than others."


Carol was reflecting on Kerry's words as she sat in Doc Magoo's with a cup
of coffee growing cold in front of her. Maybe Kerry was right...maybe Luka
and Dave were a perfect couple...but a part of her rebelled at the thought
of them together...it just didn't seem 'right'...not that she was homophobic
or anything, but the two of them were such complete opposites in character.

"May I join you?"

Carol looked up and smiled warmly at Luka. "Of course," she said.

Luka brushed a few raindrops off his clothes before sitting down opposite
Carol. "You picked a bad time to visit Chicago. I don't think the weather
has been this bad for a while."

"Maybe you should have gone to the hospital canteen for your break."

Luka shrugged, "Haleh mentioned that you were over here. I thought I should
talk to you...as we did not get the opportunity earlier."

"Well, I suppose work *has* to come first," said Carol with a wry smile.
"Don't worry about it."

"You seemed rather...surprised at the news."

"That's an understatement," said Carol, a trace of sarcasm in her voice. "I
really don't understand it...I mean, I'm not surprised at Malucci. Hell,
he'd screw anything that moved...but you? I never realized that you were

Luka suppressed a trace of irritation as he listened to Carol's derogatory
comments about Dave. "I am not gay," he said evenly.

"Well, bisexual then...I mean, I don't have a problem with it...I just wish
you'd told me."

Luka sighed, "Carol, I am not gay or bisexual."

"Then what are you doing with Malucci? Trying to get a green card?" asked
Carol jokingly.

"I am in love with Dave," said Luka simply. "We have been through a lot
together and know that our love is real. And so we wish to declare our love
and show our commitment to each other before our families and friends. In
spite of the fact that we have not been in contact for over a year, I
thought that you would still be happy that I had finally found a soul
mate...someone to share my hopes and dreams...someone to spend the rest of
my life with..."

"Oh I am happy for you," interrupted Carol. "It's just...well, I mean if I
had to pick a male partner for you, then Malucci would be the last person
I'd think of. I honestly thought you had better taste than that."

That was the final straw thought Luka. In as carefully neutral a voice as
he could muster, he said, "Well we both know that my taste has always been
'questionable'. After all...I was dating you for a while." Luka pushed
himself up from his seat and moved out into the aisle. "I think that under
the circumstances it would be better if you did not attend the wedding.
Have a nice life Carol."

Carol stared open mouthed as Luka moved towards the door. "Luka," she
finally managed to call. "Don't walk away." But Luka either didn't hear,
or was ignoring her.

Slumping back in her seat Carol realized with a twinge of guilt, that she
had gone a bit too far. She had had no right to say all those things to
Luka about Dave. Whatever her personal feelings on the matter were
irrelevant. Both men were old enough to make their own decisions and if
they decided that they wanted to get 'married' then that was there business.
And if Carol was being totally honest with herself, she had to admit that
part of the reason she was behaving like this was jealousy over the fact
that Luka had managed to move on from her so quickly. Not that she had
wanted him to wallow in despair after her departure...but it would have been
nice to know that she'd had *some* sort of effect on him. Sighing she
realized that she hadn't said one word of congratulations to either of
them...well, chasing them down in the ER was probably not a good idea, but
once she got home to Seattle then she'd write to Luka and apologize to him.
He deserved that much.


"Anyone seen Luka?" asked Dave, as he walked up to reception.

"He's on his break," said Randi, not looking up from her magazine. "Think
he headed for Doc Magoo's."

"Didn't Carol say she was going there for coffee earlier?" asked Mark, a
little nastily. "Maybe he wanted to 'catch up on old times' with her."

He winced as Haleh dug him in the ribs before saying, "I don't think he knew
she was there."

Dave's face was stony as he said, "Oh...well, I'm just finished." He
shifted his bag into a more comfortable position on his shoulder and said,
"Tell him I'll see him at home." Then head down, he headed for the exit.

Haleh glared at Mark. "What the hell did you want to say something like
that for?"


Alone at the apartment, Dave sat brooding. What if Mark had been right and
Luka was 'catching up on old times' with Carol? What if while talking to
her she managed to persuade him that he could do better? Dave was well
aware of her low opinion of him and while he knew that Luka loved him...he
was still worried. After all, Luka and Carol had been pretty tight before
she did a runner to Seattle. Shit, what if she had come back solely to pick
up where she had left off. Dave pushed himself out of the chair and started

The sound of a key in the lock distracted him and he looked at the door

"Hi horny, I'm home," called Luka cheerfully. He stopped in surprise at the
sight of Dave watching him nervously. "What's wrong? Has something
happened?" Luka dropped his bag and went to Dave. Putting his arms around
him, he asked again, "What's wrong?" The concern and tenderness in his
voice were obvious to Dave.

"Nothing's wrong," said Dave, relaxing into Luka's strong arms. "I...I
just...Mark said you'd gone to Doc Magoo's to catch up with
Carol...and...and I just thought...you and she..." His voice trailed off
and he looked away.

Luka caught Dave's chin and turned his head to face him. "You thought that
Carol and I were talking as more than just friends?"

Dave nodded reluctantly. "I was afraid that...you know, you seeing her
again...I mean, she was your last girlfriend...I didn't want her to take you
away from me..."

"Dave Dave Dave," said Luka hugging him closely. "Nobody...and I mean
*nobody* is ever going to take me away from you. You are my life now and I
cannot live without you. Soon we shall stand up in front of our friends and
family and declare our love to the world. You are my soul mate...and I will
never, but never let you go. I love you little one."

"Show me," said Dave hoarsely. "Right here, right now...show me."

Luka didn't need a second invitation. It was the work of only a few minutes
for him to spread the cushions on the floor and push Dave face down on top
of them. A few more minutes and enough of Dave's clothing had been removed
to reveal his ass just waiting for Luka's attention. And it was not
disappointed. Luka bent his head to Dave's butt cheeks and slowly started
kissing them, murmuring softly as he did so. Stopping only briefly to
retrieve and apply the lubricant, he eased himself gently into his lover.
"I love you Dave Malucci," he called out just before he came.

Collapsing limply against Dave's body, he whispered in his ear. "I love you
Dave Malucci."


The End....of *this* segment
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