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Dark hazel orbs narrowing as they stared into the darkness before
him. To the observer they'd almost appear blue, mocking the inner
emptiness he felt completely. Idly his hand gripped tightly to the
neck of the bottle, an imported vodka one-hundred percent proof, his
only solace. His thoughts were hardly his own, uncaring of the hands
that touched him, the mouth that encased him, trying absently to
lure his thoughts back to reality.

Taking a long drink, his attention finally went to the woman before
him, she couldn't satisfy his need. Her ability to please him
physically was still unable to keep his mind at bay, he didn't want
this, and yet he needed it. Night after night, he sought it out as
if his need consumed him. To fill what he couldn't feel, to ebb the
emotions that encased him whenever hazel met brown. His anger rose,
his erection hardening at the thoughts of him. Reaching down and
ushering the woman to her feet, he turned and pinned her to the bed.
He had practically ripped off her garments, the anticipation in her
eyes as they fixed on him, matched by the sudden fire in his own.
No, not for her, but she would think so. They always did, believing
that they giving him what he wanted, what he needed. But he was
drowning and with each act, the guilt became unbearable.

Her lips went to meet his, his silent refusal all but screamed his
abrupt disgust for the situation. Yet he continued, as he pushed her
legs apart leaving much to be desired, he wasn't a gentle touch—not
anymore. His own thoughts lost as he rolled the condom up his shaft,
and positioning himself before her awaiting open. His first thrust
inside her being sudden. His anger fueled by what he had seen only
hours before.

"Hey, Carter, can you help me with something?" She called out to
him, as the younger doctor passed the suture room. The slightest
hint of aggravation passing Luka's features, he knew full well that
had Abby wanted a doctor, she would have asked him seeing he had
just left the room. But she wanted Carter.

He almost swore when he returned back to the curtain, realizing he
had forgot exactly what he had went in their to get. Abby did that
to him, her presence made his stomach wrench in pain, he wanted
nothing better than to cut off every part of her body that had ever
touched Carter. But he refrained, his charm lethal.

The door had been closed. His immediate reaction had been not to
touch it. But a part of him understood he had too, uncaring of what
he might find. Pushing open the door, he had held his breathe, as
his eyes set on Abby and Carter, engaged in a heated kiss. Pain had
taken over Luka's eyes, as the door slammed against the wall,
separating the lovers apart. He had noted the sudden guilt in Carter
as they're eyes met. No it couldn't be guilt. He loved Abby, hadn't
Carter said those words to him? That everything they had been
through for those two months had been `casual', not love. Just need.
A conversation he remembered all too vividly. That night had been
the final wound, he was DNR, and he had flat lined.

Obtaining what he had already laid out, the emotion was void from
Luka's eyes as he turned and left the room, he would act
professional, a fake smile enveloping his lips as he closed the door
behind him. Only to find Kerry Weaver studying him as if he was
apart of a behavioral study he was yet to be aware of.

"Kerry..." He had acknowledged her presence as he passed her and
headed for curtain one. He had neglected to see the concern in her
eyes—Weaver had that uncanny ability, she knew things, an almost
super human ability that she was disturbing almost always correct

The fire engulfed his body as he climaxed. Pulling out of her and
throwing the condom mindlessly into the pail, disgust spreading
throughout his being, the guilt rising, as he reached for his wallet.

"Get out…" He couldn't trust his voice to speak anymore words, the
pain chocking him, as he threw the money at the woman, his hand
directing her to the door of his bedroom. He wanted her gone, he
needed to be alone. Dark eyes observing her, for once finding
security in the darkness of his room, as she scrambled into her
clothes pushing the money into her bra and making her way to the
door, her insults he chose to ignore knowing them only to be true.
His body sitting forward, as his hand went to the side of the bed,
picking up the neck of the bottle and lifting it to his lips. He
took a long drink, standing as he did so and making his way toward
the bathroom. Opening the medicine cabinet, he began to fumble
through it. His hands going from one medication to the other, just
the right mixture and he'd find peace, that easy. Taking another
long sip, he pulled three different medications from the cabinet and
walked back into his bedroom.

Sitting at the edge of his bed, he finished the rest of the bottle,
letting it drop idly on the floor; while his other hand placed the
pill bottles on the sheets. He no longer had morals; they had been
taken from him when he began to use prostitutes to feel something,
anything. Sighing, he rested his head into his hands. He was a
failure. Everything he had ever touched—ever loved—he had destroyed.
He thought of his family, had he not loved Danijela, she wouldn't
have been in Vukovar, at that place at that time, what kind of
husband was he? She would be alive. He failed at being a father,
being helpless as his children were taken from him, Jasna and Marko,
never fully understanding the war outside. He was supposed to
protect them and keep them safe but he couldn't. Just like he
couldn't make Abby's problems go away, he couldn't make her happy.
He couldn't even keep his patients alive.

Carter. His thoughts always went back to him no matter how desperate
he was to forget. The two months they had shared. He had felt alive.
To believe it all came back to Abby, made his stomach churn.

His temper had been in control. The police had called and disturbed
him at work to tell him they had caught two people breaking into his
apartment. They had requested his presence at the scene and he
regrettably complied.

As he had closed the car door, his attention was placed on the
figure that had come toward him. His dark shades hiding the
annoyance that had filled his eyes. The cop had been talking, and
he had barely listened to a word that came out of his mouth. His
eyes had been to busy making out the two people in the back of the
squad car.

"So, do you want to press charges?" The man inquired, "Without a
complaint, we can't do anything..."

"No..." Luka had replied as his hand went to his eyes and he removed
the sunglasses from his face. Abby had been watching him, and of
course who had been to her right? Carter. Who else? He had asked
himself bitterly not wanting to deal with the situation before him.
Carter had always been there for her, even when Luka had tried, she
had chosen Carter, always Carter. He had waited for the officer to
let them go, before he had opened his car door. Abby had tried to
come closer, maybe to explain her actions, maybe to say she was
sorry. Either way he hadn't cared as he closed the door and drove
back to work. He was done with Abby.

The next day he had caught Carter alone in the doctor's lounge. The
younger doctor was just coming in to do the day shift—Luka was just

"Carter..." He had seen the nervous look in John's eyes; it had made
him feel in control.

"If this is about yesterday--"Carter was automatically on the
defensive, he had hoped to avoid Luka, more than slightly
embarrassed about the entire situation from the day before. He had
been overjoyed when Luka hadn't pressed charges, not that he had
told Abby that. Had it been the other way around, his hatred for the
other doctor would have changed the situation drastically. Or would

"We need to talk." He had interrupted Carter's defense, the surprise
in his brown eyes written all over his face. "I'm sure you know
where my apartment is..." The sarcasm had been dripping off his

"Tonight?" Carter had questioned, unsure of the entire situation.
The sudden change in Luka's demeanor had set off a red flag.

"Tonight." He had spoken the words with an unknown conviction as he
closed the door to his locker and left the room.

Hours later he had heard the door. Knowing full well what he had
planned to do. Yet unsure if it was the slight buzz of alcohol that
had driven him to this conclusion or his thought process. The two
had been in competition it seemed since he had first come to County.
Competition had then turned to hatred, and now he wanted to end the
needlessness of the situation. Carter finally had Abby and her world
of problems and Abby finally had Carter and his eagerness to please.
The sarcasm in his thoughts could hardly he helped as he stood from
the couch and opened the door. Carter was still dressed in scrubs,
he hadn't gone home to change. Motioning for Carter to come in, and
noticing the internal debate that shadowed his features before he
acknowledged the motion and had entered the apartment.

"Do you want a drink?" Luka had questioned, as he took a sip of the
beer he had placed on the table.

"Sure..." But Carter hadn't seemed sure. Then again, dealing with
Luka could require a drink or two in his system. The two men were
always at each other's throats.

"You can have Abby..." His hazel eyes had met brown as he handed the
now seated Carter a beer. "She's always wanted you."

Taking the beer, he had said thank you, one of those reactions
driven into his brain as a child. "We're friends." He stated all too
quickly. Sure, he had feelings for Abby, but, then it hit him. Was
he the reason the pair had broken up? "What does it matter? You're
not my father, Luka." He had been right about the beer, and taking a
long drink his gaze drifted off over to the fish tank.

"Why do I bother you?"

"What do you mean?" Carter felt Luka's eyes on him and he felt
paralyzed. Ever since he had come to County, he had felt like he had
been a med student all over again. The college student with emotions
he couldn't explain. He wasn't gay, and yet, he craved attention
from other men. The women in his life always coming and going--
expect Gamma, he never felt an attachment to them. Women always
believed he was insatiable in bed, and yet he wasn't. He was just
never satisfied.

"What makes you hate me John?" His accent had hinted at the words as
he leaned forward, trying to get Carter's attention, using his hand
to direct John's face toward him.

"I…" John's head had turned his heart palpitations suddenly erratic
as he felt Luka's touch. He had to control himself, fighting back
the need to bite his lower lip. He had watched as Luka's smile
twisted into a smirk. This had to be some sick joke; maybe Abby had
set the entire thing in motion, wanting to hurt him because he
couldn't be what she wanted. Humiliated he had looked away as he
stood. Only to feel Luka's hand wrap around his wrist. His face
turning to protest the action with words, but Luka had risen with
him, his height imposing.

Tilting his head to glare, John's conviction spent as he met the
lust embellished eyes of the older man. His body responding, his
will shredding to pieces as he felt silken lips touch his own.
Reaching out, John's arms wrapped around Luka's neck, need driving
his actions, as his lips were coaxed to part. Luka's tongue
exploring the inside of his mouth before the kiss became a struggle
for power, one John realized he couldn't win. Luka was in control
and John was just beginning to feel the intensity that was hidden
behind his normal candor. They're lips only parting so each could
take the necessary air into their lungs, a small moan escaping
John's lips.

"I want you, John." The words fused with sensuality as he began to
rid the younger man of his shirt, Luka's eyes intent on John's
brown, watching for any sign that this wasn't what he wanted. John's
arms freeing themselves from around Luka's neck aiding him in his
endeavor. Tossing it to the floor, his lips met John's once more,
directing him very so slowly toward his bedroom. They were halfway
there when John's cell phone went off, his hand going to his pocket
as he pulled out the phone. His lips parting from Luka's as he
glanced at it, realizing it said `Abby', he nonchalantly tossed it
into the fish tank. A smile returning to his lips, as pulled Luka
into another kiss, his body brushing against Luka's.

Luka hadn't been ready for John's participation, his mind suddenly
touching on the rumors he had heard a while back, John Carter and
David Malucci, maybe they were more than just ridiculous assumptions
and dreams of the nursing staff. His mind racing, he was hard from
need, his instincts leading John to his bed. Laying him back against
the sheets and breaking the kiss. Luka's body pinned John beneath
him, cat like movements as he used his lips to explore the other
man's body starting at the beginning of his stomach. John was lean,
his muscles ample under his skin, physically the opposite of Luka.
His tongue lapping at John's nipples, using his teeth occasionally
to pinch and pull, his delight in listening to the impulsive changes
in John's breathing only heightened by the moans that passed the
younger's lips.

He felt the tears welling up in his eyes. His hand grabbing for the
pills, reading the labels of each before deciding on what he wanted
to do, he knew exactly what he needed to take. This had all been
planned, hadn't it? He had only just yesterday went to the drugstore
and bought them. Not that he would use the contents; he hardly ever
took anything to ease the pain, it was the only thing that made him
feel alive. He hadn't shown up for his last three shifts, allowing
the answering machine to take the calls as they came one after
another. Refusing to pick up the phone even thought they pleaded.
The concern in Kerry's voice was almost startling, but she wouldn't
have to concern herself with him anymore. None of them would.
Opening two of the bottles, he poured a handful of each of its
contents into one of his hands. It would be more than enough to
achieve the desired effect. He wanted an escape, wanted it all to
end. Reaching with the other he grabbed a half empty beer from the
nightstand. Throwing the pills back, he gulped down the rest of the
beer, his mind replaying their final conversation and overlapping
with the news he had overheard from the nurses. John was going to
ask Abby to marry him.

His eyes closed in a desperate attempt to hold back the pain, the
trapped tears streaking down his face as he let go, his back falling
onto the empty bed.


He had been watching her sleep, content and yet at the same time
bitter. He barely slept anymore, the nightmares continued to plague
him. They had grown worse over time; he had merely learned how to
cope with lack of sleep. Events like the one he had lived through,
never leave you, he had been told. Something Abby would never
understand. She was too consumed with her own problems to even
notice his eyes never closed at night. He was the one taking care of
her, being there for her, night after night. She always needed
someone, he always needed someone. That's what made the relationship
bearable. That and the fact that Abby let him have his time away
with the boys, after she had made him feel like he was two-thirds of
a person from the guilt trip she gave. He was still recovering from
the argument last night, over him spending time with his friends
tomorrow, no, more like today. He couldn't help but sigh.

Great friends, horrible lovers. That was an understatement if ever
there was one. He thought mildly as his train of thought was
interrupted by the sudden ringing of the phone. Glancing at the
alarm clock he read the time, it was almost three o'clock in the
morning. Who would be calling him now? He felt Abby stir as he
reached for the phone.

"Hello?" He questioned, sounding like he was wide awake.

"John, its Kerry..."

"Hi Kerry, it's a little early to be having a heart to heart..." He
quipped, but there was something in her tone that made him believe
he had overstepped his bounds.

"John, I know you have tomorrow off, but I need a doctor to cover
while I try to find a temp." She wasn't asking. It wasn't Weaver's

"Why would we need a temp?" Surely they had more than enough doctors
to cover a shift, but a temporary meant shifts in the plural. His
thoughts racing as his body shifted into a shitting position on the

"John, Kovac's in the ICU. He had a stroke, when he was brought in
he went into arrest. He's stable, but he's on the ventilator. I need
you to cover until I can get a temporary." There was no one else and
one day was enough to someone.

"Sure." The word was chocked out of his mouth as he stood from the
bed; there was something she wasn't telling him. He had lived with
Kerry, he knew her better than anyone. "Kerry, what aren't you
telling me?"

"We think it was an overdose." Which meant suicide attempt, Carter
knew that, any medical practitioner learned that they're first years
as a med student. "We won't know till he wakes up--" There was a
slight pause, "and Carter, we never had this conversation." After
all, Kovac was now a patient.

"Okay, Kerry." He assured her in his own way as he started to get
dressed. He needed to get to County; he had to see it with his own
eyes. "I'll be there soon." The words were strained as he hung up
the phone, the guilt welling up inside. Everything he had told Luka
that night had been a lie, he didn't love Abby. He couldn't love
Abby, she wasn't Luka Kovac.

To be continued...
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