Presidio Med Preview

Presidio Med will debut Fall, 2002

Notes: please remember Presidio Med has not premiered nor been picked up by the network, so background information on the characters can and most likely will change, or this story might just be thrown off the site as it might not relate to what the show's writers have in mind for it. Or, the show's lawyers might ask me to take this story down. 

Presidio Med characters are copyright to Warner Brothers/CBS.
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Scene: Nicholas is on the phone with his lover. He's on a small yacht moored just offshore from his family's Greek villa, in Kyparissi, on the Aegean Sea...

"Sweetheart, I told you that already. No, there's no changing my mind. I'm moving to San Francisco. I've already accepted the job."

"Are you sure we can make this work?"

"Of course I'm sure. Why would I uproot everything, my patients, my post-graduate work, if I didn't think things could work out?"

"He's never around anymore. He just has his own career. It's like I'm alone all the time."

"I'm here now."

"He doesn't pay attention to me. The few times a month we see each other, it's like hello, I must be going."

"That will change once I get to San Francisco."

"It will? You promise?" (sniffles come over the phone)

"Yes, darling. I promise."

"You're too good to me."

"Sometimes we get married to the one we think we're in love with, but then we discover that we were more in love with the idea of being in love with the other person."

(she chuckles) "Now you've confused me. But I think I know what you mean. I married him because I wanted to change my life completely. I didn't have much in the way of material things prior to my  marriage; all I had was my career. Him? He was suave, sophisticated. He was all I thought I wanted in a man. I was wrong."

"Are you happy with me?"

"Yes. I am happy."

(Nicholas is thinking, stroking his chin. The thought might run through his head that his married lover might be using him as a rebound guy, but he pushes the thought out of his mind and stretches out on the seat. He looks out over the horizon to the late afternoon sun.)

"I'm happy to. Happy that I found you. Happy that we're together."

"Not totally together. The divorce has to go through. He's being a snit about signing the papers."

"He doesn't want to lose his trophy wife," Nicholas says.

"Another victim of a hard line career. It's hard to balance career and nothing at home."

"If you were single..." Nicholas says and she picks up the prompt

"I'd have hobbies, a social life. But as a married woman, I'm trapped here in San Fransisco, alone. It's hard to have a social life as one half of a married couple when only one of the couple is at home most of the time."

"That does make it kind of difficult. Dinners with other couples must be a nightmare."

"Oh, I'm always having to make excuses. I respond to the invitation and say that my husband is coming. Then, when I get there, I respond with an excuse of how he had to work late, or how a case suddenly came up, or that he had to fly off to a conference to replace one of his colleagues. I've become the master of excuses."

"Do you think they're accepted anymore?" Nicholas asks, a frown line showing in his forehead. He stretches his legs and adjusts himself on the cushy boat seat cushion.

She laughs. "No. After all this time, I don't think my excuses are accepted anymore."

"He's probably having his own affair."

"Affair? It's more than that. He's supporting her, buying her fancy clothes that he never bought me. Just last week I found the receipt for a diamond bracelet that he didn't give me."

"Where was the receipt from?"

"A jeweler in Los Angeles. Harry Winston's."

Nicholas whistles. "Expensive bracelet. Winston's is where the celebrities shop for their baubles."

She sniffles again. "Exclusive?"

"Yes. Winston's is an exclusive store."

"He's never bought me anything from Winston's. For that matter, he's never bought me any jewelry at all, except for my engagement and wedding rings."

"Does he know about the jewelry I've given you?"

She laughs. "Not that I know of. I make good money. Here in California I own fifty percent of his earnings."

"And he owns fifty percent of your earnings," Nicholas puts in. He strokes his chin thoughtfully again. "Did you that in California if you get divorced, jewelry can, in some circumstances, be considered marital property?"

"How? Jewelry is considered personal property, and the domain of the person who primarily wears it or uses. Divorce law in California says that clothes, cars and jewerly are considered separate property, even if the items are bought with community property funds." (sounds of a street car jangling in the background come over Nicholas's end of the connection)

Nicholas strokes his chin. "But in some cases, where jewelry is considered 'expsensive to the marriage' it's considered marital property. Jewelry is considered expensive to the marriage in relation to the marital finances."

"The bracelet cost $50,000."

Nicholas whistles appreciatively. "Be sure you keep the receipt. Uhm, I don't want to pry, but..." his voice trails off.

"But you wonder if we, I mean, my husband and me, can afford a fifty thousand dollar bracelet. Truth is we can't," she finishes the sentence for Nicholas. 

"Then a judge would consider the bracelet to be expensive to the marriage and thus marital property to be divided fifty-fifty. And he'd have to pony up twenty five thousand dollars and add that to your pot when the assets are divided. Otherwise he'll have to ask his lover to return the bracelet."

"Is that really true?"

"Yes, dear. It is. Case was in the news some time ago. Man bought his wife a fourteen thousand dollar diamond ring. They later divorced and he asked for half the cost of the ring as marital property. She tried to use California's personal property exemption, saying that as she primarily wore the diamond ring, the ring should be considered separate property despite the fact the ring was bought using community funds. But the judge said no, the cost of the ring exceeded the marital finances at the time of the purchase. She had to pay him seven thousand dollars if she wanted to keep the ring. Otherwise, the judge would order the diamond ring sold and the proceeds split fifty-fifty," Nicholas said as he reached over for a glass of wine. He takes a sip. 

"So if his mistress refuses to give up the bracelet, I will get an extra twenty five thousand dollars in the divorce settlement?"

"That's right," Nicholas says as he takes another sip of his wine. A seabird flies overhead and squawks, then drops an unwelcome load onto Nicholas's duffel bag. Nicholas doesn't notice what the seabird has done.

"That will certainly help. I've still got a lot of bills from my post-graduate work. I pay them down each month but it seems the interest will run forever."

"Interest. In this case, interest is a bane."

"I've got good interest from you."

"Now that's the kind of interest that I like," Nicholas says, taking another sip of his wine and a sly smile plays on his lips, and the corners of his eyes crinkle. 

"So you're interested in me?"

"Without a doubt," Nicholas says softly. 

"What would you do if you were here, right now?"

"Well, let's see. I could give you a backrub, ease the tension you feel."

"That's certainly interesting. Anything else?"

"I could feed you grapes while you rest your head in my lap."

"I thought I was supposed to do that with you? Feed you grapes with your head in my lap.You know, me Jane, you Tarzan."

Nicholas smiles, widely. "It can work both ways."

"What else would you be interested in doing with me?"


"How long in bed?"

"As long as you want. Or..."

she puts in, "Or until you're paged by the hospital."

They both laugh. "Doctors have the worst hours of all," Nicholas says, sipping his wine. He reaches over for a piece of baklava, shooing away the seabird which has his eye on the dessert. 

"Tell me. I'm a doctor too. At least we'll see each other during the day."

"I've never worked with the woman I love."

"Then it will be a new experience for you."

"Yes. It will be a new experience for you too."

"Walks around the Presidio during lunch."

"We could go down to the Wharf after our shifts are over," Nicholas says, adding softly, "Or down to the secluded end of Baker Beach."

"You like nude beaches?"

"Europeans have different attitudes about nudity."

(Sounds of shuffling papers) "I'm not much of a nudist. I haven't been down to the Wharf in years. Can we go to a raw bar?"

Nicholas starts, nearly spilling his wine. "Honey! Raw oysters harbor all sorts of gastro-intestinal illnesses. I'd much prefer you eat cooked oysters."

"But I've always loved raw oysters. Even when I was little, living here in San Francisco, I've eaten raw oysters." She laughs, making Nicholas smile. She continues, "My mother used to let me sneak raw oysters when we'd go out to dinner. Daddy wasn't too keen on me eating raw food. Said it was bad for me."

"I'll second your father. Raw oysters can make you ill. Wouldn't want you as a patient in the hospital."

"So long as I'm your patient, I wouldn't mind."

Nicholas laughs. "We could visit Haight-Ashbury."

"Ooooo! I used to walk around the area back in the late sixties, seeing all the hippies, wanting to be just like them. They used to smile at me and call "peace, girl!" and 'free love.'

"Did your parents find out about Haight-Ashbury?"

"No. They just thought I was down at the library, studying. Truth was, I was so bored that I sneaked out of the library and wandered over there one day. I thought the area was so alive. I couldn't wait to become a teenager."

"Did you go back when you were a teen?"

"No. Didn't have the chance. By that time, Haight-Ashbury's fame had worn down. Besides, my father moved us to Sausalito."

"Wait until your divorce is final and we're free to see each other openly. We'll spend our vacations here, at my parent's house on the Kyparissi."

"Is that where you're at now?"

"You bet. Well, actually I'm on a small yacht moored just offshore from my parent's villa."

"You own a yacht?"

Nicholas laughs. "My parents' business owns a few boats which they rent to tourists. The area of Greece that I'm in is on the Aegean, the eastern Pelopennese, where the mountains meet the sea. Very tranquil."

"Oh, that sounds wonderful. You pay such good attention to me."

"That's because I love you."

"And I love you."

"Did you know that Kyparissi is the village where my surname originated?"

"Greeks keep very good records."
Nicholas laughs. "Kyparissi is also the place where Princess Diana took one of nher last vacations."

"Did she rent your parent's boat?"

"No. She was here more for the tranquility, and using media avoidance techniques."

"She was chased around until they chased her to death."

"True." Nicholas sips his wine. "When will your divorce be final? I can't wait to show you Greece. You'll love it. The sea, the air, the food, the people, the sights."

"I don't know. He won't agree to sign the papers and I'm in limbo."

"You can always do what Tom did and ask for an expedited divorce."

(she laughs) "Tom Cruise? You mean just dump him?"

"I didn't agree with what Tom did to Nicole, but as your marriage is that bad and he's got a mistress, you can obtain a quickie divorce on the grounds of adultery."

"I'll speak with the lawyer on that. I'll try to arrange for an unpaid vacation just after the divorce goes through, so I can travel to Greece and be with you."

Nicholas laughs. "Darling, I'll be in San Francisco by the time the divorce goes through."

(She laughs) "Forgot. So we'll spend Christmas vacation in Greece. A cozy villa, a roaring fire..."

Nicholas interrupts her. "Dear? In this part of the world, there is no snow on the ground, nor is it cold. The only roaring fire you'll see is the cooking fire."

(She laughs again, merrily) "I forgot for a moment that Greece is on the Mediterranean. Is it warm there now?"

"Greece is on both the Med and Aegean seas. Kyparissi is on the Aegean side of Pelopennese. Very warm." Nicholas's eyes wander to his duffel bag. "Damn! A gull decided to evacuate its bowels onto my duffel bag." 

(more laugher over the cell phone) "The new one from Coach?"

"Yes. The leather one. I know, not a good thing to bring leather out to sea, but the sea is calm. The bird is now eyeing my mother's baklava.The yacht is facing the sunset, and I'm sitting on the deck, sipping wine and talking with the woman I love."

"I love you. I can't wait to get there."

"And I love you too. Just a few more months, darling, and your bad marriage will be over."

"And my life will start anew with you. What do you think it will be like?"

"I can tell you what it will be like. Your life will be filled with love, affection, laugher, moonlit nights, walks along the beach."

"My life is so empty now that anything will fill it."

Nicholas is offended. "I am not just anything!" he says hotly.

"Darling! I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to say that you're just something to fill my life."

Nicholas is not consoled; he wants some more explanation. "Mmm hmm."

"I'm so sorry. I connected with you that day in the coffee shop. I've never spent my lunch hour with a better person."

"Go on." 

"You just fill my life with laughter. Before you, I felt so dead. It's like I was trudging through my life, trudging through my career. When I met you that day in the coffee shop, something clicked on in my head, and I peeked around the wall my husband constructed. It was a wonderful feeling."

Nicholas is mollified. "You're under a lot of stress right now."

"I truly am sorry, darling. I wasn't thinking about what I said."

Nicholas decides to accept her apology. She is under a lot of stress, and she has been alone in her marriage for a long time. "I'll accept your apology," he says, sipping his wine and taking a bite of the baklava. Part of the baklava drops off into his lap and Nicholas throws the crumbs to the seagull, who greedily eats the crumbs and kawws for more. 

"You do? You accept my apology?"

"Yes, I do."

"I'm so used to being alone that at times I forget what it's like to have an intimate relationship wtih someone."

"I realize that. You've been deprived of a marital life and a social life as a couple for a long time. You learned new behaviors that I'll teach you to unlearn."

"You will?"

"You're the woman that I love. Of course I'll help you, darling."

"You're not mad at me anymore?"

"Mad? I was miffed at your statement. You learned a lot of unwelcome behavior with your soon to be ex-husband. It's hard to change your behavior but I'm willing to teach you."

"So you're not mad at me?" she repeats.

Nicholas puts down his wine glass. He has realized that she's a bit unnerved at the thought of him being mad at her. There is something in her voice, a tone that tells him she's lonely and that she is looking for acceptance.

"No, I'm not mad at you. I accept you for who you are. You were neglected by your husband. He leaves you alone for long periods of time, he expects you to maintain a celibate life when he's out of town while he is off with his own mistress. You're lashing back, that's all." Nicholas is relieved as he says this, as he realizes that what he just said is true. She has been neglected by her husband and she's lashing back at everyone. 

"I'm very sorry."

"Darling, I've forgotten about it. What I don't want to forget about is you."

"I'm so glad you forgive me."

"You're forgiven." 

"Thank you. I can't forget about you. Those eyes, those lips of yours. Did anyone ever tell you have the reddest lips for a man?"

Nicholas laughs, his good mood has returned. "No. Don't think anyone has ever told me that."

"Well, you do have the reddest lips."

"How red? Red like spicy hot?"

"Uhm, no. Red like in, in, red brick.. Dark red brick."

"Red brick? You're comparing my lips to a red brick?" Nicholas asks in mock surprise but he is smiling.

(She laughs. Her good mood at talking to Nicholas has returned as well). "Uh, shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

"Only if the day is bright, and beautiful."

"You are beautiful."

"I'm supposed to say that to you, darling," Nicholas says.

"Say it."

"Your'e beautiful."

"That's what I like to hear. I never hear that very much nowadays. Come to think of it, I never heard it much when I first got married."

"You're beautiful," Nicholas says again. 

"That's what I like about you. You know what I need to hear. You know me."

"I'll get to know you even better once you get that divorce."

"And I'll get to know you better."

"So, what else are you going to compare my lips with?" Nicholas asks.

"A rose. Your lips are dark red like a rose."

"Now that's what my lips could be compared to. A rose. What kind of rose?"

"Kind of rose? Let's see. A red beauty rose."

Nicholas smiles. "Fain would I kiss my Julia's dainty leg, which is as white and hairless as an egg."

"Robert Herrick."

"Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see that brave vibration, each way free, O, how that glittering taketh me!"

"You do know how to romance a woman."

"So you accept my invitation to bed?"

"Only after a romantic dinner, with wine, and a walk on the beach."

"A walk on Baker Beach can be arranged," Nicholas says as he swats at the seagull. 

"Red blooded aren't you?"

"Yes. Oomph!" Nicholas swats again at the seagull and nearly falls out of his seat. 

"What's that?"

"Seagull wants more of my mother's baklava."

"I've never had baklava."

"You've never had baklava? It's a Greek specialty. I'll make it for you sometime."

"Is it easy to make?"

Nicholas laughs. "Fairly easy. Phyllo dough, honey, sugar, walnuts."

"Sounds sweet. Like you. I miss you."

"Miss you too."

"Want to hear about a new case I had yesterday?"

"Sure," Nicholas says as he picks up his glass and sips his wine. He finally feeds the hovering seabird a piece of baklava and the bird greedily eats it.

"Greedy, aren't you?" Nicholas asks the bird. The bird, for its part, just squawks at Nicholas as it gobbles the offering and he snickers.

"Greedy? Who's greedy?"

"Oh, sorry, darling. I fed the seagull a piece of baklava."

"Can't he eat fish?"

"Apparently, he prefers baklava."

"I prefer you."

"As do I, darling."

"So you wanna hear about my case when I was on call with the fire department?"

Nicholas laughs, the corners of his eyes crinkling. "Sure. Go ahead. I'm listening."

"It's the strangest thing.  Fourteen year old decided to cook mercury."

Nicholas is alarmed. "Mercury? He cooked mercury?"

"Yes. Mercury."

"How does one cook mercury?" Nicholas knows the answer but he doesn't want to believe it and his face shows it.

"Apparently, he decided to cook the mercury on the kitchen stove. He told the hazmat team he was studying it for a science project."

"Some science project! Vaporized mercury is hazardous."

"Tell me. Not only was his apartment contaminated, he managed to contaminate the entire apartment building."

"The residents will have to stay away from their apartments for at least seventy two hours."

"It will be more than that. The boy obtained a large amount of mercury. The building will have to be closed for at least a month."

Nicholas narrows his eyes. "How much mercury did he cook?"

"A cup."

Nicholas is alarmed. "A cup of mercury? Where did he get that?"

"From his mother's jewelry shop."

"I"m afraid I'm not following you, darling," Nicholas says, taking another sip of his wine.

"His mother runs a jewelry making shop. She's quite good, actually. I discovered I've bought a few of her Egyptian style pieces from the flea market."


"Oh, yes. Sorry. I'm rambling. It's been so long since I've had someone to talk to, someone who will talk to me, instead of at me or around me. Anyways, the woman's currently into cinnabar..." 

"And cinnabar is raw mercury ore complete with mercury balls embedded in the surface," Nicholas finished. 

"Yes. She ordered quite a large amount of rough cinnabar from China and the cinnabar was just pitted with mercury balls. She'd asked Jackson to put on gloves and separate the cinnabar from the mercury, then put the mercury into a hazmat container."

"But instead, he saved it and decided to cook with it," Nicholas finished.

"Cooking with mercury. The new trend amongst teens."

"The new trend in the hospital. Were any other children living in the apartment complex?"

"An eighteen month old in the apartment above."

"Both the toddler and Jackson may have future health problems with their digestive tracts. That's common to mercury poisoning."

"The hazmat team was quite worried about Jackson as when Mrs Turman found him, he was standing with his face directly over the pot."

Nicholas grimaces. "Vaporizing mercury is not recommended. How did the fire department get called?"

"The kitchen opens into the living room, which opens onto the patio. A friend of Jackson's mother called into the open patio door and asked Jackson where his mother was. He came out of the kitchen with a wooden spoon in his hand, and when Mrs Turman asked him what he was cooking, he said mercury. She panicked. By the time she'd phone the fire department, Jackson had gone back into the kitchen and was stirring away."

"Don't blame her for panicking. Was she treated?"

"Mrs Turman? No."

"Dear, Mrs Truman will need to be treated for possible mercury poisoning if she was in the apartment."

"You're right. I'll phone the health department and have them tell her she needs to go to the hospital and have her digestive tract're such a dear for reminding me of that. I haven't been myself lately."

"That's what second opinions are for."

"The toddler will have to be followed as well. Jackson's kitchen vents into the above apartment's kitchen."

"Huh?" Nicholas is confused at her statement and his face shows it.

"The building is quite old, and for some reason, a secondary vent was installed in the kitchen that vents the kitchens on the two floors."

Nicholas is still confused, but a glimmer of understanding shows on his face. "Ah! Illegal remodelling?"

"Yes. Doesn't meet fire or safety codes." 

"Sounds like someone was trying to avoid the expense of installing the vents."

"The police are looking into it. The city's attorneys are also looking into filing charges."

"How come they'd file....ah! Assault with a deadly weapon?"

"In this case, assault with a deadly substance."

"At the very least, the landlord will have to pony up some cash."

"The fire department said that this was actually good that this happened. Had there been a fire in any of the apartments, the vents would have poured smoke directly into each apartment. The venting was that bad, and that illegal."

"How big is the complex?"

"Just a small complex. Two story cracker boxes built in the 1930's."

"WPA project?"

"The apartments were considered upper middle class at the time they were built."

"Ah," Nicholas says, sipping some more of his wine. He leans back in the chair, enjoying the late afternoon sun. He knows it's early morning in San Francisco, as the time difference between Greece and California is ten hours.  He smiles as he hears coffee perking. His love is getting ready for her day shift at work, and she can't kick start her day until she has a cup of coffee.

"The kids might get assigned to you. You're quite the specialist." 

"I'm a specialist in you, darling."

(She laughs) "I love you. I can't wait until my divorce."

"I can wait either."

"Do you have any cases you want to tell me about?"

"You just want to hear my voice."

"It's sultry. Did anyone ever tell you you have a melodious voice?"


"Your voice can be soft, and sultry. It's deep. I like men with deep voices."

"It's the testosterone."

"It's you. So tell me about a case you had."

"Two young brothers were brought in, both with broken wrists. They were learning how to skateboard. But the twist is they were very shy youngsters. Almost no verbal skills, despite the older brother being five and the younger one being four."

"Selective mutism?"

"That's what I initially thought. Selectively mute children can and do interact with their parents but where the child would normally be expected to talk, the child refuses to talk, like in school or to other children."

"Did the mother know that?"

"No. The kids had difficulty talking to her, but they did speak. Their usual way of communicating with her was to type out the words on the computer. They had speech impediments, difficulty forming words."

"Wouldn't or couldn't talk?"

"They could talk, but with extreme difficulty."

"Don't selectively mute kids have extreme shyness?"

"Essentially, that's what selective mutism is: extreme shyness. In adults, we would diagnose social phobia. The selectively mute child is afraid to talk in front of other people because of extreme anxiety."

"So it's like stage fright."

"Yes. Like stage fright. In the more extreme cases, an anti-anxiety medication is prescribed."

"Is that what the secondary diagnosis was? For selective mutism?"

"Not exactly. I discovered the younger child leafing through the Physicians Desk Reference when I came back into the exam room. He was reading selections to his older brother."

"A four year old was reading the PDR?"

Nicholas laughs. "Yes, a four year old was reading the PDR."

"A gifted child."

"Runs in the family, then. The five year old can read Judy Bloom's Then Again, Maybe I Won't. He can write well too."

"At five? I read that book when I was ten! A truly gifted family."

"Gifted? It's a bit more complicated than that. The two brothers have hyperlexia with its attendant delay in speech and social interaction with people."

"Hyperlexia? I'm afraid I'm not keeping up on childhood disorders."

"It's not a problem to explain it to you. Hyperlexia is characterized by precociousness in reading. But the child presents with speech development delay and the child has trouble socially interacting with other children."

"So hyperlexia's a kind of selective mutism?"

Nicholas looks thoughtful. "That could be very well true. Hyperlexia is a newly diagnosed disorder of childhood. A selectively mute child usually reads at age appropriate levels while a hyperlexic child reads above their age level. A hyperlexic child has trouble communicating with people verbally. But the hyperlexic child excells at communicating in writing."

"Writing as in, writing on paper?"

"And on the computer. A hyperlexic child will have trouble thinking up things to say orally to other people. But put him near a keyboard, and he can type out what he wants to say."

"Sounds like the hyperlexic child has an extremely good mind for reading. How did you make the determination between hyperlexia and selective mutism?"

Nicholas sips his wine. "I asked the mother if the children gesticulate when communicating with other people."


"She said no, they preferred writing out their requests, or writing out what they wanted to say to people."

"But wouldn't the kids gesticulate to communicate their needs?"

"In selectively mute children, yes. Selectively mute children tend to point at what they want. A selectively mute child will develop a personal sign language which she uses to communicate with her parent, usually her mother."

"She? You're switching genders."

"Most selectively mute children are female. Most hyperlexic children are male."

"It's a gender based disorder?"

"No. More males present with hyperlexia. But the difference is that a selectively mute child will primarily use a personal sign language to communicate with people. They'll point to an object and look at you if they want it. The parent usually doesn't know what is wrong with the child and tends to think the child is very shy around other people primarily because the child will talk normally with the parent. The child can talk but refuses to, and generally doesn't have speech impediments. A hyperlexic child tends to use writing as a means of communicating but generally has speech impediments."

"So you diagnosed hyperlexia based on the fact the two boys tended to write out their responses instead of gesticulating?"

"Yes. The kids are doing remarkably well. I did send the children to a child psychiatrist to get a second opinion as to my diagnosis of hyperlexia versus a diagnosis of selective mutism. The psychiatrist seconded my diagnosis. Did you know that less than one half of one percent of all childhood psychiatry cases present as selective mutism?"

"No.  I didn't know that."

"Those kids just loved my cellphone," he laughs, then sips his wine again.

"Were they playing with your cellphone?"

"Texting each other was more like it. Good thing I have an extended minutes plan. I learned a lot about the kids' interests when they were texting me."

"Didn't the mother notice anything odd?"

"She said she did, but thought her sons were extremely shy. She didn't give much thought to the problem until they both broke their wrists." Nicholas laughs. "Did I tell you they each broke their right wrists?"

"Both brothers broke their right wrists? That's odd."

"Odder still is the fact the fracture is at the same location in both kids."


"Tell me about it. Is that coffee I hear perking?"

"Yes. Can't start my shift without it."

"You mean can't get your bowels started without it."


"It's true. You need more fiber in your diet."

"I eat plenty of fiber!"

"Not enough vegetables. You need a Mediterranean diet. Once you're divorced, I'll cook for you."

"You cook?"

"I'm a gourmet chef on the side."

"I didn't know that!"

"Yes. I'll whip you up the best gourmet meal you ever tasted."

"I'd like a filet mignon and a baked potato with all the trimmings, please."

"I'll make you Mediterranean chicken. You'll love it."

"I just can't wait until I see you again."

"A few more weeks until the arrangements are final. I'm enjoying seeing my parents. I haven't seen them in a while."

"Will I meet them? Your parents, I mean."

Nicholas chuckles. "Yes. I'll bring you home to Kyparissi to meet my parents."

"Do they approve?"

"Approve of what?"

"Approve of your relationship with me."

"They know I date."

"So you haven't told them about me."

"Not yet. I usually don't tell them much about my dating life in America. They want me to get settled down."

"Traditional parents?"

"Very traditional."

"You're going to tell them about me?"

"Eventually. I don't hide the women I date, but we're not officially dating."

"Not until I get a divorce."

"Which will be soon, I hope."

"I'll talk to the lawyer about that quickie divorce."

"Make sure you do a forensic accounting."

"A what?"

"Forensic accounting. That's where a specially trained accountant goes into the marital finances to ensure that there are no hidden assets."

"He's hiding something from me?"

"Could be. If he's supporting a mistress, he's bound to have hidden assets. There was a case some years ago where a woman bought a lottery ticket as part of a syndicate. The ticket won, and she won 650 thousand as her share in equal installments. She had asked the state lottery agency to tell her how to hide the winnings from her husband."

"Sounds like you should be a divorce lawyer."

"I have friends who keep me posted. Anyways, to continue, the couple got divorced, and two checks had been sent out. But then the state lottery agency sent a letter to the woman, but the letter got sent to her ex-husband's house..."


"Uh-oh is right. He opened the letter and discovered that his wife hadn't declared the lottery winnings in the marital assets during the divorce. He sued, and won the full rights to the entire 650 thousand."

"The entire amount? California's a community property state!"

"It's not a community property state when assets are hidden from one spouse by the other spouse."

"So she lost the 650 thou?"

"Yep. And she owes him the two payments already made to her."

"Ouch. Maybe I should let him hide assets."

"That's not a good idea. You want the settlement money upfront, and if he's got a mistress, he could put the money into her name, or a trust fund, after the divorce."

"You should have been a laywer,darling."

"Medicine and law do work well together, don't they?"

"We work well together."

"We will work well together."

"I can't wait." 

Nicholas hears the sound of food sizzling. "You cooking eggs now?"

"Good source of protein."

"Frying them increases the fat content."

"You're a nutritionist now?"

"Where you're concerned, yes."

"That's why I love you. You take the time to be concerned about me. That's more than I ever got from my husband."

"I love you."

"Love you too. Oh damn! Hospital's paging me with one of my patients that I had admitted. Gotta run, emergency."

"All right, darling. Talk to you after your shift."

"Okay. It won't be too late for you there?"

"There's a ten hour time difference. I'll be awake."

"All right." 

"Don't forget to turn off the stove and the coffee pot."

"Yes, daddy!"

"Last time you forgot to turn off the coffee pot, you nearly started a fire."

"I remember. Talk to you later. Bye, love!"

"Bye, love!" 

Nicholas clicks off the cell phone and refills the wine glass. The seagull has managed, behind Nicholas' back, to eat the rest of the baklava. Nicholas smirks at the seagull, who's standing on hatch looking rather smug with himself. The bird fluffs his feathers, causing Nicholas to laugh. Nicholas leans back in the seat, sipping his wine, and looking at the sun setting over the Aegean.