Awkward Moments
by Estirose

He bumped into the woman as they both passed the Port Charles Hotel, making her drop her packages onto the sidewalk. They both scrambled to pick them up.

"I'm sorry," the man said, clearly preoccupied. "I wasn't watching where I was going."

"No," the woman replied. "I should have seen you."

She gathered up her bags and headed for the front door of the hotel. He moved to assist her. "You're a visitor here?"

"Yes, I'm on my vacation," she replied. "Thanks for helping me with my bags, Mr. ?"

"Collins. Dr. Kevin Collins."

"I'm Dr. Natalie Lambert."

They had passed the front desk and were heading towards the rooms. "What do you do for a living, Dr. Lambert?"

"I'm a Medical Examiner for the city of Toronto. You?"

"Psychiatrist at General Hospital here in Port Charles."

"Glad to meet you," Natalie said. "Especially since we wouldn't meet under regular circumstances."

Kevin smiled. "So, what are you doing here in Port Charles?"

"I'm touring New York. Grace said that I needed a break." That brought him up short. "Grace?"

She smiled at him. "She's my assistant at the Coroner's office, and a very good friend."

"Oh," he said, sighing in relief. "Well, you're in a nice place."

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'll be fine," he replied. "Just word association."

"You know someone named Grace?" she asked lightly, trying not to pry.

"I did," he said. "She was my girlfriend. She - died several years ago."

"I'm sorry," Natalie replied. It was all that she could say.

"That's all right," he said. "I've mostly gotten over it."

She nodded. "So, do you know a nice nightclub here?" she asked, trying to change the subject.

He looked thoughtful. "You might try the Outback. You might even catch Miguel or the Idle Rich singing."

"Tell me they don't do love songs," she said.

"I'm afraid they do. Why?"

"I was hoping to escape that on this trip. I needed to get away and think."

"You're in love with someone who works with you?"

"Kind of. He's a homicide detective."

"Romantic entanglements are hard to get away from," Kevin responded blandly.

"Yes, well this trip was Grace's idea. She's kind of concerned about my love life."

"Oh," Kevin replied, trying to keep his expression neutral.

It didn't work. Natalie frowned. "Well, anyway, I hope to have a nice, relaxing holiday," she said, opening the door to her room.

"I hope you do," Kevin said politely. "Have a good stay in Port Charles."

Natalie watched as he put the bags down, and then retreated. "Thank you."

"You're welcome," he said, and walked as fast as he could down the corridor.

Natalie closed the door and began to sort out her shopping.. "There's nothing like a good day's shopping to keep your mind off things like that," she muttered to herself as she packed the souvenirs in her suitcase. "Not that you can totally escape."

She picked up her book from the nightstand and read.

=End=


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