For personal use and select distribution only © by Addmom

DISCLAIMER: "Emergency!" and its characters © Mark VII Productions, Inc. and Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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or events is purely coincidental.
This story is only written for entertainment. No financial gain is being realized from it. The story, itself, is the
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I am in no way connected to the medical profession and take responsibility for all mistakes in
 dealing with treatments, diseases, etc.

A Special Wedding or a Funeral?

January, 1978

Even though she didn’t have her memory back yet, Nicole had returned to work as a caseworker at Rampart. Her boss was working with her and filled her in on the details of all her cases. She may not remember what had transpired on the cases before her accident, but she picked up and handled them with the same professionalism and efficiency she had before.

Nicole had been called down to ER to consult on a child that had been brought in. Her heart was breaking as she walked out of the treatment room. It was a four-year old child who had been severely beaten by her father. The little girl was fighting for her life. The mother was crying because she now realized that not interfering earlier with her husband meant two terrible things—first her daughter might die and second, if she didn’t die she would be taken away from the parents. All the father could do was yell that no one had a right to interfere with how he disciplined his daughter.

Her eyes brightened as she looked up and saw Roy and Johnny standing at Dixie’s desk. She was too far away to call to them, so she started towards them. She stopped when a nurse stepped up to them. Not sure why, she thought it best to wait a minute before going to talk to them.

Cindy Stevens was a new nurse at Rampart. She was assigned to floating right now until a permanent position opened up and was currently filling in for another nurse on maternity leave in the ER. She came out of treatment room 1 and saw two very good looking paramedics standing at the desk talking to Dixie. With her eyes (and heart) set on the black-haired one, she made a beeline for the desk.

“Dixie, are you going to introduce me to your friends?” As she got closer, Cindy ran an appraising eye up and down Johnny. She looked at his hands and noticed he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Yes, this was the man she was going to go after and get. Nothing was going to stand in her way. In her mind as long as he wasn’t married, he was fair game. It wouldn’t matter if he had a girlfriend or fiancée. She would win him over.

Dixie looked at Cindy. Something about the look in her eyes made Dixie feel very uncomfortable. Before she answered, she looked down the hall and saw Nicole. With an imperceptible nod, she motioned for Nicole to come on down. “These are the two best paramedics in the county. This is Roy DeSoto.” She waited as Roy held out his hand for Cindy to shake. She did so quickly. “And this is John Gage.” Cindy grabbed Johnny’s hand and held on. She looked him in the eyes with a look even he didn’t like.

“It is such a pleasure to meet both of you.” She was about to go on when Johnny pulled his hand away and pulled Nicole into his embrace as she walked up. “And who are you?” The icy tone in Cindy’s voice sent shivers up and down the spines of all of them.

“This is my fiancée, Nicole Schall. We are going to be married in May.” Johnny held Nicole tight. He wanted this Cindy chick to disappear into thin air and never reappear. “What brings you down to the ER, Angel?” Johnny emphasized his favorite nickname for Nicole.

“A little girl and her parents—it is a sad situation and I have a lot of work to do on it. I just wanted to say hello to my two favorite paramedics.” Nicole smiled at Johnny. Both of them forgot about everyone else in the room for a minute.

They were brought out of their reverie when the handy-talkie in Johnny’s hand came to life sending them on another run. Even though they didn’t often display their love in public, he leaned over and kissed Nicole on the lips. He had a point to get across to Cindy Stevens. “See you tonight, Angel.”

Dixie saw the hatred in Cindy’s eyes as she watched Johnny kiss Nicole. Dixie was going to keep Cindy Stevens as far away from Johnny and Nicole as she could. Cindy was nothing but trouble and Dixie knew it.

“I have to go take care of Karen Adams, so I’d better go. See you tonight, Dixie. It was nice meeting you, Cindy.” Nicole had missed the look in Cindy’s eyes and smiled as she turned to leave the area.

“See you tonight, Nicole.” Dixie returned the smile and then turned back to the nurse standing there.

“It was nice meeting you, too, Nicole.” Cindy’s tone was just the opposite of her words. Dixie heard the icy tone of Cindy’s voice. She saw Nicole look back with a surprised look.

It was only when Nicole was gone that Dixie heard Cindy mumbling under her breath. “You’d better watch it, Ms. Nicole Schall. Johnny will be mine and you will not stand in my way.”

“Cindy, did you say something?” Dixie had clearly heard every word and was going to talk to Dr. Brackett about it.

“I said that Nicole Schall and Johnny made a nice couple and probably can’t wait until May.” Cindy prayed that Dixie hadn’t heard what she had really said.

“Yes, they do make a great couple and I know that Nicole is really excited about getting married in May. Here is the file for the next patient. Treatment three is open and I think Dr. Morton is available.” Dixie tried to get Cindy’s mind back on her work.

With one last look down the hall Nicole had followed, Cindy took the file and went to get the next patient.


For the next couple of shifts, Dixie was able to keep Cindy from running into Johnny and Roy. All three of them had an uneasy feeling about that first meeting and had discussed it at dinner that night. They all agreed it was best for Johnny to avoid Cindy at all costs.

But what none of them knew was that Cindy had asked around the hospital and had learned about Nicole’s accident and the fact that she had lost her memory. Cindy determined to use that knowledge against Nicole in her relationship with Johnny. She enlisted the help of a couple of other nurses who had been “dumped” by Johnny and wanted to get back at him. They didn’t know the extent of Cindy’s determination or they wouldn’t have helped her.

Knowing that Nicole was on her way down for a consult, Cindy smiled when she saw Johnny and Roy at Dixie’s desk. She was close enough to see they were getting supplies. As she got close to them, she realized her timing was perfect as the elevator doors opened and Nicole walked off. With Dixie helping Roy to gather supplies, Johnny was left standing by the desk. “Oh, Johnny, I have something in my eye. Can you see if you can find anything?” Cindy moved so that what Johnny was really doing would be blocked. What Nicole would see him doing is holding her face and being very close. If she worked it right, it would even look like he was kissing her.

Nicole had smiled when she saw Johnny standing there. That smile turned to a frown as she saw Cindy walk to Johnny and what appeared to be Johnny caressing her face. Then Johnny leaned closer and Nicole’s heart stopped. Determined not to misread what was going on, when Dr. Morton caught her just as she reached the treatment room, she followed him inside. Cindy had seen her out of the corner of her eye and was secretly pleased with herself. Johnny happened to look up and see the hurt look on Nicole’s face as she glanced once more his way and then went inside the room.

“Oh, Johnny, you must have found it. My eye feels much better.” It wasn’t two seconds after Nicole had entered the treatment room that Cindy made a miraculous “recovery.”

Johnny couldn’t get the look on Nicole’s face out of his mind. He really needed to talk to her and tell her that it wasn’t what it looked like. He realized that Cindy had purposely made it look like he was caressing her face. It didn’t take a genius to know what it looked like from Nicole’s viewpoint. Why did he fall for her trap?

Dixie walked out of the supply room and saw Cindy with a huge smile. Johnny was staring down the hallway at one of the treatment rooms. She had a sinking feeling as she took in the scene taking place there in the hallway. Before she could say anything, she saw Johnny start towards Nicole who had just come out of treatment room three.

But Cindy saw Nicole, too, and before anyone could stop her, grabbed Johnny, swung him around and kissed him. “Thanks for your help, Johnny.” With that she walked away from the group with a smug look on her face.

Johnny grimaced as he saw Nicole enter the elevator with tears running down her face. “Roy, I have to go talk to Nicole.”

“What happened, Johnny?” Roy saw the pain in Nicole’s eyes, too.

“Cindy Stevens happened. I’ll tell you both when I get back. I really need to talk to Nicole.” Johnny grabbed the HT and ran to the elevator. Realizing that it was on the top floor, he opted to take the stairs instead. As the scene Nicole had just witnessed ran through his mind, he ran up the stairs two at a time until he reached the fourth floor. As he opened the stairwell door, he saw Nicole unlocking her office door. Anger started filling him as he saw Cindy right behind her. He quietly made his way unseen to the hallway right next to Nicole’s office where he could listen without being seen.

“Nicole, what’s wrong?” Cindy plastered on what she hoped looked like a concerned face and pulled Nicole into her embrace.

“Please leave.” Nicole pushed Cindy away. “I have work to do and I do not want to see you.”

“Nicole, what’s wrong? What have I done?”

“I just came from treatment room three down in ER.”

“Oh, Nicole, I’m so sorry. You must have seen Johnny and me down there.”

“Yes, I did. Now please leave.” Nicole couldn’t stop the tears.

“Nicole, Johnny and I never meant for you to find out that way. We’ve been trying to keep it quiet until Johnny could find a way to tell you himself. He said that he was going to end your relationship before your accident, but since your accident he didn’t want to hurt your feelings. He was trying to find a way to let you know. I am so sorry, Nicole.”

Johnny had heard enough. He came around the corner surprising both Nicole and Cindy. “Nicole, Cindy is lying to you. Downstairs just now she claimed to have something in her eye and wanted me to see if I could find it and get it out. Then when she saw you coming—and I know she saw you—,” (Johnny gave Cindy a look that would have killed when she started to protest.) “She pulled me around and kissed me. Nicole, I love you.” Before he could go on, however, the HT he was carrying went off. Acknowledging the call, he grabbed Nicole’s hand and pulled her with him as he headed back down to ER to pick up Roy. “Cindy, I don’t ever want to see you again.”

As they ran down the stairs, Johnny held Nicole’s hand tight. “Angel, everything Cindy said was a lie. I love you and have never planned to end our relationship. You are my other half and I don’t know what I would do if I ever lost you.”

By the time Johnny had finished, they were at Dixie’s desk. “Roy, we have a call. Dixie, please don’t let Cindy anywhere near Nicole again and please tell her how much I really love her. Thanks, bye.” He leaned over and kissed Nicole, then ran with Roy to answer their call.

“What was that all about?” Dixie wasn’t quite sure what happened, but she had a feeling it had something to do with the scene earlier. “Carol, Nicole and I are going in the lounge for a cup of coffee. Please watch the desk and if Cindy Stevens comes around, don’t let her know where we are.”

Once they were settled in the lounge, Nicole told Dixie everything that had happened and what Cindy had said.

“Nicole, do you trust Johnny?” Dixie was angry at Cindy but didn’t want it to show to Nicole.

“Yes, with my life.”

“Do you trust Cindy?”

“No, I don’t. Dixie, Johnny never gave me a chance to say anything. I was going to tell him that I didn’t believe her. He came to my defense before I could tell her that I knew that wasn’t true since all of you have told me that we announced our engagement the day of the bank robbery. I believe all of you and not her. Dixie, why would she want to hurt Johnny or me that way?”

“Because she wants Johnny for herself and she didn’t believe Johnny when he told her he loved you. She wanted you to believe he didn’t love you so she could take your place. But, Nicole, I know that no one could ever take your place in Johnny’s heart. If you weren’t a part of his life, he would only be a shell. I don’t think he would ever love anyone again.”

“Thanks, Dixie. Now what are we going to do about Cindy Stevens?” Nicole had believed Johnny, but it was good to hear it from someone outside the situation.

Just then Dr. Brackett walked into the room. “What are my two favorite hospital workers doing in here?”

Dixie made an instant decision that Kel should know exactly what had happened. Receiving a nod from Nicole indicating it was ok, she proceeded to tell him everything.

“Don’t worry, Nicole. We’ll make sure that Cindy stays down here and if you are ever needed on a consult, she will be kept busy somewhere else. She also will be kept away from Johnny and Roy.” Dr. Brackett knew that personal matters were not enough to fire someone over, but he would keep an eye on Cindy to see what else she did.

“Thank you, Dr. Brackett.” Nicole felt secure in the love of her friends.


Johnny was happy to see Dixie alone at the desk when he came to pick up Roy after their call. “Dixie, how’s Nicole?” Roy walked up and stood. He, too, wanted to know how Nicole was. Johnny had explained everything to him in the squad.

“She loves you and believes in you, Johnny. She knows you love her. Don’t worry, she’s just fine. Kel is making arrangements so that Cindy will not be around either you or Nicole.” Dixie knew how worry Johnny was about Nicole. She may not remember it, but she had a terrible childhood and he wanted to protect her as much as possible.

“Thanks, Dixie. It is good to hear that.” Johnny smiled as the HT went off again. “They’re playing our song. Bye, Dix.” And with that, the guys were off.


Cindy was fuming. Johnny should be hers. He didn’t love Nicole. How could he? Cindy was taller, pretty, and slimmer than Nicole. Johnny deserved someone that looked like a model like she did—not someone like Nicole. Whatever it took to make Johnny see that Nicole was not for him, she would do it. No guy had ever turned Cindy Stevens down and no one was going to start now. She would find a way to prove that Nicole was not the honest, nice person they all thought she was—Cindy would plant the evidence that Nicole was a thief and possibly a killer. That way she would be out of the picture for good.

With that in mind, Cindy started putting her plan together. She was going to steal some MS from the drug cabinet in the ER and administer it to one of the elderly patients under Nicole’s care. She would then leave the syringe and medicine bottle in Nicole’s office and tip off someone. Now all she had to do was plan the perfect timing.


Johnny smiled as he saw Nicole standing with Dixie at the desk when he brought in a patient. Their run-in with Cindy had been over a week earlier, and to everyone’s relief she had left them alone. When he was released from the treatment room, he headed for the desk. “Hi, Dixie. Hi, Angel.” He leaned over and kissed Nicole on the cheek.

“Hi, honey. How’s your shift going? Isn’t it almost over?” Nicole loved seeing Johnny at work.

“It’s been busy. We’ve had back-to-back runs since roll call yesterday morning. But all of them have been ones that we could save. It has been a good shift. It ends just as soon as we get back to the barn. How’s your day going?” Johnny couldn’t take his eyes off his fiancée.

“Oh, it’s been pretty quiet, actually. I do have a meeting that will run a little late tonight and I’m not feeling real good. Would it be ok if we stayed at my apartment tonight and just relaxed?”

“Sure, are you sure you are going to be ok?” Johnny didn’t like it when Nicole was sick or hurt. He wanted to protect her.

“Yeah, just a little under the weather. I’ll be home about 7:00. Will you be waiting for me?” Nicole loved the quiet times they spent together.

“Of course—I’ll even have dinner waiting for you.” Johnny knew he wanted to take care of her.

“Thanks, well, I need to get going. See you at home tonight.” Nicole headed for the elevator as Roy came in to find Johnny.

What none of them noticed was Cindy just out of sight in the supply closet listening to every word. She now knew the perfect time to put her plan into action—tonight before Nicole went home and when Cindy was supposed to be off-duty and out of the hospital.


Nicole was really beginning to feel bad and decided she should have one of the doctors check her over to make sure she wasn’t coming down with something. So she went to find Dr. Early since his office was on her floor.

“Dr. Early, are you busy?” Nicole was beginning to get dizzy.

“Never too busy for you, Nicole. How can I help you?” Dr. Early looked up as he heard Nicole slip into the chair. “Nicole, are you alright?” He began to worry as he looked at her face. Her cheeks were red with the flush of fever, but the rest of her was without any color at all.

“No, I thought I’d come and have you check me out.” Nicole was losing her battle to stay conscious.

“Here, let’s go into my exam room and I’ll check you over. Diane, will you help me?” Dr. Early and his nurse helped Nicole up on the exam table. Both Dr. Early and Diane noted that it was 2:30 p.m. as Dr. Early began his exam. The first thing he did was draw blood and have the lab come and pick it up. He told them he needed the results as soon as possible.

“I need the blood work to confirm, but it looks like you have a nasty infection in your lungs, Nicole. Diane, call ICU and see if we can get a bed. We need to get Nicole admitted and on a ventilator as soon as possible.” Dr. Early didn’t like the sounds of Nicole’s lungs.

Diane picked up the phone and got a bed in ICU. She then called down to tell Dixie since she knew how close Dixie, Dr. Brackett and Nicole were. She knew that both Dixie and Dr. Brackett would want to know. Diane was relieved when Dixie offered to call Johnny and let him know what was going on. When she hung up the phone, Diane helped Dr. Early and the two orderlies move Nicole onto the gurney. Then she and Dr. Early walked beside the gurney as they took Nicole to ICU.


Cindy put her plan into place. Checking the meeting that Nicole was supposed to attend and seeing that she wasn’t there, Cindy figured she was somewhere and wouldn’t have an alibi. So Cindy snuck down the stairs into the emergency area and waited until the hallway and supply area was empty. Then she hurried into the supply room and took the bottle of MS she planned to use against Nicole. Taking a quick look both ways to make sure no one was around, Cindy quickly made her way back to the stairwell to execute the second part of her plan. What she didn’t know was that Dr. Morton had seen her come out of the supply room.

Hurrying up the stairs, Cindy couldn’t believe she was going to get away with her plan. Everything was falling into place. Checking the hallway, she didn’t see anyone so she headed towards the room of an elderly lady, Mrs. Ruth Welch, she knew Nicole was trying to help get into a nursing home when she was released from the hospital. Slipping into the room, she planned on putting the MS into Mrs. Welch’s IV and then putting the syringe and bottle in Nicole’s desk drawer. That would get Nicole out of the picture and Johnny would be hers. Cindy put the needle into the port on the IV and put the medicine into the line. But before she could check to see that it was flowing properly, she heard someone stop right outside the door. One of the nurses was starting to come in. When Candy, the floor nurse went to get something she had forgotten for Mrs. Welch, Cindy slipped out of the room and into the stairwell. Reaching Nicole’s office, she picked the lock, put the stuff in Nicole’s drawer and then slipped out of the hospital.

Candy was headed back towards Mrs. Welch’s room when she saw Cindy slip out. She hurried to see what Cindy was doing. As she approached the bed, Mrs. Welch was beginning to panic. “What’s wrong, Ruth?”

“That nurse that was just in here put something into my IV. I thought you were going to take it out. Why would she put medicine into it if you are going to take it out?” Mrs. Welch had never seen Cindy before.

“Well, she shouldn’t have put anything in it. We’ll check it. But don’t worry—I turned it off right before I had to answer that page, so you aren’t getting any medicine in it right now. Whatever she put in will not reach your system. Let’s get that IV out right now.” Candy made herself a mental note to talk to Dixie McCall about Cindy. Candy had never worked with Cindy, but had heard that she was a little careless. Dixie was Cindy’s supervisor and Candy would start with her. “There, all done. You rest and I’ll take care of the nurse. No one will get back in here tonight.” Candy left the room, told the other two nurses at the nurses’ station not to let anyone—even another nurse—into Mrs. Welch’s room and that she needed to take care of some hospital business and headed towards the ER.


Johnny hurried into Rampart as he was worried about Nicole. As he entered the familiar territory of the emergency room, he saw Dixie talking with another nurse. He was going to go right on to ICU, but Dixie motioned for him to wait for a minute. While he was waiting, he saw Cindy Stevens enter the ER doors. With a sigh of relief, he smiled as Dixie finished her conversation, wrapped her arm around his and headed with him towards the elevator before Cindy was even within yelling distance. Together they went to see Nicole.

Cindy wondered where the two of them were going. She knew that Johnny had seen her and ignored her. But that didn’t matter. It wouldn’t be long before everything was right in her world. She headed for the nurses’ lounge since that was the place of all the gossip. Hopefully, someone had heard something already.


Dixie spent a few minutes with Nicole and Johnny and then headed to the lab to have the IV bag Candy had left her analyzed to see what was in it that shouldn’t be. Whatever, Cindy Stevens was up to, Dixie was determined to find out what it was and make sure she could never do it again. Upon obtaining the lab’s promise to have the results to her within the hour, Dixie headed back to the ER to talk to Dr. Brackett.

Entering the ER she was surprised to see all the nurses and most of the doctors congregated around the desk. “What’s going on?”

“Dixie, there is a bottle of MS missing.” Carol had helped Dixie do an inventory of the supply closet at 3:45 just after the change of shift. All the medicine was accounted for at that time. “The closest thing we can figure is that it disappeared shortly after you and I did the inventory. But all of the nurses were involved with patients. The doctors have vouched for them. Plus none of the doctors even asked for MS so it isn’t a case of someone forgetting to log it.”

“Ok, I want all of you to spend the next few minutes thinking about anyone you have seen around the supply cabinet since 3:45 this afternoon. That means go clear back to when you first started your shift. We can determine if the timing is right later. Dr. Brackett and I will talk to each one of you individually to find out what you know. Please don’t discuss this with anyone else. We need to have answers from each of you that aren’t colored by someone else’s memories. Until we ask to speak to you, everyone back to work.” Dixie sighed, the IV bag forgotten for the moment.

Kelly Brackett walked up to Dixie and gave her a quick hug. “We can do the interviews in my office. Donna, will you follow us? We’ll talk to you first.” Dr. Brackett led the way to his office with a sigh. Why would anyone risk their career over something like this that would be discovered so easily?


Over the next hour, Dixie and Kel Brackett interviewed most of the nurses and doctors. Carol was right. Everyone was busy at the time and could vouch for each other. Dixie and Kel were beginning to get discouraged. They were just about to ask the next nurse to come in when there was a knock on the door.

“Miss McCall? Here are the results of the tests on that IV bag. I sure hope you find what you are looking for.” The lab technician handed the results to Dixie and left.

“What’s that all about?” Kel wondered what else was going on.

“I didn’t get a chance to tell you and forgot about it in the confusion down here. Candy, one of the nurses from the fifth floor brought down an IV bag that she disconnected from Mrs. Welch, a lady Nicole is trying to find a nursing home for. Nicole was able to find her a nice place to live, so they were getting her ready to be released tomorrow. Candy turned off the IV and then had to go answer a page and left the room. While she was gone, another nurse went in and put something into the IV bag. Something happened to make the nurse slip out without checking the drip. Candy brought the bag to me.” Dixie was looking over the results as she talked.

“Why bring it to you?” Dr. Brackett wondered why they would be getting involved.

“Because the nurse in question is Cindy Stevens. Candy noticed her slip out just as she returned to finish taking out the IV. Cindy didn’t see her.”

“When was this?” Kel was starting to get an idea that he didn’t like, but didn’t want to say anything until he had more proof.

“Just as Johnny and I were going up to see Nicole—about 4:10. And the results of the IV indicate that 30ccs of MS were added to the bag.” Dixie looked up at Kel. She was beginning to have the same idea he did.

“30ccs? At no time would anyone ever prescribe that much MS. It is a good thing Candy had turned it off before she answered the page. Otherwise, Mrs. Welch would have been dead before anyone could help her. What time did Cindy get off work?”

“At 3:00—I saw her leave the building.”

“But she came back, didn’t she?”

“Yeah, while Johnny and I went up to check on Nicole.”

“See if you can reach her and ask her to come in. I want to talk to her now.” Kelly Brackett was angry. As far as he knew, Cindy had no interactions with Mrs. Welch at all and didn’t even know the lady. What was her motive?

“Ok, I’ll do it right now.” Dixie was having a hard time keeping her anger under control.

As she stepped out of Kel’s office, Dixie noticed Cindy coming out of the lounge. Taking a deep breath to keep her emotions in check, she smiled and headed for the girl she was beginning to hate. “Cindy, I thought you left already. What brings you back here?”

“Well, I saw something earlier and though I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, I figured I’d better come back and tell someone about it. It has been weighing on my conscience.” Cindy made it seem like she was an innocent, concerned nurse.

“Well, come back into Dr. Brackett’s office with me and you can tell both of us.” Dixie cringed. She knew that whatever Cindy had to tell them, it was all going to be a lie.

As they headed down the hall, Cindy glanced at her watch. Good, it was only 5:30. With any luck she would have all this wrapped up and be able to spend time with Johnny tonight yet.

Dixie knocked on Dr. Brackett’s office door. At his acknowledgement, she opened the door and allowed Cindy to precede her into the room. Dr. Morton nodded at both women and left as they sat down.

“Kel, Cindy has something that she wants to tell us that she says she saw happen earlier today.” Dixie had to almost bite her tongue to keep a civil tone in her voice.

“Yes, I really don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but I thought you should know that I saw Nicole Schall take something out of the medicine supply closet. I know that she doesn’t have authority to get anything in there, so I followed her to see what she was doing. She went directly to Mrs. Welch’s room. I didn’t follow her in, but she was only in there a few seconds. Then she headed back to her office. When she went into her office, she left the door opened a crack. I peeked in and saw her pull a syringe and bottle out of her pocket and put it in her top desk drawer. I just figured I really needed to tell someone.” Cindy was pleased with herself—her plan was working perfectly.

“And what time was this?” Kel couldn’t believe she was trying to pin this on Nicole.

“About 2:45. I was just getting ready to end my shift.”

Before anyone could say anything else, there was a knock on the door. It opened to a smiling Johnny Gage. “I just wanted to let both of you know—oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were busy. I’ll come back later.” Johnny was glad he had seen Cindy before he could say anything about Nicole.

“No, Johnny, please come in. I think you will be interested in what Miss Stevens has been telling us—after all it involves Nicole.” Dr. Brackett knew that they were going to catch Cindy Stevens in her lies and he knew that Johnny had a right to be there when they did. He stepped outside his office to talk to someone just as Johnny came in.

“Oh? What is it?” Johnny made a wide path around the chair Cindy was sitting and made his way to the couch to sit next to Dixie.

“Go ahead and tell him what you told us, Cindy—and be sure to tell him what time all this happened.” Kel was waiting for the moment they could let Cindy know they knew she was lying.

As she related her story once again, Cindy began to get uncomfortable. It didn’t escape her that Dr. Brackett had emphasized the part of telling Johnny what time this all happened. Why did he make a point of that? When she finished she looked up at Johnny with false sympathy in her eyes. “Johnny, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that Nicole is not what you thought she was—what everyone thought she was. I just couldn’t let this go.” With Johnny here, she could show her sympathy and maybe start spending time with him even earlier than she had originally thought.

“And you say all this happened about 2:45?” Johnny knew that Nicole was with Dr. Early and Donna and couldn’t have been doing what Cindy claimed.

“Yes. I’m really sorry, Johnny.” Cindy had to work hard to keep the sympathy in her voice.

Dr. Morton entered the office with a nod at Kel.

“Cindy, Dr. Morton went to Nicole’s office and found the bottle and syringe right where you said you saw her put them.” Dr. Brackett wanted Cindy to feel like she was getting away with whatever plan she had in mind.

“That just proves I was right, doesn’t it?” Cindy was beginning to float—nothing would stand in her way now.

“It would except for about six things.” Kel was getting ready for the dismantling of Cindy’s plan.

“And what would those be?” Cindy was wondering what he was talking about.

“First, Dixie and Carol inventoried the medicine closet at 3:45 and everything was accounted for. The vial of MS came up missing around 4:00. You say you saw Nicole at 2:45.”

“My watch stopped this morning. Maybe I was mistaken about the time.”

“Well, say that you were—the second thing is that Candy saw you coming out of Mrs. Welch’s room shortly after 4:00 after the MS came up missing.”

“I wanted to check to see if she was ok.”

“Was she?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why not?”

“Because I heard someone coming and I was afraid that it was Nicole. I didn’t want her find out that I knew what she had done so I left before I could check on Mrs. Welch.”

“Ok, third, when Dr. Morton went to Nicole’s office for me to retrieve the things that you said she put in her drawer, he asked Carol to accompany him and watch from the door like you said you did. Carol and Dr. Morton both noticed that you cannot see Nicole’s desk from her doorway. You would have either had to been in the room or put the stuff there yourself.”

Cindy started to get uneasy. She didn’t answer that one.

“Fourth, Mrs. Welch described the nurse that she watched put something into her IV. She described you perfectly. We found that someone had put 30ccs of MS in her IV. She is just lucky that Candy had turned the IV off because they were getting her ready for release in the morning.”

Cindy wanted to get up and make a run for it, but at the moment her way was blocked.

“Fifth, Dr. Morton saw you entering the medicine closest at 4:00 just before the incident in Mrs. Welch’s room.”

“Mrs. Welch must have gotten the two times confused. And I am an ER nurse—of course I am going to be in the medicine closet. I saw Nicole put the things in her desk. Why are you accusing me of all of this? All of this is circumstantial evidence. Nothing you have told me proves Nicole couldn’t have done it or that I did.”

“Well, I think you will agree that once I tell you reason number six, you will know why we are sure you are the one who did all of this.”

“And what is reason number six?” Cindy was trying to formulate an escape plan.

“Nicole became very ill earlier today. At 2:30 she was being examined by Dr. Early with Donna assisting. They did not leave her side until she was settled into ICU at 3:15. She has been monitored very closely since then because she is on a ventilator.” Kel watched the emotions that ran across Cindy’s face—anger, hatred, fear, determination and a host of others.

“I have one question for you, Cindy—why?” Johnny couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Because you should be mine—she isn’t good enough for you—I am. I needed to show you that she isn’t what you thought she was so you would see that you really love me instead.”

“Well, Cindy, we are going to turn you over to the police for narcotics theft and attempted murder.” Kel picked up the phone to call security.

Since Mike Morton had moved over to the other side of the room to give Kel the vial and syringe he had retrieved, the path to the door was now clear. Before anyone realized what was happening, Cindy was out of her chair, out the door and down the hall. She had disappeared by the time any of them got into the hallway.

“She’s gone, Kel.” Dixie was worried about Nicole.

Johnny was worried too. He looked at Dixie and then headed straight up to ICU opting to take the stairs to get there faster. He was relieved to find that Cindy had not been seen on the floor and no one was in with Nicole. Until a guard could be posted, he would stay by her side.

Dr. Brackett called security and the police to report what had happened. With the help of the hospital grapevine, it spread fast that anyone seeing Cindy Stevens in the vicinity was to report it immediately. Now all they could do was wait and pray that she was picked up soon.

February, 1978

It had been over a month since anyone had last seen Cindy Stevens. She had evaded the police and they reported they thought she had left the area. However, Johnny had a bad feeling and was worried about Nicole. Roy, Joanne and even Nicole had the same feeling, so they were all on their guard. Nicole had recovered from her infection almost overnight with the antibiotics Dr. Early had prescribed.

Valentine’s Day was coming up. Johnny had planned a special evening for Nicole. He knew that she believed him when he told her that everything Cindy had told her was a lie, but he wanted to show her how much he really did love her. After a run that brought them to Rampart, he took a few minutes and went up to see Nicole. She tried to get him to tell her once again what his plans were for Valentine’s Day, but all he would tell her was that she was to dress up in her fanciest dress and be prepared for a night on the town. When she needed to get ready to go to lunch with Joanne, Jenny and Chris, she told him she loved him and sent him back to work. Smiling and humming to herself, she went to work on the files she wanted to get finished before lunch.

The door opened a minute later. Fully expecting it to be Joanne and the kids, she was shocked to see Cindy Stevens there with a gun pointed at her and a box in her other hand. Nicole went to close the files on her desk. Her hand landed on the HT that Johnny had brought up with him and forgotten. Knowing that she had to do something, she slid the files into her lap along with the HT. She pretended to straighten the files and laid them back on her desk while the HT slipped into her lap.

Cindy smiled as she saw the fear on Nicole’s face. If Cindy couldn’t have Johnny, then neither would Nicole. But instead of taking Johnny from Nicole, she was going to take Nicole from Johnny—she would make Johnny hurt for the rest of his life. That would teach him to ignore her. Cindy turned around to walk over to the couch and sit down. “Hi, Nicole. How are you?”

While Cindy’s back was turned, Nicole had found a paper clip and jammed it into the talk button of Johnny’s HT effectively locking it so that someone could hear what was going on in her office, but could not contact her. She then slipped it to the floor thankful her office was carpeted. “Hi, Cindy. I’m fine. What are you doing here?”

“I’m here to make you, Johnny, and the others in this hospital pay for the way you treated me.”

Johnny had made his way back down to Dixie’s desk and was waiting for Roy to finish up his conversation with Dixie so they could go back to the station. Just as he realized he had left the HT in Nicole’s office, they heard the radio in the station come on. Johnny froze as he heard Cindy Steven’s voice. Not only were Dixie, Johnny and Roy listening, but LA County dispatch, the fire stations and the police stations were listening—anyone who was on the frequency of the HT.

“What are you planning to do? And what’s in the box?” Nicole prayed that whatever Cindy’s plan involved, she would be able to keep anyone else from getting hurt.

Just as Cindy was about to answer, Joanne started to enter the door but stopped. Something didn’t feel right. Joanne looked over at Nicole. She was now sitting in front of her desk where she could see out the door. Nicole saw her and discreetly finger spelled the word go to Joanne. As Cindy answered, Joanne momentarily froze, then grabbed the kids and headed back downstairs.

“Well, I have a bomb in this box. There are several ways that it can be set off. I can drop it and it will explode. There is a timer that, if all goes as planned, I will set later so it goes off. If something happens to me I have it triggered to go off.” Cindy smiled to herself.

“What are you going to do with the gun?” Nicole wanted to get as much information out of Cindy as possible.

At that moment Cindy decided to get up and close the door. “Well, I’ll tell you all about it while I make sure everything is ready. Sit down and don’t move. If you do, I’ll set off the bombs.”

“What are you doing now?” Nicole watched as Cindy took something out of the box and pulled a thin wire taut across the base of the door. She did as Cindy asked—she was hoping to get out of the situation without anyone else getting hurt.

“I am setting up a trip wire. If anyone opens this door, it will denote that bomb.” Cindy was filled with glee.


Johnny was beside himself. He had started going back upstairs when Roy stopped him. Knowing that his friends were right, he cried as he listened to the events taking place in Nicole’s office. He was glad, however, when Joanne, Jenny and Chris came back down the stairs. He had forgotten about their lunch date with Nicole. If Cindy had shown up five minutes later, they all would be in that room right now. He hugged them all and then turned back to listen with everyone else.


“You said that if everything went as planned you would set the timer on the bomb to let it go off. Since you plan on killing me, could you tell me the plan?” Nicole was stalling for time.

“Sure, we are going to lure Johnny back up here. When he gets here, he is going to watch you die a slow painful death. Then I will probably tie him up and leave him here. The timer will be set for about 15 minutes later and then boom—this side of the hospital will go up in smoke.”

“Well, Johnny was here just before you were. I know they got a call outside of town and it will be about an hour and a half before they will be bringing in a patient. So we have that long to wait before we can even contact him.” Nicole was hoping that someone was listening and that they would get the hint to use the time and evacuate at least that part of the hospital if not all of it.


“Nicole just bought us enough time to get everyone out. Start evacuating that side of the hospital, but do it so that no one can be seen from her office window. Also, be very quiet on her hallway. We don’t want to give it away that we know what is going on. It will only get Nicole killed.” Dixie started barking orders to the group standing around the bay station and everyone began to help—everyone except Johnny. He stayed by the radio along with Vince who had arrived shortly after Nicole started broadcasting over the HT.

“She is very special, Johnny—just like you. It seems her first concern is the other people in this hospital. We’ll get her out of this, I promise.” Vince could see the pain etched on Johnny’s face.

“Yeah, but will it be alive?” Johnny knew that Vince was doing everything he could.

Vince didn’t answer as Johnny turned back to listening to the radio.


“Cindy, I can understand your hatred of me and your anger at Johnny, but why blow up the hospital?”

“Because they took away my job and called the cops on me. If they had just listened to me and arrested you, none of this would be happening right now. I am not going to go back to jail. You see, I changed my name to Cindy Stevens when I was released from prison three years ago. I was getting a fresh start. I wanted a good career, a husband and a family. I had the good career and Johnny would have been the perfect husband. But you and he had to spoil it all—including my career. Now you, he and everyone in this hospital will have to pay. Then I will disappear, change my name again and start all over.”

“You were in prison before?”

“Yes, back east. I helped a few of the elderly patients in the nursing home I worked in die a little quicker and the law didn’t like it. I don’t know why since I saved the families, the insurance companies and the nursing home a lot of money. Enough questions for now—why don’t you go back to working on some of your files while we wait for the time to lure Johnny up here. I am just going to sit here and read this magazine while we wait.”

Nicole moved back behind her desk and opened the first file she came to. Saying a silent prayer, she tried to make it look like she was really working while she tried to think of a way out of the situation. Something inside of Cindy had snapped—she needed help. But Nicole knew that she wouldn’t admit to needing that help. ~Please, Lord, please help me to find a way out of this without anyone else getting hurt.~


Station 51, Station 45, Station 16 and Station 36 had all been sent to Rampart as a precaution when the transmissions first started. If a bomb when off, LA County wanted to be sure they could save as many lives as possible. Added to all the hospital personnel that helped, it took only 20 minutes to evacuate that wing of the hospital. Now all they could do was wait. The men of station 51 A-shift huddled around Johnny who wouldn’t leave the radio. They were trying to give him all the support they could. Everyone was trying to come up with a plan that would not only save the hospital, but save Nicole’s life, too. But the worry they each felt was hindering any formation of a plan.

It had been 45 minutes since the first transmission from the HT Johnny had left in Nicole’s office. There was only quiet since Cindy said that she wanted no more questions from Nicole. Johnny was getting impatient and wondered if the HT batteries had died. Then they all heard Nicole’s voice as Dixie waited by the phone. She was trying to think of a way to let Nicole know they had all heard and had been successful in evacuating the patients.


It had been 45 minutes since she had entered the office. Cindy was getting impatient. How did they know that Johnny hadn’t already come and gone? How were they going to get Johnny up there anyway?

Nicole had come up with a plan. But she needed to know if her transmissions had gotten out and if whoever was listening had understood. “Cindy, why don’t I call down to Dixie and ask her to let me know when Johnny and Roy call in with the patient they will be bringing in? I can ask her to then have Johnny call me when he gets here and then I can get him up here.”

Cindy smiled—Nicole had solved her problem. “Ok, but careful what you say. I am going to stand so I can listen, too.” Cindy walked over to stand behind Nicole.

Pushing the HT back under the desk a little with her foot, Nicole waited until Cindy was right beside her. Then she picked up the phone and dialed, taking a deep breath while it rang. When Dixie answered, she closed her eyes for a second, took another deep breath and prayed her plan would work. “Hi, Dixie. This is Nicole.”

Dixie didn’t realize her knuckles were turning white because she was holding the receiver so tight. “Hi, Nicole. What can I do for you?”

“Well, I was wondering if you could give me a call when Johnny or Roy calls in with the patient they will be bringing in from their last call. I know that they should be out about an hour and a half, but I would like to know when they call in.”

“Well, Nicole, they actually have called in. Station 51, Station 45, Station 16 and Station 36 were all called in to help with the rescue and it took only 20 minutes. They should be here soon.”

“Great. Will you have Johnny call me when they get to the hospital? I really need to talk to him.”

“Sure, it will be another 30 minutes, though.”

“Good. I have some things to take care of before he calls, so that will give me enough time. Thanks. Bye, Dix.”

“You’re welcome. Bye, Nicole.” Dixie prayed that this would not be the last time she talked with Nicole.


Nicole sent up a silent thank you that her transmissions had been heard and understood. She was going to end this once and for all as she did not want Johnny or anyone else to get hurt. Pushing her chair back, she noticed the box that contained most of the bombs had been left over against an outside wall—now to implement the rest of her plan. “Cindy, don’t you think we should disarm that trip wire? If Johnny gets here earlier than Dixie thinks, then we might not have time before he comes up here.”


Johnny heard Nicole’s voice as she talked with Dixie. Her voice was too calm. He knew she was planning on doing something—but what? One look at Dixie told him that she too, thought Nicole was going to try something. No matter how hard he tried, the tears came when Dixie walked around the desk, pulled him into her embrace and whispered, “She’s a very special lady, Johnny.” He was thankful she wasn’t making promises that no one could keep.


“Yeah, you’re right. You just go sit on that couch and don’t move and I’ll dismantle it.” Cindy wasn’t paying attention as Nicole picked up the long heavy paperweight someone had given her. It was ugly and heavy. She had been meaning to get rid of it. Now she silently thanked the Lord she hadn’t. As Cindy started to stand up, Nicole hit her over the head with the paperweight. She knew it wouldn’t knock Cindy out, but she hoped it would provide her the leverage she needed to gain the upper hand.


Everyone jumped when they heard a crash over the HT. It wasn’t an explosion, so they knew that no bomb had gone off—yet. But what was going on? They all stood in shock as they listened to the events currently taking place. The pain on Johnny’s face was evident on the crew of Station 51, Dixie, Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early, Dr. Morton, and Joanne’s faces as well.


The blow stunned Cindy enough that Nicole grabbed the bomb that had been connected to the trip wire and threw it against the wall with the other bombs, hiding the paperweight in the folds of her skirt. She prayed it wouldn’t go off when it hit. Thankfully, it landed on the pile of pillows that Nicole kept in her office for children’s visits. Cindy was angry but was stunned enough she didn’t even think about what Nicole had hit her with. She regained her composure and aimed the gun at Nicole. “Now you will pay.” She pulled Nicole with her as she went to pick up one of the bombs. “It is time for a little excitement.”

Nicole waited as Cindy grabbed a bomb and set a timer. When Cindy let go of her arm to grab a roll of duct tape she was going to use to tape the bomb to Nicole, Nicole pushed her to the floor, grabbed her gun and once again hit her with the paperweight. Stunned once more, Cindy fell to the floor. Wanting to get both of them out of there, Nicole told Cindy to get up and come with her. Cindy stood but wouldn’t move.


Johnny had been quiet as they listened to what was going on. Then as things progressed his face lost all its color and his knees gave out. His heart-rending sobs could be heard mingled with the transmissions coming from Nicole’s office. Everyone’s heart went out to the hurting man.


“I believe, Nicole, we have a stand off. The timer on this bomb is set to go off in less than 30 seconds. I am not going anywhere with you and I don’t think you are going to be able to get out of here in time.” Cindy grabbed Nicole’s arm causing her to drop the gun. “I knew you could never shoot me. Now we will die together. I am not going to let you go.”

Nicole had the presence of mind to kick the gun out of the reach of both of them. Then she pulled and fought with Cindy as the timer ticked down.

A Special Wedding or a Funeral, Part II