This is a snippet from the first chapter of All We Are, a story set in fall 2006. It begins around the time Elizabeth tells Jason he may be the father of her child, but before Ric ramps up his plan to go after them. Only Sonny knows about the paternity.
When she opened the door to the conference room, a chill slid down her spine. Epiphany Johnson sat there with an annoyed look on her face—but sitting next to her was Ric Lansing with a smirk.
“Um, what can I do for you guys?” Elizabeth asked, stepping over the threshold.
“You’d better close the door, Elizabeth.” Ric leaned back in his chair. ‘You don’t want anyone to overhear.”
“Shut up,” Epiphany shot back. “You’re here as a courtesy. I do not have to allow you to harass my nurse on my watch. Elizabeth, before we start this, I think you should call a lawyer.”
Elizabeth shut the door and leaned against it. “I—I don’t think….why do I need a lawyer?”
She didn’t even have a lawyer.
“Elizabeth, the board has voted to suspend you indefinitely without pay,” Epiphany said bluntly. “The DA here has informed them you’re under suspicion for theft and distribution of narcotics.”
Elizabeth just stared at her. Those words—they made sense. But they couldn’t. Because how was any of this possible? “I—” Blindly, she reached out for the chair and dragged it out so she could sit before her knees gave out.
“I fought it, honey, but they weren’t interested.” Epiphany leaned forward. “Call a lawyer—”
“Elizabeth can trust me to watch out for her interests,” Ric said coolly. “While the DA’s office is pursuing the charges, Nurse Johnson, I am not a vindicative man. I believe Elizabeth made a mistake. I’d like to make it go away.”
“I’ll bet you do.” Epiphany rose to her feet. “You don’t say a word to this scum, Elizabeth. You get yourself a lawyer and keep your mouth shut.”
“It’s time for you to leave, Nurse Johnson,” Ric said. “Elizabeth and I will discuss her options.”