(Salem, USA)

"So, Dr. Hunter... What's the prognosis?" Jack Deveraux asked as he and Jennifer sat in Marcus Hunter's office. "Is it time for me to put out my best suit for the old going away party?"

"Jack!" Jennifer said, horrified that her husband would joke about such things. Her breath caught in her chest as she asked the question that she had been dreading. "The blood tests came out okay, right?"

Marcus looked her with such emotion that she began to cry even before he spoke. "Oh my God... no."

"I'm sorry, Jennifer." Marcus said.

"Wait, so you're telling me that there's nothing you can do for Jack? Nothing at all?"

"Jennifer, we've run every possible test available and the results are consistent. The virus has spread to a stage that is just too advanced. I'm sorry. Really I am. I love both of you. You're practically family"

"Then do something, Marcus!" Jennifer sobbed. I can't lose my husband!"

"Jennifer, it's okay." Jack climbed down from the examining table and took Jennifer in his arms.

Marcus put his hand on Jack's forearm.

"Jack, you know that if there was anything else I could do, I'd do it in a heartbeat."

"I know, Marcus. You did your best, and that's all anyone can do. The worst part of this will be telling the family; not to mention Steve."

"You let me worry about Steve." Marcus said. "I'll take care of it."


"You'd better get Jennifer home, okay?"

Jack extended his hand. "Thank you, Dr. Hunter. For everything."

"No problem, Jack."

Jack walked out of Salem General Hospital, unable to believe what had just happened. In only a few short minutes, his life had changed. Soon Jennifer would be a widow and Abigail would be without a father. Suddenly he was terrified. He couldn't leave them! He just wasn't ready!

After everything that he and Jennifer went through to be together, why did it have to end like this? They've been through cliffhangers, cruise ship disasters, stranded on a desert island, a train wreck and a million other things he couldn't remember.

"This is the thanks I get?" He yelled staring up at the sky. "Oh who am I kidding? No one up there is listening anyway."

He walked across the parking lot to the car; his heart aching when he found Jennifer sitting in the passenger seat, crying into her hands.

What in the hell was he supposed to say to her? He was sorry? Of course he was sorry. But it wasn't enough.

They drove home in silence, Jack's hand in hers. The radio played softly, and when a familiar song came on, his hand automatically reached for the knob to turn it up.

"You can say you love me, and I'll believe that's true."

Jennifer looked at him and smiled through her tears. "Jack, I thought you hated that song."

"What gave you that idea?" He asked. "I love this song!"

"Oh really?" Jennifer laughed. "Okay... What's the name of it?"

Jack's mind turned as he frantically tried to remember.

"Never mind." Jennifer said.

"No, I really know what it's called. Um.."

"Jack, just forget it."

"But I know that it was played at our wedding reception, and that you looked so beautiful, you took my breath away."

Jennifer smiled as new tears slid down her cheeks. "Oh, Jack..."

The car slowed to a stop at a traffic light. "Good thing this light is long." Jack said, taking her in his arms for a kiss.

Suddenly Jennifer pulled away from him. "Um... Jack?"

"Mmmm..." He said, continuing to kiss her.

"Jack... the light's green and the guy behind us looks pretty mad." Jennifer said, trying not to laugh.

"What?" He looked up and glanced into the rear view mirror to see the driver of the car behind him walking toward them, waving his fist in the air.

"Geez, you'd think that guy had never seen someone kissing before!" He exclaimed, as he accelerated to catch up with the traffic.