Read Carol's Image Online

Authors: Maryann Jordan

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Carol's Image (12 page)

BOOK: Carol's Image
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“Guys, hush! Not everyone around here needs to know about my sex life,” Carol admonished.

Sofia and Jon looked at each other, grinning ear to ear. “Well, at least you now got a sex life to talk about,” Jon retorted.

Before the conversation could go any further, their pagers sounded. Heading back into the hall, they were alerted that the police were bringing in a prisoner injured in a fight.

The man was coming in on a stretcher, his clothes ripped and bloody. Rob was with the paramedics transporting the prisoner with three policemen in attendance. Taking him back to one of the ER exam rooms, Carol began to remove his clothes to ascertain his injuries.

Rob stayed for a couple of minutes watching Carol as she leaned over talking softly to the patient. Smiling at what he saw, he was beginning to understand why Tom was so enamored. She seemed real. Genuine. Thinking that he’d like to settle down with one woman himself but not sure where he was going to find the right one, he was happy for Tom. Catching her eye as he walked out of the room, he smiled and gave a head nod.

Carol continued to work on the patient as Dr. Driscoll came into the room. Smiling, he leaned over closely to her as she was cleaning the wounds. “Dr. Driscoll, you need to step back; you are in my light.”

“Carol, you know you can call me Harry.” He continued to smile at her as she continued to ignore him. After a few minutes of watching her work, he wrote in his notes that the wounds were severe enough that the patient would need to stay overnight for observation. He left and Jon popped into the room to see if she needed assistance.

“I’ve got it,” she assured him. “Your shift is over. Go on home.”

As Jon left the room, another man was escorted in with one of the policemen. Explaining that he was the wounded man’s brother, he wanted to be close by. The two policemen conferred, at first denying the brother the chance to sit in the room.

“I don’t see how it could hurt,” Carol spoke up. “He isn’t going anywhere right now.”

“Ma’am, all due respect, the prisoner is a major drug dealer from the Richland area, and he was in our area scoring. He got into a knife fight with another dealer. We got the tip and we got the man. We’re not about to take a chance that he will escape or that his brother won’t assist in some way.”

Tight lipped, Carol continued to work on him. The brother sat quietly in the corner chair watching.

Speaking softly to the patient, she cautioned when he would feel the pinch from the needle, and she administered pain meds in his IV as directed by the physician. “You’re going to look like you were in a cat fight for a couple of weeks, but I promise I am really good with stitches. You take care of these, and people will hardly notice the scars.”

He kept his eyes on hers, distrust showing on his face as well as pain.

After several minutes, the brother spoke. “I know my brother’s been into some bad trouble miss, but I sure do appreciate you being so nice to him.”

Carol looked over smiling, and replied, “He’s not a prisoner to me. Nor a drug dealer. He’s just another patient.”

The man smiled and raised his eyes to her, staring intently as he continued to make conversation.

“Brother’s name is Calvin. Mine’s Bert. My parents gave up on Cal years ago when he got into drugs and gangs. He went from bad to worse, so they washed their hands of him. But me, I just couldn’t let him go completely. We don’t hardly see each other, but we’ll text occasionally.”

Carol continued working with Calvin, understanding the policemen’s attitude but feeling sorry for Bert as well. As she finished the stitches she began to clean the blood off his body as much as she could. Sofia came by to see if she needed help, but Carol waved her off.

The attending physician completed the admission orders and taking over for Carol since some of the wounds were at risk for infection. As the hospital attendants were rolling Cal’s bed out of the ER room to move to a hospital bed upstairs, the policemen followed along.

Bert stood, then hesitated as he looked over at Carol. “Miss, I do thank you for your kindness. I know my parents aren’t here, but if they were, they’d appreciate it too.” Looking at her name tag, he commented, “Carol. That’s a real pretty name for a real pretty lady.”

Starting to feel uncomfortable under the constant gaze of Bert, Carol quickly washed her hands and moved toward the door. “You really should head on up in the elevator with your brother so you’ll know which room they put him in.”

Bert nodded and followed her closely out into the hall. “Carol,” he said, putting his hand on her arm, “I hope to see you around again sometime.”

Carol just smiled politely, turned, and walked back over to the nurses’ station. Standing there facing Sofia, she said softly, “Casually look behind me and see if that man has left.”

Sofia quickly glanced over Carol’s shoulder, seeing Bert staring at Carol before walking over to the elevator. “He’s gone now, hun. You okay?”

Sighing, Carol nodded. “Yeah, it was probably nothing. You know how some people are just overly grateful for what we do, but he just kind of gave me the creeps.”

Leaning over the counter, Sofia patted her hand, then looked at the clock. “Well, it’s your lucky time, Carol. Your shift is almost over, I’ve got a break coming up, and I want to hear about Mr. Sex on a Stick Detective boyfriend!”

*

After questioning more of the witnesses of the earlier fight, Tom and Jake walked back into the station. Settling their large, muscular frames into their seats, they pulled out the files and reports that needed to be completed. The Chief came over to receive his update and the three men discussed the case against Calvin.

“He’s in the hospital overnight, instead of his ass bein’ in jail?” Jake asked, irritation showing on his face.

Tom swiveled around in his chair, looking at the chief as well. “You’ve gotta be shittin’ me.”

The chief looked over his shoulder, calling for the two patrolmen who had been in the hospital with Calvin to come over. Both men walked immediately to the chief and began answering the questions that were being fired at them from all three.

After reporting the trip to the hospital, assuring the chief that there were two guards at his hospital door, they mentioned the brother. “Seemed harmless, but we left orders that he could never be alone with our prisoner.”

Tom surmised, “Don’t know if he’ll keep showin’ up with a fuck-up brother like that.”

The two officers glanced at each other smiling.

Noticing, Jake barked, “What?”

“Well, gotta tell you the sweet nurse attending Calvin had his brother drooling all over himself tryin’ to get her attention.”

The room filled with dead silence. Tom, standing to his six foot four inch height, followed by Jake standing right beside him, both looked down on the officers.

With deadly calm, Tom asked, “What nurse? What did she look like?”

Now nervous, one officer replied, “A real pretty, blonde nurse. She was real sweet, talked to Calvin the whole time, not that that fucker was thinkin’ about anything except how much pain he was in. She was tiny, looked like some kind of fairy.”

At that, Tom leaned down into the officer’s face, “What about the brother?”

Just then, realization dawned on the other officer. “Shit, I heard you were datin’ a nurse.”

Tom cut his eyes to the last one who spoke, before stealing his stare back to the first reporting officer.

“Tom,” Jake said in warning, placing his hand on his friend.

“What did you say about the brother?” Tom repeated.

Licking his lips, the first officer reassured him, “We were there the whole time. Nothin’ happened, I swear.” Hearing a growl from Tom, he continued. “It’s just that the brother is kind of weasely. The kind who seems harmless, but is creepy at the same time. He was starin’ at her the whole time she was workin’ on Calvin. Tried to make conversation with her. Noticed her name badge. Even heard him say he would like to see her again.”

The other officer was quick to add, “But she just smiled pleasantly and walked away. I could tell he made her uncomfortable, and she sent him on up with us to Cal’s room.”

Tom leaned down and snagged his jacket, throwing it over his shoulder as he stormed out of the door.

Jake sat down at his computer immediately searching for information on the brother. The chief dismissed the other officers, then turned back to Jake.

“He gonna be okay?”

“Yeah,” Jake replied tight lipped. “But he’s gonna’ go check on Carol.”

“Never thought I’d see the day,” the chief said, shaking his head. “Thought Tom would never find someone he cared about.” Walking away, Jake could hear the chief muttering to himself, “Good man. Good man.”

Jake, concerned about Carol, couldn’t help but smile.
Yeah, looks like Tom has finally found his match.

*

The knocking on the door seeped into Carol’s consciousness. Slowly waking up, realizing the pounding wasn’t going away, she raised up to look at the clock. It was eleven a.m., and she had only been asleep for three hours. Dragging herself out of bed, she stumbled into the living room to peek through her door’s keyhole.
Tom. What is Tom doing here?

Opening the door, she looked up into his blue eyes. Eyes that she couldn’t read right now. “Hey, what’s up?” she asked stepping back so that he could enter.

Tom walked passed her then turned around, looking at her sleep rumpled hair, squinting eyes, and then his eyes traveled down.
Damn, she’s gorgeous just out of bed and fuckin’ clueless about it.
Her sleep shorts barely covered her luscious ass, and the camisole top did nothing to hide her breasts or her nipples poking through the material.

Adjusting himself, he reminded his dick that he wasn’t here for a booty call. “Angel, I came to check on you.”

Staring up at him in confusion, she replied, “I was sleeping.”

“I know that babe. What I don’t know is why you didn’t call about last night.”

Still confused, she rubbed her sleepy eyes with her fingers trying to focus on the hotness in front of her that seemed to be irritated.

“Honey, I don’t’ know what you’re talking about. Can’t it wait until later? I’ve only been asleep a couple of hours.”

Sighing, he walked over wrapping his arms around her, enveloping her in his embrace.

“Ummm. That feels nice. I could go back to sleep right here in your arms. Although the bed would be nice too,” she said looking up at him.

“Angel, I’m waitin’ on an answer.”

Pulling back from his embrace so that she could focus on his face again, she replied, “Tom, I don’t know what you are talking about. What about last night?”

“You had a patient. His brother made you uncomfortable? You didn’t think I’d wanna know?”

Pushing her way out of his embrace her sleep fogged mind cleared. “Patient? Who told you? It couldn’t have been Sofia or Jon because like me, we can’t talk about patients.” Her voice rose as the anger slowly poured over her. “The cops were there. They told you.” Then as understanding dawned on her, she looked up glaring. “Oh my god. They told you about his brother hitting on me? And you come over here to be the big, bad boyfriend? Oh no, Tom. No way.”

By now, her chest was heaving in anger as she stalked toward the living room before turning around to face him again.

Tom, stance wide with his hands on his hips, glared back. “Angel, not askin’ you to break rules. Not askin’ you to tell me shit about your job I don’t need to know. But some man makes you feel so uneasy that others around notice it, I wanna know.”

“So what, Tom? So you can show up at his door and pound the little man down? News flash, Tom, I’m a big girl. I’ve been on my own a long time taking care of myself. I don’t need you to fight my battles.”

“Like throwin’ up the other night because things got rough?”

She jerked back as his words slapped her. “Oh no, you did not just throw that in my face.”

Tom rubbed his hand over his face and looked down. Taking a deep breath, he lifted his eyes to hers, seeing in her anger.

“Angel, I’m sorry. I don’t ever want to say somethin’ that hurts you and honest to God, that’s not how I meant it.” He walked over to her shaking form, wanting nothing more than to wrap his arms back around her, but knowing she needed a little space.

BOOK: Carol's Image
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