One Tequila, Two Tequila…Floor
“So why the hell did you want to move to Tennessee?” Tara asks.
I’ve been working at the hospital for about two weeks now, and I’ve been Tara’s shadow since the day I started in the ER. Tennessee is nothing like Vegas. Not only are the people different, but the ER here is much calmer. I look at Tara and smile when she raises an eyebrow at me. One thing I learned quickly is that people here have no problem getting in your business or asking personal questions.
“I just needed a change.” I shrug, putting away another patient folder.
“I can understand that. I need a change, like a nice sandy beach and a hot guy to wait on me hand and foot.” She smiles, her head tilting back like she’s imagining herself on a beach right now.
“Autumn, Tara,” a deep voice says.
Tara and I look up and smile at the same time.
“How are you ladies this evening?” Dr. D, or Derik, asks. He’s a very, very attractive black man; sadly, he is also very, very g*y and has an even hotter boyfriend.
“Good,” Tara and I say in unison. We laugh, pointing at each other and calling out, “Jinx!”
I’ve found myself laughing a lot more often since I started working here. In general, I find myself a lot happier period. All of my coworkers are very nice and easy to get along with. So far, I haven’t met anyone who is petty or mean.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is my relationship with Kenton. I can’t get over the amount of anger I feel towards him. Maybe it’s stupid and immature on my part, but he hurt my feelings when he said all that to whomever he was talking to on the phone. Worse, I’d thought he’d been starting to like me.
“What are you girls doing this weekend?”
“I need to sleep,” I say, closing my eyes for a second. “My body hasn’t adjusted to this schedule yet. I swear, if it weren’t for coffee, I would be lying facedown on this desk right now.” Plus, if I slept, I could continue to avoid Kenton.
He’s left me a note daily and somehow got my cell number, so he’s started texting me. He never says much. Mostly, he asks how I am, if I need anything, and if I am settling in at my job. I never answer him. I can tell that he is becoming frustrated. I have no idea how to face him, so I do the easiest thing and avoid him like the plague.
“Sleep is overrated. You two should come out with me and Stan this weekend. There’s a club that just opened up downtown. We could go out, have a couple drinks, and dance. Wouldn’t that be fun?” Derik asks.
I look at Tara, who nods her head, and I quickly agree. I need to start acting my age. I should be having fun and going out, and now that I have a few people I trust, I have a reason to do that.
“Sure, but I won’t be staying out late. I have dinner plans with a friend on Sunday in the early afternoon,” I tell them. I’ve had dinner with Viv and her family the last two Sundays, and now, she expects me to be there. Her daughter is really sweet. Plus, her niece is supposed to be coming this weekend and Viv really wants me to meet her.
“That’s fine. Two drinks tops.” Derik smiles and the desk phone rings.
Tara picks it up and stands suddenly. “Got it,” she says, looking at Derik. “When?” she asks and listens for a few more seconds before hanging up the phone. She leaves from behind the desk and I follow her. “The ambulance is in route. Male, thirty-four, gunshot wound to the right shoulder. He’s conscious and may need a transfusion. We need to get everything set up. The ambulance is five minutes out,” Tara says, and all three of us run down the hall to prepare the trauma bay before the patient arrives.
The ambulance pulls in and what I least expect happens. The guy is conscious, laughing, and joking with the EMTs like this is a routine occurrence for him. He hasn’t lost enough blood to need a transfusion, and it doesn’t appear that the bullet hit any arteries; it was a clean in-and-out shot. All he’ll require is a few stitches and an overnight stay in the hospital.
“Are you sure you two don’t want to give me a sponge bath?” Finn, our bullet wound patient asks.
I laugh, shaking my head at him, but Tara doesn’t seem so sure about turning him down. His tall, lean body, boy-next-door good looks, and easy smile definitely make him swoon-worthy.
“Not tonight, handsome,” Tara tells him, batting her lashes.
His hand goes over his heart as he flops back down in the bed and winces. “You wound me, Blondie.”
“I’m sure your ego will be okay.” She smiles.
Tara is really beautiful. She has that whole Southern belle look going for her—long, blond hair, big, blue eyes, and a cute personality. Actually, looking between the two of them, I see Ken and Barbie.
“You need to be careful with that shoulder,” I scold Finn as he winces again when he sits up.
“I could go home with you and you could look after me.” He grins, making me roll my eyes.
“Sorry, but I promised my roommate I wouldn’t take my work home with me.” I start laughing, thinking about Kenton and what he would do if I showed up with a guy who had a gunshot wound.
“Your roommate sucks,” Finn mutters.
“Tell me about it,” I reply with a smile.
A second later, my body goes solid when the voice behind me hits my ears. “What the f**k is going on, Autumn?”
I close my eyes slowly, hoping that I’m wrong. When I turn my head, four large guys are standing near the door and none other than Kenton is standing in the middle of them.
“Autumn?” one of the guys says. My eyes go to him and he smiles. “Shit, boss. This is the Autumn who works at ‘Vander’s Belt’?” He laughs loudly, his eyes going back and forth between Kenton and me.
My eyes shift back to Kenton, seeing his jaw tick. “Um…” I mumble, taking a step back.
“Vanderbilt,” Kenton pronounces, his voice a low rumble. The anger in the one spoken word rolls against my skin, creating goose bumps. “Do not f**king move,” he demands when I start to take another step back.
My body freezes in place as I watch him move towards me, his eyes locked on mine. I feel stuck in place under his glare.
When he’s within touching distance, his hand wraps around my bicep and his mouth comes to my ear. “No more f**king ignoring me,” he growls.
If the wetness in my panties is anything to go by, I like his aggression. I look at Dr. D, who is looking at Kenton with his mouth hanging open, and when his eyes come to mine, he bites his lip. Apparently, he is not going to be any help.