I felt so safe in his arms that I didn’t wake up once last night with a nightmare. I don’t think I had a dream at all as a matter of fact.
Michael kissed me goodbye early in the morning after we talked about seeing each other again soon.
The relationship wasn’t going to be easy, but he promised he wasn’t kissing me goodbye.
“You must have had a real good time this weekend, Doctor.” The voice pulled me out of my happy thoughts. A nurse leaning against the counter studied me with a shitty ass grin.
“Yeah, it was decent.” I didn’t feel like talking to her. It was none of her damn business.
Pointing at my neck, she laughed. “From the love bite on your neck, I’d say it was a little more than decent.”
Dropping the spoon, my hand flew to the spot that he’d bit the night before. “Shit,” I muttered covering the spot.
“Happens to the best of us.” She giggled and shrugged.
“I have to go cover this up before I see patients. Nice seeing you.”
I didn’t know her name and felt kind of shitty about not addressing her properly, but there were too many damn people that worked in the hospital to memorize them all.
I started to walk away but she called out to me, “You’re not even going to give me any details? I did help you out.”
I called out over my shoulder to her, “I’m in a rush, but maybe another time.”
I heard her mumbling nasty words as I closed the door to the bathroom.
“Fuck,” I said, as I leaned closer to the mirror, inspecting the red mark on my neck.
We were both too caught up to put much thought into anything, especially a hickey.
Pulling a tube of cover-up from my purse, I dabbed the cream over the spot on my neck and sighed. It screamed ‘love bite’. I pulled my ponytail to the side as I tried to hide it.
It shouted ‘hey I’m hiding something’.
I walked down the hall and nodded at the few people who walked by before making it to the heart of the ER. “Who needs to be seen?” I asked Constance, the station supervisor, as I leaned over the counter, staring at her mountain of paperwork.
“Room seven needs assistance I think. Check the board.” She didn’t look up at me as she shuffled the papers.
My eyes looked over each row and stopped dead on one name.
Unable to move, I stared at the board and heaviness settled over my body. My heart ached as it hammered inside my chest, wanting to burst.
“What’s wrong, Doc?” Her warm hands touched my fingers, breaking my trance.
“Gallo in room seven,” I said, swallowing the lump that formed in my throat.
“Motorcycle accident, serious injuries. Is there a problem, Dr. Greco? You’re white as a ghost.”
I shook my head without looking at her. I needed to know if Michael lay in that room. “No, I’m okay. Let me get in there and help.”
As I walked down the hallway, I felt like my shoes were filled with cement. I stood outside the room, gathering my thoughts before I walked in.
Even if it were Michael on that table, I had to help save his life.
I needed to separate myself from our… whatever we were.
Holding my breath, I approached the gurney slowly.
A dark haired man lay motionless on the table covered in blood and dirt. Dr. Patel stood over him, shining a light in his eyes as nurses hung IVs.
“What do we have, Doctor?” My voice cracked as I spoke.
The heaviness in my chest eased when my eyes flickered the man’s face again.
It wasn’t Michael.
“Mr. Gallo, can you hear me?” Patel shouted to him, but he was unconscious. Looking up at me as he placed the light in his pocket and spoke quickly, “Dr. Greco, we have an adult male thrown from a bike but wearing a helmet. His leg is mangled and we’ve controlled the bleeding. We’re still assessing the damage before sending him to surgery. We need to cut his clothing off and check for other injuries.”
Grabbing a pair of scissors I looked at his face before I started to cut the material around his injured leg. “Head trauma?” I asked, looking at the dried blood on his face and neck.
“The helmet took the brunt of it, but he’s been in an out of consciousness. We’ve started him on pain meds for his leg and hand. He came in conscious, but the pain meds knocked him out. We need an x-ray on that leg for the surgeons.” His hands never stopped moving as he checked the patients’ body for visible damage.
“X-Ray please,” I yelled to the nurse near the doorway before she scurried away.
His blood pressure was elevated and needed to be brought under control before surgery.
“Have you started him on anything for his BP?” I asked.
He squinted at the monitor and grabbed a small vile form the cart, filling the needle before pushing the liquid into the line.
“Clear the room please,” The technician said standing in the doorway with the x-ray portable machine.
“After the films are taken, he can be prepped for surgery,” Dr. Patel said as we walked into the hall.
I felt useless.
I hated coming into a room late and feeling left out of the diagnosis, which usually happened at the start of the shift.
“He’ll need surgery to repair his leg and most likely his hand.” Dr. Patel rubbed the back of his neck and sighed.
“I can go talk to the family while you handle the transfer papers if you’d like,” I offered.
I needed to see Michael if he was in the waiting room.
He nodded, giving me a small smile before going back into the room when the technician called out, “All clear.”
My stomach started to cramp as I walked toward the waiting room. I knew the other Gallo’s would be there.
This wasn’t the way I wanted to meet them.
When I pushed opened the door the first person I saw was Michael. My heart raced and I wanted to jump into his arms. I had the urge to kiss him and tell him how worried I was when I saw his name, but I couldn’t.
I needed to remain calm and do my job.
His pained eyes met mine, and the cocky grin he wore so well was missing.
“Gallo family?” I said staring in his eyes.
“Yes,” an older woman said, standing as she wiped her tear stained face.
I moved toward her, grabbing a chair, I positioned myself close to Michael.
“I wanted to let you know he’s being prepped for surgery. Although we don’t know the full extent of his injuries yet, we know
his leg needs surgery being badly damaged in the wreck.” I looked at Michael and swallowed as my nose tingled. “His hand is broken and may also need to be repaired during surgery. We won’t know more until he’s in the operating room.”
“Was he awake, Doctor? Can I see him?” the older woman asked as she leaned forward, choking on her words.
“He’s been in and out of consciousness, ma’am. You can see him when he’s in the recovery room.”
“Will he live?” The blond at her side asked, clutching the woman’s hand.
“All I can say is that he’s currently stable but his injuries are serious.”
I could feel Michael’s eyes on me, almost boring a hole in my skin as I talked with the two woman.
Tears began to stream down the younger woman’s face as she choked out, “Just make my Joey alright.”
I patted her knee, trying to reassure her. “We’ll do everything in our power to help him.” I stood, looking at the entire family. “You can move to the surgery waiting room when you feel ready. Don’t hesitate to ask for updates and watch the monitor on the wall. It’ll show you when the surgeries begun and when it’s finished.”
Reaching out, the older woman touched my hand. “Thank you, dear.”
I nodded before I looked at Michael, giving him a weak smile.
“Come on, Mother, let’s go wait where the nice doctor told us for our boy,” the older gentleman that sat next to Michael, said to the woman. Grabbing her by the waist, he helped her walk, allowing her to lean on him for support.
I envied them. They loved each other. I smiled at them until screaming drew my attention toward the hall.
“Outta my fucking way,” a woman yelled as she walked into the room.
“Isabella, watch your mouth,” the woman said, her voice stern.
Frowning, she looked at the floor not making eye contact. “Sorry, Ma. What happened to Joe? Is he okay?” Her eyes glistened as a tear slid down her cheek.
The woman touched her face, wiping away the tear. “He’s going to surgery. We’ll know more soon, baby girl. I know you adore your brother. He’s strong and a fighter. He’ll be okay,” she said wrapping the girl in a loving embrace.